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Photograph by Tara Bowker

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Staging Lanes: ‘Tricky’ Rickie Smith Tries Top Fuel

With a huge crowd of crew members and fellow racers watching from the starting line, “Tricky” Rickie Smith makes a 330-foot launch in Scott Palmer’s Palmer & Longley Motorsports Top Fuel dragster during Friday night testing for Virginia Motorsports Park’s Night of Fire. The Pro Stock and Pro Modified icon was offered the opportunity to make a pass in Palmer’s car after helping set up his screw-blown Corvette for the World Series of Pro Mod. Smith did a smooth burnout, backed up in a timely manner, and made a pass that Palmer described as perhaps the best first Top Fuel pass he’s ever seen. 

[Editor’s Note: This story originally appeared in DI #184, the State of Drag Issue, in September/October of 2023.]

Photograph by Tara Bowker
Virginia Motorsports Park
Dinwiddie, Virginia
Friday, July 21st, 2023

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