Smith family runs the table in Las Vegas as Matt takes championship and Angie wins second Pro Stock Motorcycle race
Hours after watching her husband, Matt, win his fourth Pro Stock Motorcycle world championship, Angie Smith picked up a Wally of her own when she won the final round of the Dodge NHRA Finals presented by Pennzoil. Smith outran Steve Johnson’s Suzuki in the final, 6.917 to 6.990 and needed almost all of it after Johnson grabbed a big lead off the starting line. The difference between the two bikes at the finish line was just .007-second.
The win was the second for Smith, who famously won a husband-wife final against Matt at the 2013 Epping event.
“You never know when you’re going to get back here,” said Smith. “It’s important to never give up on your dreams. You can do anything if you put your mind to it. I need to thank Denso and Mark Stockseth and everyone who helps us. I also need to thank my team for building me up. They’ve told me to never give up. Sometimes, I know I’m a pain in the butt, but they’ve always got my back.”
Smith joined the Denso 200-mph Pro Stock Motorcycle club this season, continued her recent string of strong performances in Las Vegas. After qualifying in the No. 5 spot, she defeated Katie Sullivan in round one and then upset teammate Scotty Pollacheck in the quarterfinals, ending his championship bid. In her 181st start, Smith made it to her second final after Hector Arana Jr. fouled on his Lucas Oil EBR.
No one has raced in more Pro Stock Motorcycle races than Johnson, who started his 446th event in Las Vegas. The veteran Suzuki racer has dealt with a lot of adversity over the last few seasons. Earlier this season, his longtime crew member Ervin “Jock” Allen was hospitalized for an extended period after contracting the COVID-19 virus. Undeterred, Johnson rode to his 23rd career final with wins against Kelly Clontz, Joey Gladstone and Matt Smith. Smith had a shot to join his wife in the final but his Denso EBR lost fire on the starting line. Smith’s crew re-fired the bike but it stalled again, sending Johnson in a single run to the final.