Victory Motorcycles is going drag racing, forming a factory National Hot Rod Association team with the husband and wife duo of two-time champion Matt Smith and Angie Smith riding bikes based on the Gunner.
“Victory is excited to enter the world of NHRA Pro Stock Drag Racing,” says Steve Menneto, vice president of motorcycles for Polaris. “It is Victory’s intent to continue to test ourselves at the highest levels and the Victory Factory Racing Team is the perfect opportunity for us.”
While the Victory Gunner provides the basis, the drag bike will be much different from the production model. For starters, reports the official NHRA website, the Smiths will use S&S engines just as they did on the Buell-based bikes they raced the past few seasons including Matt Smith’s 2013 championship-winning campaign.
Unlike the Buell bike, the Victory machine will not have a wraparound fairing but a windscreen mounted over the round headlight which may require adapting their riding technique.
“I won’t know how I might have to adjust my riding stance until we get to the wind tunnel, but I think it’s going to be better,” Matt Smith tells NHRA.com. “It’s pretty different from what I’ve ridden in the past, but it’s got a smaller frontal area than the Buell, which is always a good thing.”
Matt Smith finished fourth overall in the 2014 standings with 2,416 points, with a pair of runner up results. One of those final round losses came at the hands of Angie Smith was finished ninth overall with 2,223 points.
[Source: Victory, NHRA]