Rickie Smith finished up an impressive weekend at World Wide Technology Raceway with his first victory of the season in E3 Spark Plugs NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series presented by J&A Service action, beating points leader Stevie “Fast” Jackson in the final round on Sunday.
The series was presented by the Real Pro Mod Association (RPM) in St. Louis and marked the 10th of 12 races in 2019.
Smith, a three-time world champion in the class, was on top in his nitrous-powered Bahrain1 Racing Camaro all weekend, qualifying No. 1 for the second straight race and going 5.768-seconds at 252.19 mph to beat Jackson in the final round. It also is Smith’s class-best 15th career victory.
“It’s pretty awesome, at my age, to be fighting like this with these young cats,” Smith said. “I saw Stevie run a 5.77 and thought there’s no way I can run that, and then I run 5.76. Then he runs a 5.74 and I run a 5.72, so it was pretty exciting this weekend. I’ve got three awesome kids and wife that stand behind me.”
Smith, who qualified No. 1 with a 5.724 at 252.43, beat Alex Laughlin, Michael Biehle and Mike Castellana, who beat Smith in the Indy finals, to reach the championship round.
Jackson, who was the defending event winner and qualified second this weekend, advanced to his fifth final round in 2019 and 12th in his career thanks to wins against Carl Stevens Jr., defending world champ Mike Janis and Todd Tutterow. He also stretched his commanding points lead to 156 points heading into the final two events of the 2019 season.
The E3 Spark Plugs NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series presented by J&A Service continues at the NTK NHRA Carolina Nationals at zMAX Dragway in Charlotte. It will be the 11th of 12 races during the 2019 season.
Final finish order (1-16) at the eighth annual AAA Insurance NHRA Midwest Nationals at World Wide Technology Raceway. The race is the 10th of 12 events in the E3 Spark Plugs NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series.
1. Rickie Smith; 2. Steve Jackson; 3. Todd Tutterow; 4. Mike Castellana; 5. Brandon Snider; 6. Mike Janis; 7. Michael Biehle; 8. Khalid alBalooshi; 9. Bob Rahaim; 10. Eric Latino; 11. Steve Matusek; 12. Sidnei Frigo; 13. Alex Laughlin; 14. Steven Whiteley; 15. Scott Oksas; 16. Carl Stevens.
Sunday’s final results from the eighth annual AAA Insurance NHRA Midwest Nationals at World Wide Technology Raceway. The race is the 10th of 12 events in the E3 Spark Plugs NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series.
Pro Modified — Rickie Smith, Chevy Camaro, 5.768, 252.19 def. Steve Jackson, Camaro, 7.413, 113.99.
Final round-by-round results from the eighth annual AAA Insurance NHRA Midwest Nationals at World Wide Technology Raceway, the race is the 10th of 12 events in the E3 Spark Plugs NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series.
ROUND ONE — Rickie Smith, Chevy Camaro, 5.771, 251.67 def. Alex Laughlin, Camaro, 6.085, 248.84; Mike Castellana, Camaro, 5.809, 248.66 def. Sidnei Frigo, Camaro, 5.919, 249.81; Steve Jackson, Camaro, 5.769, 249.67 def. Carl Stevens, Camaro, Broke – No Show; Khalid alBalooshi, Camaro, 5.814, 253.66 def. Scott Oksas, Ford Mustang, 9.800, 84.49; Brandon Snider, Chevy Corvette, 5.771, 247.34 def. Steven Whiteley, Camaro, 9.677, 94.18; Todd Tutterow, Camaro, 5.820, 248.07 def. Steve Matusek, Mustang, 5.884, 246.84; Mike Janis, Camaro, 5.835, 248.25 def. Eric Latino, Camaro, 5.864, 248.66; Michael Biehle, Mustang, 5.859, 252.33 def. Bob Rahaim, Camaro, 5.817, 246.75;
QUARTERFINALS — Jackson, 5.768, 250.27 def. Janis, 5.822, 247.38; Tutterow, 5.814, 248.75 def. alBalooshi, 5.910, 250.18; Smith, 5.788, 251.11 def. Biehle, 5.835, 252.80; Castellana, 5.789, 248.16 def. Snider, 5.796, 246.21;
SEMIFINALS — Jackson, 5.780, 250.27 def. Tutterow, 5.800, 248.71; Smith, 5.781, 252.43 def. Castellana, 8.006, 115.78;
FINAL — Smith, 5.768, 252.19 def. Jackson, 7.413, 113.99.
Point standings (top 10) following the eighth annual AAA Insurance NHRA Midwest Nationals at World Wide Technology Raceway, the race is the 10th of 12 events in the E3 Spark Plugs NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series.
1. Steve Jackson, 786; 2. Todd Tutterow, 630; 3. Mike Janis, 619; 4. Jose Gonzalez, 527; 5. Rickie Smith, 525; 6. Sidnei Frigo, 517; 7. Mike Castellana, 484; 8. Khalid alBalooshi, 481; 9. Brandon Snider, 421; 10. Chad Green, 362.
— Competition Plus (@competitionplus) January 4, 2019