Drag Illustrated Issue 168, May 2021 - Page 71

SMITH HAS BECOME ADEPT AT THE ART OF BRANDING AND MARKETING HERSELF , AND THROUGH A LOT OF TRIAL AND ERROR , SHE FOUND THE PERFECT PARTNER IN DENSO .

I WENT STRAIGHT TO THE BIKES . I MEAN , I KNEW THERE WERE CARS OUT THERE , BUT I WAS VERY NARROW-MINDED AS IN , I WANTED TO RACE MOTORCYCLES BECAUSE THAT WAS , I GUESS , MORE DANGEROUS AND MY PARENTS WOULDN ’ T APPROVE OF IT .

There were bumps in the road — like the time she dropped the Suzuki while doing her first-ever burnout — but Smith has always risen above it all , winning her first Pro Stock Motorcycle race in 2014 by defeating her husband in the final round and adding another at the season finale a year ago during an emotional weekend in Las Vegas .
She talked with Drag IllustrateD about her remarkable journey to the Pro Stock Motorcycle ranks , finding her place in the sport , managing a marriage when both husband and wife are heavily involved in the sport , and succeeding on and off the track .
After growing up around circle track racing , what was it that drew you to drag racing ?
I fell in love with it for several reasons . It has no gender . You can go out there and compete with men . There ’ s not a women ’ s division and a men ’ s division . You can compete with men , and I like that because we all strive to be the best at what we do . So that was one of the main reasons why I wanted to jump into it , because even though we say , “ Oh , we ’ re just another racer ,” you always want to be that girl that goes out there and blows the boys up . I always wanted to be that girl growing up . I ’ ve always been an adrenaline junkie , and
I probably always will be an adrenaline junkie . So it had many aspects that I fell in love with .
I went straight to the bikes . I mean , I knew there were cars out there , but I was very narrow-minded as in , I wanted to race motorcycles because that was , I guess , more dangerous and my parents wouldn ’ t approve of it . So I thought that was the best thing to do .
As you moved into Outlaw Pro Street , you had a lot of success , becoming the only female to ever win in that category and then winning
May 2021 DragIllustrated . com | Drag Illustrated | 71