Multi-Time World Champ Rickie Smith Claims First Win of 2020 E3 Spark Plugs NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series Season with Win at Gainesville

GAINESVILLE, FL – September 28, 2020 – (Motor Sports NewsWire) – On a special weekend that saw him share the winner’s circle with his son, Matt, multi-time world champ Rickie Smith raced to his first win of the 2020 E3 Spark Plugs NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series season on Sunday, beating Mike Janis in the final round of the 51st annual AMALIE Motor Oil Gatornationals at Gainesville Raceway.

It was the fourth race of the season in the class and Smith became the fourth different winner in the talent-filled category, going 5.801-seconds at 249.63 mph in his nitrous-powered Camaro to defeat Janis, a former world champ.

Smith, racing for just the second time in 2020, reached his 25th career final round with victories against Doug Winters, Jim Whiteley and No. 1 qualifier Brandon Snider. He never trailed in the championship round and rolled to his first win this season and 16th in his stellar Pro Mod career. Smith’s son, Matt, also won on Sunday in Pro Stock Motorcycle to add to the excitement.

“I’m just amazed that God has let me do this for this long,” Smith said. “You’ve just got to not make mistakes and stay focused. The older you get, the harder it is to stay focused. But I’m so tickled about this.”

Janis advanced to his 12th career final round with wins against Kris Thorne, Chad Green, and Khalid alBalooshi. Janis also jumped into the points lead and now holds a 16-point advantage against reigning world champion Stevie “Fast” Jackson with three races remaining in 2020.

The E3 Spark Plugs NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series continues Oct. 2-4 with the Mopar Express Lane NHRA Midwest Nationals presented by Pennzoil at World Wide Technology Raceway in St. Louis.

GAINESVILLE, FL — Final finish order (1-16) at the 51st annual Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals at Gainesville Raceway. The race is the fourth of seven events in E3 Spark Plugs NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series.

PRO MODIFIED:

1. Rickie Smith; 2. Mike Janis; 3. Khalid alBalooshi; 4. Brandon Snider; 5. Jeffery Barker; 6. Steve Jackson; 7. Jim Whiteley; 8. Chad Green; 9. Tommy Daprile; 10. Steve Matusek; 11. Clint Satterfield; 12. Justin Jones; 13. Kris Thorne; 14. Doug Winters; 15. Todd Tutterow; 16. Jonathan Gray.

GAINESVILLE, FL — Sunday’s final results from the 51st annual Amalie Motor Oil NHRA
Gatornationals at Gainesville Raceway. The race is the fourth of seven events in E3 Spark Plugs NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series.

Pro Modified — Rickie Smith, Chevy Camaro, 5.801, 249.63 def. Mike Janis, Camaro, 6.868, 127.14.

GAINESVILLE, FL — Final round-by-round results from the 51st annual Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals at Gainesville Raceway, the fourth of seven events in E3 Spark Plugs NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series.

PRO MODIFIED:

ROUND ONE — Rickie Smith, Chevy Camaro, 5.784, 249.81 def. Doug Winters, Chevy Chevelle, 5.976, 238.72; Steve Jackson, Camaro, 5.810, 242.50 def. Justin Jones, Chevy Corvette, 5.866, 246.75; Brandon Snider, Corvette, 5.793, 245.45 def. Todd Tutterow, Camaro, 6.317, 180.91; Mike Janis, Camaro, 5.790, 248.16 def. Kris Thorne, Camaro, 5.880, 253.75; Jim Whiteley, Corvette, 5.856, 243.81 def. Steve Matusek, Ford Mustang, 5.850, 247.34; Chad Green, Corvette, 5.795, 248.80 def. Tommy Daprile, Camaro, 5.849, 244.56; Khalid alBalooshi, Camaro, 5.739, 249.67 def. Clint Satterfield, Camaro, 5.860, 239.87; Jeffery Barker, Camaro, 5.819, 250.41 def. Jonathan Gray, Camaro, 8.740, 100.49;

QUARTERFINALS — alBalooshi, 5.834, 216.31 def. Jackson, 6.071, 212.93; Smith, 5.793, 249.07 def. Whiteley, 10.302, 83.64; Janis, def. Green, Foul – Red Light; Snider, 5.788, 245.36 def. Barker, 5.821, 250.60;

SEMIFINALS — Janis, 5.818, 246.98 def. alBalooshi, 5.762, 248.80; Smith, 5.815, 249.53 def. Snider, 5.803, 244.25;

FINAL — Smith, 5.801, 249.63 def. Janis, 6.868, 127.14.

GAINESVILLE, FL — Point standings (top 10) following the 51st annual Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals at Gainesville Raceway, the fourth of seven events in E3 Spark Plugs NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series.

Pro Modified

1. Mike Janis, 274; 2. Steve Jackson, 258; 3. Chad Green, 235; 4. Jonathan Gray, 231; 5. Khalid alBalooshi, 225; 6. Kris Thorne, 222; 7. Brandon Snider, 218; 8. Clint Satterfield, 187; 9. Jason Scruggs, 178; 10. Rickie Smith, 169.

ABOUT NHRA

Headquartered in Glendora, Calif., NHRA is the primary sanctioning body for the sport of drag racing in the United States. NHRA presents 24 national events featuring the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series, NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series and E3 Spark NHRA Plugs Pro Mod Drag Racing Series presented by J&A Service. NHRA provides competition opportunities for drivers of all levels in the NHRA Summit Racing Series and the NHRA Drags: Street Legal Style presented by AAA. NHRA also offers NHRA Jr. Street program for teens and the Summit Racing Jr. Drag Racing League for youth ages 5 to 17. NHRA’s Youth and Education Services (YES) Program reaches over 30,000 students annually to ignite their interest in automotive and racing related careers. In addition, NHRA owns and operates four racing facilities: Atlanta Dragway in Georgia; Gainesville Raceway in Florida; Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis; and Auto Club Raceway at Pomona in Southern California. For more information, log on to NHRA.com, or visit the official NHRA pages on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.

Source: National Hot Rod Association

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