Smith looks for second straight win at Route 66 Nationals

By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher

Pro Stock Motorcycle returns to the Route 66 NHRA Nationals this weekend. This is event No. 9 of the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season and will take place from Friday, May 30 to June 2 at Route 66 Raceway in Elwood, Illinois.

Matt Smith will look to repeat as the winner, as he did in 2018. The King, North Carolina native defeated LE Tonglet in the final round.

Pro Stock Motorcycle rider Matt Smith racing on Sunday at the Route 66 NHRA Nationals
Matt Smith racing on Sunday at the Route 66 NHRA Nationals (Photo by the NHRA)

Smith went 6.816 at 195.87 mph for the Wally. The Matairie, Louisiana native — who has not competed thus far this season — went 6.862 at 193.24 mph in his White Alligator Racing bike.

Matt Smith Racing will have several bikes on the property. Besides Smith’s, his wife Angie and Scotty Pollacheck will be there. Also, Kelly Clontz — who receives assistance from Smith — will be competing.

Plus, Michael Ray Jr. — who has not competed full-time in PSM since 2014 — reunites with his former teammate this weekend.

Screamin’ Eagle Vance & Hines Harley Davidson riders Andrew Hines, Eddie Krawiec, and Angelle Sampey will be there. Lucas Oil riders Hector Arana and Hector Arana Jr. will also be there near Chicago.

There are 18 PSM bikes on the property. Only 16 will make the show on Sunday with two bikes being sent home following Saturday’s qualifying passes.

Other bikes on the property include White Alligator Racing owner Jerry Savoie and teammate Karen Stoffer. Others include Andrea “Andi” Rawlings, Marc Ingwersen, Cory Reed, Steve Johnson, Ryan Oehler, and rookie Jianna Salinas.

Hines is the all-time wins leader in PSM at the property. He has three wins in 2016, 2012, and 2007.

Tonglet also has three wins, but is not presently an active driver. He plans to race in four events this season with his family operations.

He previously won in 2017, 2011, and 2010.

Pro Stock Motorcycle rider Matt Smith after winning the Wally on Sunday at the Route 66 NHRA Nationals
Matt Smith after winning the Wally on Sunday at the Route 66 NHRA Nationals (Photo by the NHRA)

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