© 2000 Dwight Drum
Prostar Top Eliminator
Like father, like son?
Some racers seem to be born to race, having all the skills to win at high speeds. Perhaps other racers inherit the genes that enable them to have fast reflexes and steady nerves at high speeds. Matt Smith may have inherited a few of these 'speed-genes' as his father is Ricky Smith, NHRA Pro Stock Car racer, and IHRA champion. Matt is a Pro Stock Motorcycle racer who aspires to compete in the NHRA ranks. Anyone can inherit the best genes that might enhance racing skills, but in the end they still must race to find out if their genes keep the speed. A racer must perform. Discover how Matt may apply his 'speed-genes' to motorcycle drag racing.
MATT SMITH CHATS WITH DWIGHT:
Birth Town: Winston-Salem, NC
Home Town: King, NC
Do you have a nickname?
Who are your heroes?
What are your scariest moments?
"Brushing the wall at Columbus last year on a top gas bike."
Do you work out?
"A little running with my wife. I'm a small guy so I don't have to work out to lose weight."
Do you have a special diet?
What mental routine prepares you for each run?
"I try to focus on doing the best job. Put out110%."
Do you have time for a hobby?
"I like the water so I scuba dive and ride a jet-ski. I like to explore. I like stuff to go fast."
Many motorcyclists ride to unravel, what do you do to unwind?
"I go diving in the rock quarry. I also like to go to the shop and work on customer's motors."
What personal quality (one trait) would you want your fans to admire most?
"Trait? My fairness. I want to make a race of it."
What’s most important?
1.Fame 2.Money 3.Thrill/fun 4.Winning
"Fun and the thrill. Money is not that good. Money doesn't pay it out."
Are you happy?
"I'm very happy."
What could make you happier?
"I've got some things in the works. I'm probably going to ride a Pro Stock bike in the NHRA next year. I'm not 100% sure, but I'm 90% positive."
If you could change one thing about motorcycle drag racing, what would it be?
"I'd like to see more advertising in Pro Star to promote the product. There's a big motorcycle market out there."
When driving a car, do you always wear a seatbelt?
- Yes. 2. No. 3. If yes, really?
When asleep do you ever dream you’re riding a motorcycle?
"Yeah. I dream a lot about races and being in the NHRA Sanction."
Name one other sport, you believe you could excel at?"
"I'm good at wrestling. I was almost a state champ, but I broke my leg in soccer and couldn't participate in wrestling during my senior year."
If you could make one part of your body stronger, what part would that be?
"My upper body strength, so I could pull the bike back when it gets out of shape."
When frustrated. What do you do first?
1.Erupt. 2.Withdraw 3. Try to be cool. 4. Other
"I try to get away from everybody. Take the frustration out on myself."
Where do you find the most peace in your life?
"Going to church."
Do you have a full-time occupation?
"I drive a truck Monday through Thursday to pay the bills. I work on customer's motors on the weekends."
You’re a skilled racer…What skills separate you from the fast traffic on smooth public highways?
"I tend to look out ahead of things, instead of directly in front of me."
What do you worry about the most?
"Not succeeding is my biggest fear. I want to succeed."
In a few words, how would you sum up…yourself?
"For what I've had to work with, I've done very well in the past few years."
What vehicle do you drive on the street?
"A Ford F150."
What quality do you admire most in other people?
"Be straight up and honest. If we've got a problem, tell me. Let's work it out."
If you had one wish, what would that be?
"I would like to have a big time sponsor, so I could race in the NHRA."
"We went 200 mph on a seven inch tire…the highlight of the year. I won the last four Pro Star races. I want to finish it up in Gainesville, and win the championship."
Drag racing a motorcycle with a seven-inch tire at 200 mph is no easy task. With that accomplishment, and the win-progression of this season, Matt Smith has shown he can muster the skills to compete in the NHRA. For these reasons I searched for one final word that not only points to his inherited agility, but to his present moves. I found a gritty adjective that covers his 200 mph-milestone…and the many genes that may serve his skills. Gary Larsen agreed….Matt Smith's abilities are…
INGRAINED Photos by Matt Polito and supplied by Copperhead Graphics
973 661 0054
Cana, Va. 24317