AMSOIL Slick Move of the Race – Presented by East Coast Synthetics Awarded to R.D. Smith
It goes without saying that every driver who straps into their car wants to go, qualify on the pole, lead every lap, and win the race. We also understand that doesn’t always happen, sometimes things happen that are out of your control and you have to fight your way back. As mentioned in a release a couple weeks ago we have teamed up with East Coast Synthetics to help bring one driver into the spotlight and award them our AMSOIL Slick Move of the Race award. This would be awarded to one driver who made an outstanding move that dramatically helped improve their finishing position. R.D. Smith’s drive back up to a third place finish was all but a unanimous pick from our staff.
R.D. Smith – the 2015 Ace Speedway Late Model track champion – credited with the sixth fastest time from Saturday’s qualifying session, Smith was placed on the front row of the first of three official heat races to set the 200-lap features. His second place finish in the heat race would transfer him into the feature sixth on the grid. However, at the drop of the green flag on the Mid-Atlantic’s most prestigious race of the year, Smith found himself shotgun on the field. Smith was penalized just before the field rolled off the grid for an unapproved crew member taking a look at the car. Smith had felt there was a safety issue with the car and that was the reasoning behind having his crew take a second look. Fortunately the crew found nothing wrong, unfortunately it caused them to start in the rear.
With the help of the invert, a determined driver, and of course an well handling car, R.D Smith was able to fight back to a third place finish and winning this years AMSOIL Slick Move of the Race Award – Presented by East Coast Synthetics. Wait? What is that you might ask? This is an award that our staff will be handing out to one driver who’s move on the track dramatically effected his finishing position. I think most would argue that all of Smith’s moves through the feature was more than worthy of this award!
“I felt something had broke in the left front when we rolled off the back stretch,” Smith told us after the race. “I called my guy over, he didn’t touch anything, just looked but it was unapproved so they sent us to the back. I knew we had a good car and would just have to pick hem off one at a time.” Smith was able to work his way all the way back up to the seventh position, doing an impressive job passing faster cars, working around the slower ones, all while keeping his nose clean. “We made it it to the lap 150 break and I felt really good about the car,” Smith expressed. “We made a few adjustments, Tommy just made a little bit better adjustments and was able to step out there on us. I felt like I was a little bit better on long runs and he was better on short runs.”
Smith let us know that starting shotgun certainly was not the plan and they would have loved to be up in the top five all day but it certainly made things interesting. Having to do things and make certain moves – three wide, inside, outside, driving deeper – that he did not want to do but, when you have a great car in one of the biggest Late Model Stock races of the year… you do things a little different to claw your way to the front. His moves on track and pit road were more than enough to R.D. Smith this prestigious award!