After just missing his fourth NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle world championship, and second in row, in 2019, Matt Smith is fueled to reach the pinnacle again in 2020.
Smith finished third in the points – 46 points behind world champ Andrew Hines in the Harley-Davidson camp.
“Denso is back onboard as the primary sponsor for my bike and Angie’s bike,” said Matt, who had two wins last season in Chicago and Las Vegas in the fall. “I know for a fact that I will be really good and I’m about 150 percent sure Angie is going to have her best year ever next year with what we have found with her bike over the winter so far. I’m really looking forward to (2020) with our program.”
Matt Smith runs Matt Smith Racing, and he, his wife, Angie and Scotty Pollacheck will be running V-twin motorcycles with S&S motors in the upcoming season. Angie finished eighth in the points last season and Pollacheck was 12th.
“Angie and I are going to test Jan. 12 in Bradenton (Fla.),” Matt Smith said. “I’m not sure how many passes Angie and I will make there. We have some 60-foot stuff and some stuff we want to work out with Angie’s bike with what we found on the dyno. Then, I’m just going to run one day. I have to run a few things through a couple of the new motors we have done. Basically, the test is for her.”
The 16-race 2020 NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle schedule begins March 12-15 at the Gatornationals in Gainesville, Fla.
“I know Andrew had the best bike during the regular season, but I felt we turned our performance up for the Countdown and I think we had the best bike in the Countdown,” Matt said. “We got unlucky there. The Charlotte race (the third race in the 6-race Countdown to the Championship) really cost us when the chassis was broke. It would never go into high gear that race. That race cost us the championship because if that race wouldn’t have happened, we would probably be a four-time champ instead of just three. We still had a chance the last race (Pomona). Andrew (Hines) panicked the first round and we had a motor break on us and that’s the first motor we have broke since we have gone to this new motor, we debuted with Victory three years ago. It just one of those deals.”
Hines was upset by massive longshot Jianna Salinas in first round when he had a red-light start. Salinas then ended Matt Smith’s championship hopes when Smith’s motor broke in their semifinal race. Salinas went on to defeat Jerry Savoie in the finals for her first career PSM Wally.
Matt Smith qualified No. 1 seven times last season, including three in the Countdown in Dallas, Las Vegas and Pomona. In Charlotte, Matt qualified No. 13 and lost to Eddie Krawiec in first round.