Leading in one category just isn’t good enough for Pro Stock Motorcycle competitor Matt Smith. The rider of the Elite Performance / Stockseth EBR announced on The Straight Line he plans to compete in Pro Stock in 2019 in addition to Pro Stock Motorcycle.
“Matt Stockseth, who has been a part of my deal really since I started in 2007, went to [Elite Performance owner] Richard Freeman and basically said he wanted me to drive a Pro Stock car a little bit next year,” said Smith.
Stockseth became involved with Elite earlier this season on both Jeg Coughlin Jr. and Erica Enders’ machines. That relationship led to Freeman becoming a partner on Smith’s motorcycle. That did wonders for Smith, who now sports the red EBR body, which he owns and tunes.
“I knew Richard, but when Mark got in with them, we ended up getting cylinders from them, and that led to where we are right now,” said Smith.
The two-time champ has been a partner with Stockseth, a former Pro Stock racer himself, since the beginning of his Pro Stock Motorcycle career. He has also been friends with him since Stockseth partnered with Smith’s father, Rickie Smith, long before then.
“He originally was partnered with my dad, but when he went to race Pro Mod, [Stockseth] wasn’t really interested in that at the time, so he ended up coming on board with me,” said Smith. “He’s really responsible for a lot of my success over here.”
For now, Smith plans to race Pro Stock at the races Pro Stock Motorcycle does not attend. That would put him on a course for six races, but nothing is set in stone quite yet. Rick and Rickie Jones are currently putting together new chassis for Enders and Coughlin — once those are completed, Smith will run test laps in the chassis the two are wheeling down the strip in championship chases of their own.
Smith has not driven an NHRA Pro Stock machine himself, though he has experience driving Pro Mod cars and certainly boasts experience shifting on his Pro Stock Motorcycle.
“Basically, in Pro Stock, the big thing is that you have to shift the car yourself, but I don’t think we’ll have a problem with it, seeing as we hit the shift light five times on my bike,” said Smith.
For now, all three Smiths (that’s Matt, Rickie, and Angie) are focused on their respective championship chases. All of them will be on track at Texas Motorplex for the AAA Texas NHRA FallNationals beginning Oct. 4. For the latest on Smith’s current and future ride, stay tuned to NHRA.com.