The fact that Viper Motorcycle Co. Buell’s Matt Smith won an NHRA event in 2013 is not a surprise. The fact that it took him seven events to do it is another matter entirely. Smith, the 2007 NHRA Champion, has had one of the best bikes in the field for much of the 2013 season, but a rash of bad luck prevented him from reaching the winner’s circle until this week’s Summit Racing Equipment Nationals. Smith rode to a 6.95 to 7.00 win over Sovereign/Star Buell’s Scotty Pollacheck to end a winless draught of more than two years.
“This is pretty special,” Smith said. “I’ve been stuck on 13 wins for about two years and I was beginning to wonder what it was going to take to get number 14. I’ve been close a few times, but it’s so easy to lose a final round. Our Viper team has been fast all year long, but we’ve had a few hiccups with out transmissions and that cost me a few races early on. Now, we have that fixed and I think we’ll be a contender from this point on.”
As a team owner, Smith brought four motorcycles to the Norwalk event and managed to put three of them into the field as his wife Angie joined him, along with John Hall, the winner of the recent Epping round. Despite the added workload, Smith maintains that it doesn’t affect his ability to concentrate on his own program.
“It doesn’t take anything away from my program because we’re able to use the data from each bike to work on our tune-up,” Smith said. “We’re good as long as nothing goes wrong. I was off on my tune-up a little bit earlier this weekend so we changed engines this morning before the first round and each round we gradually got a little better and that’s why I’m sitting in the winner’s circle right now.”