Smith Back at it After Close Loss at IHRA Summit SuperSeries Top World Finals

Smith Back at it After Close Loss at IHRA Summit SuperSeries Top World Finals

HOUSE SPRINGS, Missouri — Drew Smith is used to crunching numbers.

His work as an accountant translates into him being an accomplished bracket racer. So it was gut-wrenching when the Barbourville, Ky., driver lost in the Top (Box) championship round of the International Hot Rod Association (IHRA) Summit SuperSeries World Finals after red-lighting by a mere -.001 second.

“It’s tough whenever you’re that close. You stop and think about it, being .001 away from a world championship, it’s a tough pill to swallow,” Smith said. “I’ve replayed it so many times. I would give anything to go back and roll .002 in the water box before I staged. I felt confident at the line, but guess I was a little more amped up than I thought.” 

Still, it was a memorable experience for the driver representing London Dragway. Over the weekend, he formed a friendship with Mid-Michigan Motorplex driver Jared Ledford, whom he ultimately raced in the final round.

Drew Smith

Smith, 22, is a graduate of the University of the Cumberlands. His home track, London Dragway, has a strong IHRA Summit SuperSeries program with Toby Daniels, the 2018 Mod (No Box) World Champion. In addition, the driver of the black dragster also travels an hour down the road on occasion to race at Knoxville Dragway which has produced three world champions in the last four years.

He talked about how the racers from Eastern Kentucky and East Tennessee helped get him ready to take on all the champions at Holly Springs Motorsports.

“It’s kind of a hotbed where I’m at,” he said. “You feel accomplished when you can win a championship here. It pays off when you race against such great competition at the IHRA World Finals.”

Drew Smith 1

Smith survived a first round at the IHRA Summit SuperSeries World Finals which he said, “wasn’t pretty, but I got by.” He had good reaction times throughout the next few rounds, earning a bye in the quarterfinals. He was .018 quicker at the tree than semifinal opponent Kelby Walker from Music City Dragway. Smith then posted a run of 5.091 seconds at 133.25 mph with a 5.08 dial-in for the win.

“First round wasn’t pretty, but I got by,” Smith said. “From there on, I felt like I drove well. The car was good as always. I was able to get through the next few rounds.”

With his math skills, Smith is able to work through the numbers quickly. It makes him popular among his fellow racers. One equation easy to figure out is how the IHRA Summit SuperSeries remains the most prestigious championship in bracket racing.

The runner-up prize package included $7,000 from Summit Racing Equipment. While Smith certainly appreciates it, his main motivation is testing himself against the best of the best. He was at Knoxville Dragway the following weekend, crunching numbers again, with hopes of going one round further at the 2023 IHRA Summit SuperSeries World Finals.