Matt Smith stayed atop the Pro Stock Motorcycle field after his dazzling 6.776, 200.22-mph Friday night blast, but a so-so Saturday in the heat put him behind the performance curve of Jerry Savoie, who ruled the day.
Savoie had the best e.t. of both Saturday sessions with respective passes of 6.841 and stunning 6.807 while Smith lost Q3 when the bike shut down early when a wire came off of the fuel pump and then a drifting 6.864 on his final pass. Nonetheless, with just 15 qualified bikes, he’ll have a bye in round one to continue to iron out the kinks.
"We knew we wouldn't run better today because the air and track were hotter, so we tested a couple of things to see how we'd run versus the pack. We lost the test in round one and it went to the wall in Q4 and I had to fight it, or I think it would have gone an .80 or .81. But up to that point, all of the numbers looked good. All in all, we have a great bike, but we'll use our first-round bye as a test and if it doesn;t run good compared to the field we'll go back to what we ran Friday night."
Steve Johnson’s 6.830 was the day’s second-best effort and jumped him to third behind Smith and Savoie on the fourth of four consecutively improving passes.
Scotty Pollacheck also had a great qualifying outing on the Matt Smith-prepared Strutmasters.com EBR, running two 6.85s and a final 6.847 to grab the No. 4 spot.
Harley-Davidson teammates Angelle Sampey (6.847), Andrew Hines (6.851) and Eddie Krawiec (6.857) took spots No. 5, 6, and 8 with Karen Stoffer breaking up the trio with a 6.853 that placed her seventh.