Hello to all you crazy race fans. It’s been a wild and crazy off-season to say the least. There have been talks of a new manufacturer coming into the bike class. Victory Motorcycles approached us about being part of their brand. Matt and I were ecstatic with this news. Victory Motorcycles informed us in December that we were going to be the factory team. Then the hard part was among us. Keeping it quiet for the next month and a half along with continuing to work on our engine program. Victory Motorcycles, Matt and Tom Goode have put their heads together and developed a brand new body design for our race bikes off the current Victory bike the Gunner. We did spend some time in the wind tunnel working with the new bike and then we headed to Florida for a three-day test session.
I know some of you may have been a little envious of me last week while in Florida. With temperatures in the 70s I was really enjoying it. Although I didn’t get to make any test laps I got to enjoy watching the other guys make some laps and of course a little sunshine. My new bike is coming along nicely and will be done very soon. I absolutely can’t wait to get it. This will be the first time I get a brand new state of the art Dogg chassis. Michael Furick aka Dogg builds the best pro stock bike chassis in the business. I will get 3 full days of testing before the GatorNationals and I am ready to go test now. The anticipation is killing me. Matt ended his test session with 15 passes on 2 different bikes. It was a great learning experience for our team. I do think we will have a bit of a learning curve to start the season off but I do believe that Victory and Matt will get it all figured out soon. It is coming together quite nicely and as soon as we get the body finalized and dressed in carbon fiber we will share some pictures by social media.
Scotty Pollacheck and Chaz Kennedy have formed their own team this year to go Pro Stock Motorcycle racing. Scotty purchased Matt’s championship bike from 2013 and Chaz Kennedy purchased my bike from last year. They also purchased two motors each. Scotty and Chaz decided to come to Florida the same day that Matt was testing just to get a little insight on how Matt runs his program. On Wednesday Scotty and Chaz made laps on their new bikes and motors. Man was I impressed. Matt showed them what to do the first couple of passes then turned them loose. Needless to say I think they did an AWESOME job. Both guys ran career best e.t.s. With Scotty going 6.782@194 and Chaz going 6.82@195 these guys are going to be a force this coming season. I am happy for them.
Along with Victory Motorcycles, Kandy Magazine, PetrolHead and Nitrofish will be part of our racing program this year. We are so excited to have everyone back on board again and I already know it is going to be a fun and exciting year with all of these companies involved.
We have steadily been working at the shop on motors and bike stuff seven days a week. We didn’t get to take a vacation this year to the Caribbean but I do see one in my future in 2015. I can’t wait to get to Gainesville and see my racetrack family. I have missed everyone. I am excited to have this new partnership with Victory Motorcycles. Please come by our pit area and check it out. We will have a brand new look and bigger than ever. Stop by at the races. Talk to everyone soon.
I hope everyone had a very Merry Christmas and got to spend some time with your family. I know we did. It is always action packed days around our families for Christmas. We enjoyed Christmas Eve with my family at my grandma’s house. It’s been the tradition to gather at her house since before I was born. We had a very delicious dinner and we got to share some great stories from the year. It’s really nice just to sit down and talk with your cousins that you don’t see that often. With our racing lifestyle being so demanding and their lifestyle of enjoying kids sometimes it is challenging to get together through the year. At Christmas we try to make up for it.
After our bellies are full it was time to play dirty Santa. Always a fun game to play especially with all the ruthless girls in my family. It is everyone for themselves. I was one of the people stealing gifts from everyone and then my mom stole it from me but all in all I got a great gift and it was so much fun. I got to spend some important time with my grandma who has Alzheimer’s. It is such a mean disease but I am just thankful she is still with us and we get to enjoy Christmas at her house each and every year.
On Christmas Day is when the whirlwind starts. Matt and I do presents between us then we have breakfast at Rickie and Nancy’s house. We always have a ton of food from gravy and biscuits to eggs and grits. Then we visited Matt’s grandma’s house to do some more eating. We do a fun game there where we roll dice and if it lands on a six you get a present. Then the stealing of presents begins again. At the end we open all of the gifts then head back to my grandma’s to do more presents. This time it is just presents with my nieces and nephew and mom and step dad. Then we rushed back home for my dad to come over so I could spend a little time with him for Christmas.
Now it’s already 6 p.m. and guess what? Time to eat again. Matt and I went to his parents again for food and presents with his sisters. We got back home around 8 p.m. and I am exhausted. I am so thankful to be able to spend time with our families but it’s tiring running from place to place but I wouldn’t trade it for the world. When we travel as much as we do throughout the year I think it makes it a little more special during the holidays.
