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“Tricky” Rickie Smith Back in Nitrous-Powered Pro Mod for NHRA Virginia

“Tricky” Rickie Smith has long since been known as one of the most unpredictable characters the sport of drag racing has to offer. There’s simply no telling what the doorslammer legend may or may not do and, apparently, he’s continuing that trend here early in 2019. 

After making headlines around the world with news that he’d be making the move from a nitrous oxide-injected combination to that of a twin-turbocharged power plant for the E3 Spark Plugs NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series presented by J&A Service, Smith has now confirmed with DRAG ILLUSTRATED that he will be returning to his bottle-fed Bahrain 1 Racing Chevy Camaro Pro Mod for this coming weekend’s Virginia NHRA Nationals. 

“Yes, but only going back because we couldn’t get the motor back together we hurt in Atlanta,” Smith confirmed. “We hurt some parts, hadn’t had enough time to get it back together, so I’m just going to take my nitrous car. That’s really all there is to it.”

While Smith clearly plans to return to his the Jerry Bickel-built ’67 Ford Mustang powered by a Pro Line Racing-built twin-turbo Hemi with FuelTech EFI he debuted at the season-opener in Gainesville, he readily admits that he’d entertain the notion of recommitting to his nitrous roots if there were to be a rule change from the sanction.

“If they [NHRA] don’t make a change, I’ll for sure be sticking with the turbo car,” said Smith. “The turbo car can run 5.65, but the nitrous car cannot get close to it – period.”

Smith also hinted at the potential of some more headline-grabbing new from his camp that could become public knowledge in the coming weeks and months. 

This story was originally published on May 14, 2019. Drag Illustrated

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Since 2005, DI has informed, inspired and educated drag racers from every walk of the racing life - weekend warrior and street/strip enthusiasts to pro-level doorslammer and Top Fuel racers. From award-winning writing and photography to binge-worthy videos to electric live events, DI meets hundreds of thousands of racers where they live, creating the moments that create conversations.