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http://www.competitionplus.com/drag-racing/news/20305-psm-racer-angie-smith-faces-uncertain-2012
With less than three weeks to go before the start of NHRA’s Pro Stock Motorcycle season, Angie Smith looks as if she is going to be on the sidelines because of lack of sponsorship.
NHRA’s Pro Stock Motorcycle season begins March 8-11 at the Gatornationals in Gainesville, Fla.
Smith ran fulltime in the Pro Stock Motorcycle class the past two seasons, finishing a career-best 11th in the points last season and 12th in 2010.
“As of right now, she is not going to race, unless we find some sponsorship,” said Matt Smith, who is Angie’s husband, and Angie’s Pro Stock Motorcycle teammate. “It is just hard out there.”
Matt Smith, who runs his own race team, is going to be teammates with Michael Ray this season. Both Matt and Ray are scheduled to run full seasons in 2012.
“I’m going to be a teammate with Michael Ray, but I do not have a sponsor myself,” Matt said. “That is one of the reasons why she (Angie) is not running. Neither one of has a sponsor. If one of us gets a sponsor the other is going to race some. With Michael (Ray) with them racing with me, they are basically splitting the bill for all the fuel to go racing. That allows me to at least carry my stuff and be able to go and make a lap here or there and race on Sunday.”
Smith and Ray are both running Buell’s this season and Smith just finished building Ray’s new motorcycle. Smith’s is competing on a motorcycle that has one season on it.
Matt actually has four completed motorcycles in his shop in King, N.C.
“I have her (Angie’s) bike, the bike that Michael (Ray) ran last year, that’s a rental bike, and we have Michael’s new bike, plus mine,” Matt said.
According to Matt, Joey Gladstone is going ride Matt’s rental bike at Gainesville. The rental bike is a Buell.
“He (Bladstone) has never raced in NHRA, but has raced in some other motorcycle series,” Matt said. “I will haul the (rental) bike to Gainesville and I will tune it and do everything (for him). He just has to show up and jump on, just like Michael (Ray) does. I’m tuning Michael’s bike as well.”
Matt said he and Ray tested last week at Palm Beach (Fla.) International Raceway, and he was pleased with the results. Matt made six test laps and Ray made nine.
“We made some pretty awesome passes,” Matt said. “We found some power over the winter, and we are excited about the season.”
Matt said he and Ray are planning on testing again the first week of March at South (Valdosta) Georgia Motorsports Park.
“We will be there (Valdosta) for a couple of days the week of Gainesville, and then we will go to Gainesville,” Matt said.
Matt, meanwhile, also is continuing to work on trying to land a sponsor.
“I do not really know what it is,” Matt said. “All we are trying to find is $5,000 a race and that is basically $80,000 a year, and we can’t even find that for a major sponsor to have the whole bike. It is just that hard out here right now. The total for a sponsor would probably be $90,000 because it cost an extra $10,000 to wrap the truck and trailer in some nice colors. If I do something with somebody, I want them to feel like this is their whole deal. When they walk in our pit, the truck and trailer is in their colors and their logos, just not a bike and a crew shirt.”
Matt won NHRA’s Pro Stock world championship in 2007 and he has been in the top five in the points every since 2006.
“The Harley-Davidson riders (reigning world champ Eddie Krawiec and Andrew Hines) have factory support and Hector (Arana Sr. and Hector Arana Jr.) has factory support with Lucas (Oil),” Matt said. “Lucas is an icon out there in the drag racing world. When you try to compete against people like that, you just got to kind of throw those out. We just try to do the best we can. I finished fourth the last three years and have won the championship. We win races every year, so we are good opportunity for somebody to come in with low money if they want to get into NHRA drag racing.”
 
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