Well it has been work, work, work, since we got home from Pomona. With us getting informed that we have to race with new gas next season it was time for us to start our homework early. We have been on the dyno several times the last few weeks. We have showed some promising numbers and we are really getting excited about 2015. I am finally getting a new bike for the 2015 season and I am ecstatic. Don’t get me wrong my bikes have been really fast and I love them and it is going to be hard to transition at first but I know Dogg Fabrication is making this one just for me. At times he put a few pics on Instagram with the progress and I think that gets me even more excited. The anticipation is killing me. It should be ready to race sometime mid Feb and we will load up and head to Florida to test it. Not a doubt in my mind that it will be as good or better than Matthew’s bikes have been in the past.
Last but not least there is a big announcement coming soon. I know Matt has been throwing some teasers out there every now and then. The hard part about this is we have to keep our lips sealed until the announcement comes out. We are hearing it should be anywhere from mid-January to mid-February. A lot of our friends and fans are wondering what and who it is. I promise you guys will love it and it will make big headlines across the racing industry. Many folks have asked about Kandy Magazine. They are still going to be with MSR and myself. We had a great 2014 season and we are hoping to make it even better with them for 2015. So I can’t spill the beans yet but I will let you know as soon as I can.
Until then just keep checking back and following us on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook and the news will be out before you know it. I would like to wish everyone a Happy New Year and let 2015 be the best racing year yet.
We have been working diligently at the shop to get all of motors with brand new parts for these next couple of weeks, which will be hectic. Coming up we have 5 races in 6 weeks so needless to say we are going to be busy driving and racing for sure. We only have one more race to decide the Top 10 riders that will compete for the Mello Yello Championship. As of now MSR has 4 bikes in the Countdown. We are going to make an effort to keep all of us in there after this weekend. Indy is a very BIG race. It’s the Daytona 500 of NHRA. Everybody wants to win Indy. Some say that winning Indy is just like winning a Championship. We are fortunate to have two riders on our team that have already won Indy so I think our chances will be pretty good. It does seem that I am following in John Hall’s footsteps since he won Epping last year as his first career win and then came Indy when he beat Matt in the final. Let’s just hope I am. I would love to go to the final.
Since I last informed you all on what’s going on in my life Kandy has extended my contract yet again for the remainder of the season. We have also picked up an associate sponsorship from Petrol Head Apparel. This is such a blessing to this team and me. Kandy Magazine and Petrol Head have been so awesome to me. Kandy Magazine has lots of “new” things going on. You can always keep up to date on what’s going on by social media. All of you know I will inform you because I enjoy interacting with my fans through social media. If you want to really check out what’s going on in the Kandy world you need to check out the magazine online. Go to iTunes and download it or you can use this address. http://tinyurl.com/Angie77 The Kandy girls will be in Indianapolis for the Big Go and definitely coming back to Charlotte where this party started in April of this year. All of my hometown folks love the Kandy Girls. If you hear of the Kandy Girls being in town come check us out. We love meeting our fans.
John Hall came down to visit us in NC to get a few laps in before Indy. He also got to bring his family down. On Thursday and Friday Matt and John tested and ended the day with making 12 laps down the track. We were testing some new parts in our engines. We will see how we stack up against the other PSM riders when we get to Indy. After testing we headed home to get a good night’s rest. The boys got up early to do some go kart racing. Bobby brought his smoker over and he put some yummy meat on to cook all day. I thought I was going to be in for a long day when John Hall ran off the track the first couple of laps. I just didn’t want anyone to get hurt. A lot of bumping and banging was going on. I guess that’s why they say rubbing is racing. Everyone succeeded in going off the track. Bobby and Matt crashed together one time and Bobby wiped out a tree. They were too reckless for me. Thank God we didn’t have any emergency room trips and everyone had a great time. Jess Webb cooked all the delicious side dishes for our meat and we enjoyed a cookout that evening.
On Sunday we had to take all the teenagers to the B.R.A.K.E.S. seminar. At first none of them wanted to go because it was the last day they had to sleep in before starting school back. We all got to sit in on the seminar and got to watch the teenagers drive the cars. WOW is a great word to describe this class. This class teaches so much about what to do and not to do when you get in unfamiliar situations behind the wheel. I think this class should be mandatory by every state to get your license. It is so educational and if you know anyone that is about to get license please recommend this class. B.R.A.K.E.S. gets my vote 150 percent. Tristan, John Jr, and Mika all graduated from the program and I know they learned a lot from it.
I am glad to be catching everyone up on what’s going on in the MSR world. We are heading to INDY as I type. I am going there with a positive attitude that we are going to complete this mission we have been on since Charlotte. My goal is to put my name on that Top 10 board by the end of the Monday. Thanks everyone for all the support and for the support of Kandy Magazine, Petrol Head apparel, and NitroFish. Come by the trailer and pick up a shirt. So if you have a favorite MSR rider then go get a shirt and bring it to the MSR trailer and we will definitely sign it for you. Hopefully I am writing the next blog soon with mission accomplished. Its all about focus and determination and I got both of them with me. Until next time you can get updates via Twitter and Instagram at AngieSmith77.
