Rickie Smith raced to his second victory of the 2016 season on Sunday during the NHRA J&A Service Pro Mod Drag Racing Series portion of the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Southern Nationals. This weekend’s Pro Mod racing is co-presented by Pro Line Racing and FuelTech. This is the third of 10 Pro Mod events on the 2016 season.
Smith, making his third straight final round appearance of 2016, powered his late model IDG Chevy Camaro to a 5.873-second pass at 248.48 mph to defeat Kevin Fiscus’ 6.072 at 243.50 in his 2012 Ford Mustang.
Smith, who won at the season-opening Gatornationals and posted a runner-up finish two weeks ago in Houston, tallied his 10th career victory. As the No. 1 qualifier, Smith outlasted Gerry Capano, Doug Winters and Steve Matusek en route to the final round against Fiscus. Smith is the points leader.
Doorslammer legend “Tricky” Rickie Smith secured his first championship in Professional Drag Racers Association (PDRA) Pro Nitrous after making his way to the winner’s circle at three events in 2015. The championship marks Smith’s tenth overall during a remarkable racing career that has spanned four decades.
The iconic racer from King, North Carolina took home top honors at the PDRA Spring Nationals at Rockingham Dragway in April, the PDRA North-South Shootout at Maryland International Raceway in July, and finally PDRA Dragstock XII at Rockingham Dragway in September.
Smith’s Jerry Bickel-built, IDG-backed 1969 Camaro relied on power, durability, and consistency from Pat Musi Racing Engines to win the championship. Smith also used electronically fuel injected Musi engines to win back-to-back NHRA Pro Mod series titles in 2013 and 2014.
“The importance of having Rickie on board with us can’t be overstated,” Pat Musi said. “No one has more experience running a fast door car than Rickie, and that experience is critical to our overall engine program. When he goes out and wins these races and championships, it doesn’t surprise me at all. He’s the best out there and all of us here at Pat Musi Racing Engines want to congratulate him and his team on another championship.”
Though he has flirted with retirement after each of the last two seasons, Smith’s recent success has kept him coming back for more. Smith hasn’t yet made any indication of his plans for the 2016 racing season, but it’s a safe bet the 61-year-old competitor will be back for another title defense.