A 2005 movie starring Brad Pitt and Angelina Joie, Mr. and Mrs. Smith, told the story of a bored upper middle class married couple, who lived a secret life as assassins for competing agencies, assigned to kill one another.
Matt and Angie Smith, Pro Stock Motorcycle assassins, sometimes wonder if the fictional account is a reality for them.
“Yeah, that pretty much sums us up, I think,” admitted Matt, son of doorslammer racing icon Rickie Smith.
The Denso-sponsored couple don’t try to assassinate each other’s winning chances intentionally, but sometimes it happens.
Case in point, when Angie made the quickest run of her career and claiming the top spot in the final qualifying session also happensallNationals with a 6.809, three passes later, Matt snatched the No. 1 qualifying spot by .001.
On another day, and in another time, Matt might have found himself sleeping on the couch Saturday night. Or in some circles, as they say, “in the doghouse,” but not this time.
Angie had one substantial reason to be happy. On her run, the second quickest of Dallas qualifying, she became the first female NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle rider to exceed 200 miles per hour in the quarter-mile. She also became the fifth member of the Denso 200 Mile Per Hour Club.
“I know we’re assassins against other teams and we’re a big team, but the struggle between us, it also happens, just because I want to do good and he wants to do good, and sometimes we beat one another,” Angie explained. “When he bumped me by a thousandth, if I wouldn’t have gone 200, I probably would’ve gotten all pissy about it, but because I went 200, then that’s one of the things that I wanted to do, so he got out of that pretty easy.”
Consider tuning his wife to a 200 mile per hour pass, to be the drag racing equivalent to a dozen roses. And, if only for his own well-being, Matt needed Angie’s 200 mile per hour to happen because just three races earlier, he had tuned their teammate Scotty Pollacheck to a 200 mile per hour pass.
Matt ran his first 200 mile per hour run in November 2018 and later set the class speed record at 201.76. Pollacheck made his monumental run over the Labor Day weekend when he ran 200.29 miles per hour en route to qualifying No. 1 and winning the NHRA U.S. Nationals.
“I’m a good teammate,” Angie said. “I was proud of Scotty and I was happy for him. However, in the back of my mind, I have to look at it from a business aspect, and from a team standpoint, it looked really, really good, but the selfish part of me, I didn’t really care when I did it, I just wanted to do it. I wanted to be one of the eight to do it, especially because my sponsor had been the 200 mile an hour club’s sponsor. It would look really bad on me if I wasn’t one of the 200 mile an hour club members.”
— DENSO Auto Parts (@DENSOAutoParts) October 22, 2020
While 200 miles per hour on two-wheels was a goal, it wasn’t Angie’s foremost thought. In fact, her 200 mile per hour run came as a surprise.
“I made the turn, and Chris Bostic held up two fingers and he was yelling, “200!, 200!” and I just started screaming, and I was just like, thank goodness that that happened. I mean, it really wasn’t on my radar. Usually, I’m the one that goes, “Hey Matt, is 200 out there? What’s out there. What number is out there? What mile an hour is out there?”
“He usually is a pretty good judge. I mean, he almost can call what he’s going to run almost every run. Well, I don’t know if I just got busy at the track, or I just thought it was too hot, or I don’t know. 200 wasn’t on my radar at Dallas Q1. I didn’t ask about it, I didn’t think anything about it, and when I went out there and did it, I think it was one of those things, it happened the way it was supposed to and when it was supposed to.”
Besides scoring another milestone for the family and his team, Matt understood the importance for Angie to run the 200 mile per hour pass.
“I’m very relieved that we got it done for her,” Matt said. “It’s a milestone in itself, because even though 200 was already done, she wanted to become the first female to ever do it, and that was a big thing for us, is we knew really the only closest one to be able to do it to her would be Angelle. Out of all the females out here doing it, and you know the Vance & Hines team has all the money in the world behind them to do stuff like that. So it was just a big relief off our team to get it done, and now she’s the first female.”
They are now officially the King and Queen of Speed in NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle, considering Matt holds the speed record at and she has her mark.
Out of all the well-wishers in their high-horsepower accolades, it was likely Matt’s father Rickie who touched them the most. He understood the magnitude of the situation.
“I really look up to my dad even to this day, and all I ever wanted to be, I just wanted to be 20% what he is,” Matt said. “I’m not saying I’m the greatest, but I feel like I’m one of the top five, six of all time on a motorcycle, and I feel like that’s just what God’s put me to be able to do. And not only am I doing that, but I’m trying to help other people live their dreams too by giving them the same equipment that I have.
“I mean not only just sharing it with my wife, but sharing it with my dad too, of him being at the track at the same time it happened, and we’re just a big family. I mean we’re a family that we’re not really rich, but we love racing and we do whatever it takes to win and do whatever it takes to race, and it doesn’t matter if it’s with my wife or my dad, we’re doing what we love to do and that’s all that counts right now and that makes us happy.”
Of all the congratulatory wishes, Angie admits that her father-in-law’s acknowledgment tugged at the heartstrings, but it was her husband’s reaction that hit home the most.
“It almost made me cry because he came down to the top end when I was down there and told me good job, and Rickie sometimes is a man of very few words,” Angie explained. “He doesn’t say a lot, but when he did that, it almost made me cry.
“And one of the things, I never get to see anybody on the starting line of how they reacted, and Cambridge Media does a little video that Denso has them do when we race. I’m never in the video, and all the other videos in NHRA did, you just see Matt walk off because he saw 6.80, turned around and walked off, and then when Courtney Enders actually was videoing Matt, and when she says, ‘200, 200,’ to him, the excitement that he showed … I mean I got really emotional about it because I never get to see him if he’s happy or if he’s whatever when it comes to me going down the track, but I know he was proud that day.”
— DENSO Auto Parts (@DENSOAutoParts) October 5, 2020
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