CHARLOTTE (Sept. 14) — For Victory Motorcycles rider Angie Smith, the 2016 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season begins again at the NHRA Carolina Nationals this weekend in Charlotte.
Smith didn’t qualify for the Countdown to the Championship, the six-race stretch that determines the 2016 Pro Stock Motorcycle champion, but her season is hardly over.
Six races remain for Smith to contend for race victories, to prepare for the 2017 season, and to help husband Matt Smith win the championship this year.
“We have a lot left to race for, no doubt about it,” Smith said. “Have we had the best season this year? No. But we can use these last six races to get better and try to win some rounds and some races. I’m not one to give up at anything, so I’m not giving up on this season by any means. We’ll keep fighting, all the way down to the last round in Pomona.”
Her main focus will be trying to play the spoiler role for husband Matt Smith, who starts the Countdown in ninth place and could use some help climbing the points standings. If Angie were to beat a Countdown opponent or two, that would certainly help Matt.
“I can help Matt do the best that he can do and help him win a championship,” Smith said. “That’s the focus at this point, and if I can help in any way, that’s great. What’s good for him is certainly good for us as a team.”
Charlotte serves as a home track for Matt Smith Racing, which is based 90 miles away in King, N.C. Victory Gunners have tested in Charlotte many times, and Matt Smith raced to the final round of the Four-Wide race here in April.
“We love coming here, and we see lots of friends and family at the track,” Smith said. “It’s always a busy weekend in Charlotte, but it’s always fun, too. Hopefully we can give Victory and all our friends a good showing this weekend.”
Pro Stock Motorcycle qualifying sessions are scheduled for 3:15 and 5:30 p.m., Friday, and 12:45 and 3 p.m., Saturday. Eliminations start at 1 p.m., Sunday. FOX Sports 1 will broadcast qualifying action from 6 to 7 p.m., Friday, and 11 a.m. to noon, Sunday. Eliminations will air live from 2:30 to 5:30 p.m., Sunday. (All times listed in ET).
Credit: Geiger Media Global