Smith Leads Four Goodyear Winners In NHRA Professional Categories

Smith Leads Four Goodyear Winners In NHRA Professional Categories

Rickie Smith has won drag races and racing championships, but his accomplishment Sunday during the NHRA Summit Racing Equipment Nationals at Summit Motorsports Park marked a career first. Smith won his third straight Pro Mod race at the Summit track and his son, NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle rider Matt Smith, also won.

Rickie Smith has won drag races and racing championships, but his accomplishment Sunday during the NHRA Summit Racing Equipment Nationals at Summit Motorsports Park marked a career first.

Smith won his third straight Pro Mod race at the Summit track and his son, NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle rider Matt Smith, also won.

Goodyear’s other professional winners at Norwalk came in the NHRA’s Mello Yello Drag Racing Series. They included Khalid alBalooshi (in Top Fuel), Johnny Gray (Funny Car) and Mike Edwards (Pro Stock).

“I’m just tickled to death to (win on the same day as his son) before I quit (racing),” the elder Smith said. “It’s tough to win much less both of you win at the same time.”

Rickie Smith’s win streak has come on Goodyear’s D1230 drag racing slick. It spans two sanctioning bodies.

“We’ve been winning with (the D1230),” Smith said. “That’s what counts. Goodyear all the way.”

The D1230 has a 36-inch diameter and its tread face is 17 inches wide. The tire mounts on a 16-inch wheel and the construction includes Goodyear’s D2A tread compound.

alBalooshi’s victory was his first of the season and second of his career. He beat Doug Kalitta in the final. Shawn Langdon took the lead in the Top Fuel standings with 1,013 points. Tony Schumacher is second with 1,012.

“The last race I lost in the first round last year was at this track, and this week I won my first trophy (in 2013) at this track,” alBalooshi said.

Gray’s win came at the expense of Ron Capps. Both drivers led the race before they finished with identical 4.103 elapsed times. Gray’s reaction time, .061 of a second, was fractionally better than Capps and was the difference in the race. Matt Hagan leads the standings with 959 points. Gray is next with 858.

“Everybody said it was back-and-forth all the way down the track, and it was just a great drag race,” said Gray, who won for the first time in Norwalk.

Edwards strengthened his lead in the Pro Stock standings with his win, his fourth this season. He beat Allen Johnson in the final at Norwalk. Edwards has 1,218 points. Johnson is a distant second with 1,065.

“I just could never get a handle on this place, but it sure feels good to finally come here and win a race,” said Edwards, who posted his first win at Norwalk.

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