By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher
Victory Polaris Magnum Pro Stock Motorcycle rider Matt Smith won his class at the 21st annual Route 66 NHRA Nationals in Joliet, Illinois. He defeated Nitro Fish Racing Suzuki rider LE Tonglet in the final round.
This is Smith’s first win of the 2018 season. It is also his 19th of his career. This is also his first win at the Route 66 NHRA Nationals.
Smith went 6.816 at 195.87 mph to get the win light. Tonglet, who is also a full-time Louisiana firefighter, went 6.862 at 193.24 mph.
“We always run good here in Chicago and I knew we had a good bike,” Smith said. “We were the quickest bike every round and that’s just a testament to my crew. I’m just very excited. We were just trying to win a race and this was big for us.”
This is Smith’s first win since November 13th, 2016. He won the season-ending Automobile Club of Southern California NHRA Finals in Pomona, California that year.
Tonglet held a 14-9 advantage over Smith prior to this final round appearance. He also held a 3-1 advantage over Smith in final rounds before Smith’s win.
Tonglet had the early advantage. He stayed out front during the first part of the track.
Smith then went around him in the second part of the track and pulled away for the win. He won by 0.0278 seconds, or approx. 8 feet.