With NHRA drag racing at a standstill because of the coronavirus pandemic, Matt Smith is trying to make the best of the situation.
Smith, a three-time Pro Stock Motorcycle world champion, the last coming in 2018, said his team is keeping busy.
“We left Gainesville (Fla.) and went to Darlington (S.C.) and tested on the way home,” Smith said. “All day (March 17) was spent on the dyno with a motorcycle that has a new motor we’re running. We are getting caught up. We got behind this winter because we were waiting on parts to get here. We were supposed to get crankshafts Jan. 1 and they ended up showing up March 1. We were kind of in limbo all winter long just waiting on parts. So, maybe it is beneficial, a good thing for us because we went to Gainesville (Feb. 13-15) with four bikes with five motors.”
Smith said that will not be the case when racing resumes.
“When we come back out, we will have 14 motors for four bikes so will be in good shape,” Smith said. “We’re catching up on motor work and we have been building a new engine dyno room. We got an engine dyno over the winter and we have not had time to really fix it and get it right. Hopefully, we will have it running in about two weeks. We have always had a chassis dyno, but I think an engine dyno will benefit us to. We’re working on that.”
Outside of working at his shop in King, N.C., Smith found a way to quench his racing thirst.
“(March 16) I cut my iRacing.com thing back on because Mark Rebilas told me that everybody was racing, and I raced with Ron Capps and Tommy Delago,” Smith said. “I had fun doing that. If I can do it out there with the fans can see it at least we can do it on the internet and have a good time. We raced Street Stock round track, which was different. I had never done that before and I had a good time. It was really slick the first four or five laps and then the car would come to you. I had a good time.”