Racing on the full Western Swing for the first time, busy is the key word for Pro Stock Motorcycle, and that definitely includes Angie Smith.
After advancing to the final round in Denver, Smith and the rest of the class appeared at Pacific Raceways for the first time on Friday. She also has the Mission #2Fast2Tasty NHRA Challenge on Saturday, while trying to secure her spot in the Pro Stock Motorcycle All-Star Callout, which takes place next weekend in Sonoma.
Smith is currently seventh in points for that eight-bike field and can clinch her position with a strong effort in qualifying this weekend. After Friday’s first run, she’s currently eighth, giving her some breathing room as far as the Callout is concerned.
“It’s very exhausting, especially with Sonoma being our sponsor’s race,” Smith said of the Denso NHRA Sonoma Nationals. “You always want to do well at your sponsor’s race, but you kind of just have to take it in spurts. You try to make the best of it and I will say with me going to the finals in Denver, it did make it easier to be on the road for a month.”
Entering this weekend, Gaige Herrera has a comfortable lead in the Pro Stock Motorcycle All-Star Callout standings, followed by Hector Arana Jr., his teammate, Eddie Krawiec, and defending world champ Matt Smith. Steve Johnson is currently in fifth, just 10 points ahead of rookie Chase Van Sant and 30 ahead of A. Smith.
Marc Ingwersen was eighth entering the Seattle race, with Ryan Oehler 10 points back. Jianna Evaristo is 30 behind Ingwersen, so some shuffling could certainly take place on Saturday.
The field will be set following final qualifying Saturday at Pacific Raceways, but Angie is relatively safe in the field.
With the riders at the top of the standings getting the chance to call out their first-round opponent, that does mean she will likely get called out. But Angie is excited about the challenge, giving a prediction on how she thinks the selections will go as well.
“I wish I could have been a little higher in the Callout, but at the end of the day, we’ve got all to race for it anyway,” Smith said. “I feel like we’ll all be ready. You never know how it’s going to go, but I feel like Vance & Hines is going to call out the (Matt Smith Racing) team. I think it brings excitement and emphasis to our class, so it’s going to be cool and really interesting.”
As for Seattle, Smith had nothing but rave reviews for a track where she is racing the first time. The fan reception has been strong seeing the Pro Stock Motorcycle class for the first time, which will likely bodes well for bikes returning to Seattle in the future.
“It’s cool to be here,” Smith said. “It’s always fun to come to a new venue because the common thing most fans say to us is, ‘We always want you to be here.’ It gives the Seattle fans something new to look forward to. It’s been great. I think they love having us here and are going to request us to be here next year. It’s a good track and a great facility.”