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Will Smith Reflects on Top Fuel Experience in Chicago

Despite the outcome not being as he’d hoped, Top Fuel driver Will Smith was full of gratitude for his team and supporters after his participation in the 23rd annual Route 66 NHRA Nationals presented by PEAK Performance over the weekend, marking NHRA’s first visit to Chicago since 2019.

“Our weekend didn’t turn out the way we had hoped for, but it was a great weekend all in all,” Smith shared on social media after the event. “Larry Dixon Jr., Tony Shortall, Nick Peters, Adam Rhoades, Charles Akers, Brian Inouye, and Steven Boulis did an awesome job this weekend and it’s an absolute pleasure working with this great team.”

Smith’s team was commended for their collective effort over the weekend, with Jim Gloyd receiving thanks for his role in catering for the team, and Nicole Clark-Erickson praised for her coverage of the team’s activities on social media.

Smith also expressed his gratitude to the #BandofBrothers, his group of supporters, for their continuous encouragement which played a significant role in getting him back on the track. Additionally, he gave a heartfelt thanks to team owner Larry Dixon for giving him the opportunity to drive his hot rod.

“Thanks [Larry] for the opportunity to drive your hot rod,” Smith wrote. “You’re the best in the biz and thank you for being the best teacher.”

Despite facing challenges with data collection during their first qualifying run, which Smith admitted set the team behind, they were able to figure out their issues. “We just needed one more run,” Smith confessed.

Though uncertain of when he will be on the track again, Smith promised to work hard to get back as soon as possible. “I’m grinding hard to get us all back on track together as soon as we can,” he affirmed.

Will Smith and his team’s dedication to overcoming obstacles and their unwavering passion for the sport make them a standout crew in the drag racing community, and fans are eagerly waiting to see them back on the track soon.

This story was originally published on May 21, 2023. Drag Illustrated

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