By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher
Denso Pro Stock Motorcycle rider Matt Smith claimed his first Countdown to the Championship win on Sunday. He defeated Steve Johnson in the final round of the Dodge NHRA Nationals presented by Pennzoil at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The King, North Carolina native went 6.855 at 195.90 mph to win the Wally. The Birmingham, Alabama native went 6.863 at 194.04 mph in the losing effort.
“I can’t say enough about my guys and this team,” Smith said. “We took it into our own hands (against Andrew) and it’s not totally and mathematically over yet. I told everybody we were going to shoot for the moon in the finals, and it stuck. When it stuck, there’s nobody going to catch us when it runs like that. We just pulled it off in the final and did our job.”
In the Countdown to the Championship before this win, White Alligator Racing had three PSM wins and Screamin’ Eagle Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson had one. Jerry Savoie won twice, while his teammate Karen Stoffer won once.
Andrew Hines has the lone Harley-Davidson win. Now, Smith joins him as the non-White Alligator Racing rider to win during the Countdown to the Championship.
This is Smith’s second win of the season. He also won the Route 66 NHRA Nationals on June 2 at Route 66 Raceway in Elwood, Illinois.