Smith receives third straight No. 1 qualifier at 2019 Auto Club Finals

By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher

Denso Auto Parts/Matt Smith Racing Pro Stock Motorcycle rider Matt Smith has received his third straight No. 1 qualifier of the NHRA’s Countdown to the Championship. The King, North Carolina went 6.815 at 197.33 mph to claim the top spot at the Auto Club NHRA Finals at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona in Pomona, California.

This is Smith’s seventh No. 1 qualifier of the season. In addition, it is his 38th No. 1 qualifier of his career.

Denso/Matt Smith Racing Pro Stock Motorcycle rider Matt Smith racing on Saturday at the Auto Club NHRA Finals
Matt Smith racing on Saturday at the Auto Club NHRA Finals (Photo by the NHRA)

“I feel good about [Sunday],” Smith said. “We were basically low of every round, but one and we’ve been good all weekend long. I’m just going out there to run my race and try to turn on a win light each round. If I get lucky enough and turn four of them on, and Andrew loses in the first round then we become the champion. I’m really just going to go do my job and see what happens.”

Smith will face Katie Sullivan in the first-round of eliminations. The Orland, California native went 7.022 at 191.13 mph.

White Alligator Racing Pro Stock Motorcycle rider Karen Stoffer is the No. 2 qualifier. The Gardnerville, Nevada native went 6.834 at 195.00 mph.

Stoffer will face Kelly Clontz in the first-round of eliminations. The Hughesville, Maryland native went 7.005 at 189.92 mph.

Stoffer’s White Alligator Racing team owner and rider Jerry Savoie — who is likely competing in his final NHRA race on Sunday — is the No. 3 qualifier. The Cut Off, Louisiana native went 6.837 at 193.35 mph.

Savoie will face Angie Smith in the first-round of eliminations. The King, North Carolina native went 6.978 at 194.60 mph.

Screamin’ Eagle Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson Pro Stock Motorcycle rider Andrew Hines is the No. 4 qualifier. The Avon, Indiana native went 6.845 at 196.22 mph.

Hines will face rookie Jianna Salinas in the first-round of eliminations. The San Martin, California native went 6.978 at 186.74 mph.

Steve Johnson Racing Pro Stock Motorcycle rider Steve Johnson is the No. 5 qualifier. The Birmingham, Alabama native went 6.850 at 194.86 mph.

Johnson will face Freddie Camarena in the first-round of eliminations. The Placentia, California native went 6.965 at 194.24 mph.

The rest of the ladder looks like this:

6. Hector Arana Jr, EBR, 6.867, 196.36 mph vs. 11. Hector Arana, EBR, 6.913, 196.47 mph

7. Eddie Krawiec, Harley-Davidson, 6.871, 196.27 mph vs. 10. Angelle Sampey, Harley-Davidson, 6.882, 194.02 mph

8. Scotty Pollacheck, EBR, 6.873, 196.39 mph vs. 9. Ryan Oehler, EBR, 6.879, 196.96 mph

Did Not Qualify:

17. Michael Ray, 7.023, 191.02 mph

18. Andie Rawlings, 9.463, 93.70 mph

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