In early season sponsor news, one of the greatest door car driver in the history of drag racing, Rickie Smith and Bahrain1 have come to an agreement on a sponsorship deal for the 2018 NHRA season.
For years Rickie Smith flew with the IDG or Vallen banner on the side of his Musi powered pro mod. That was until the end of 2017 when Rickie stated that Vallen decided to not come back for the 2018 season. This left one of the best ever in the class with no 2018 sponsor. The announcement certainly didn’t slow Rickie down though, and we saw that in January when he hit the ground running. He showed up in Orlando for the World Outlaw Nationals with a new NHRA approved lockup converter and put up a number that essentially put the entire class on notice.
Rickie was absent from the Orlando RPM Winter Warmup, but that doesn’t mean he wasn’t paying attention. Rickie decided to go do his own testing and let the rest of the drivers line it up in Orlando. It wasn’t until the Gators rolled around that Rickie and Bahrain1 were able to make a deal.
Rickie is never one to give up, and he had the mindset of coming to Gainesville to win. His teammate Khalid Al Balooshi also pilots a nitrous powered Camaro in NHRA Pro Mod and sports the Bahrain1 logo on his door. In Q1 Rickie didn’t fair so well, but his teammate Khaild landed #6 on the sheet.
Look for both Khalid and Rickie to be front runners in a class dominated by blower cars and turbo cars. We have three more rounds of qualifying this weekend, and I am sure Rickie will get everything figured out and go A to B. Congrats to Rickie for picking up a sponsor and being out here doing what he is great at.