I really don’t even know how to even start this blog. An overwhelming amount of emotions would be a start. I can’t believe it. So I will start this by telling you about the ride up to Epping, N.H.
Bobby and I had everything loaded up on Monday. Riding up the road we always check to see if all of the bikes are riding great. We have a camera installed so we can see the bikes on the top floor. We turned it on and I almost had a heart attack. My bike was swaying so bad like it wasn’t even tied down. We stopped and checked it and something happened in the front end. The front forks were completely compressed down and they would not rebound. I was a basket case. So we made some phone calls to Trac Dynamics and got all the necessary pieces to fix it. Thank you Trac for getting us parts in a hurry.
We had to make a pit stop at Vanson Leathers to visit everyone. Vanson makes the best drag racing suits in the business so we thought we would stop by and say thank you personally. We arrived in Massachusetts around 9:00 a.m. on Wednesday. Matt Silva gave us the grand tour of the facility. Man, what an awesome place. It’s an old mill. It was very intriguing to see how each part of our suit is made and all the inspections it had to go through before I put it on to go racing. Then we had lunch at a Portuguese restaurant. We all had steak and it was my first and now I am a fan of it. All of the employees at Vanson got to check out the bikes and the trailer before leaving to travel to New Hampshire.
We got to Epping on Wednesday night and got everything set up. On Thursday it was business as usual with getting bikes teched in. We had dinner at the favorite restaurant from last year ,Petey’s Seafood. Friday it was qualifying time. I made two pretty decent runs for Friday and I was just looking to improve on Saturday. On Saturday we did just that. We improved to a 6.87 and 6.89. As a driver you want to be No. 1 but I was actually pleased with making four great runs down the track.
Sunday is always a different day no matter what. Anything can happen. We always say you have to be a little lucky in this game. In first round I had a bye run because Jim Underdahl was unable to make first round. That’s a bummer for them because Jim and Greg are really awesome people in my book and I know they love racing just as much as I do and wanted to be there first round. I made a run but not a great one. My throttle position sensor went out on that run. I only went a 7.06. Wasn’t a good run but at least we got the chance to go back and fix it for second round.
I had to race one of those fast Harleys second round. With Eddie Krawiec being the No. 1 qualifier you got to throw everything at it and hope it sticks. Eddie has beaten me too many times to count. I knew I had to cut the Tree down. I had a .003 against Eddie. It was crazy because on the run I didn’t hear him or see him. In the shutdown area I knew I had won and I was going crazy. That was a tough round. I asked who I had next and they told me Andrew Hines. I said, “Dang that’s no easier than racing Eddie.” He is a tough competitor as well. I went to the starting line with the same mentality and did about the same thing. I got the win light. I was ecstatic because it was my very first final in seven years. When Matt won it iced the cake. It was an all-MSR final. A win/win situation for our team.
Of course the trash talking began in the pits from all the guys to Matt. I was a little worried about my lights being so close so I made a mental note to squeeze the lever a little harder. Well not that hard though. I had a TERRIBLE light and was already mad about third gear. Then I went flying by Matt before I could even know what was going on and I was a hot mess. I was overwhelmed with emotions. Tears were coming down my face and I was screaming at the same time. I made the turn and they started taking pics. I was absolutely on Cloud 9. I held it together through my interview until I got to the part of how long and how hard it was to get Wally.
Man what a day. I couldn’t be happier for this ENTIRE team. It’s a team effort. I couldn’t do it without my husband Matt that has always pushed me and after lots of not so fun conversations has made me a much better rider and I owe all of this to you. Bobby Webb, Keith Nichols, Ferris Webb, Michael Middleton, Colbert Seagraves are the ones that helped my through this journey from getting my motors ready to seeing that I am safe going down the track and all the other jazz in between. You guys are the best and I wouldn’t change a thing about any of it. Everyone came down to congratulate me and then I got to have a few minutes alone with Wally and the emotions were incredible.
I have waited for this day a long time and there were MANY days that I never thought it would come. Many days I contemplated on giving up but it is the awesome people that I call my family, friends, and fans that kept me pushing forward. I didn’t quit and my dreams come true. Always believe and you will achieve.
Now I really wouldn’t be writing this blog without the folks at Kandy Magazine. They saw something in me that just clicked. Now four races later we won together. Even though they were not in attendance I knew they were watching. I am so fortunate to have them as my sponsor. They do so much for me and winning a Wally for them is just a small token of how much I appreciate them. So for all the fans out there who love this MSR team please download the Kandy app on your phone or iPad. Check it out. It’s a top-notch magazine that I know you will love. Do it for this team, Kandy, and me, please. Bill and Ron thank you for taking a chance and believing me when I said I am going to try my hardest. WE DID IT AS A TEAM!! Winner, baby!!