Smith got the jump off the line and beat 2015 champion Eddie Krawiec, 6.793 to 6.764. Riding his Victory Gunner-bodied V-twin, the win was Smiths’ first in the specialty event, which has been held at the Toyota NHRA Sonoma Nationals since 2014.
“To pull this off against a major factory team is amazing,” Smith told NHRA.com. “I’m happy for my team and for all the people who support us. I’m out here racing without a sponsor, so this means everything to me. We’re going to put this $25,000 to good use. It will help us a lot. We have a great bike. We have a bike that can win this championship and hopefully I get the funding I need to finish it off.”
The first round of the Mickey Thompson Pro Bike Battle, a special race-within-a-race that features the eight top riders based on points earned throughout the season at NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle national events, was filled with upsets. Three of the four lower-seeded riders advanced from the first round, and Smith narrowly defeated last year’s Pro Bike Battle winner LE Tonglet in the semifinals.
“Congratulations to Matt Smith on his impressive victory, and to all the riders for putting on an exciting show at this year’s Mickey Thompson Pro Bike Battle,” said Ken Warner, Vice President of Marketing for Mickey Thompson.