"Yes, we want to be competitive, but in the end it's all about family and having some fun."
In a last minute entry, John "Bodie" Smith will drive, his father, Paul Smith's Nitro Funny Car at the 50th Amalie Oil Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals in Gainesville, FL this weekend. The Smith's will still be helping fellow Funny Car competitors Paul and Dave Richards as planned, but will also look to put on a good showing for the hometown crowd at a very special 50th Gatornationals.
The Gatornationals holds a special place in John's heart. Being from Florida, John has gone to the Gatornationals for as long as he can remember watching his father, Paul, drive floppers like the Entertainer, the Sting, and Sir Wells at Gainesville Raceway. John's driving career started in Gainesville when he drove the Hartman Top Fuel Dragster in 1998 as he filled in for his wife, Rhonda, when she announced her pregnancy of their daughter, Megan. In 2003, John drove the Hartman Motorsports' Prestone dragster to his first final round appearance, coming up short to Brandon Bernstein.
"We just want to go out, make a few nice runs and be there for the upset on Sunday," said John. Paul Smith, known for is savvy tuning, always brings a race car capable of sending the big teams packing on raceday. The last time Paul's funny car raced in Gainesville it went to the semi-finals defeating Del Worsham and Tommy Johnson Jr. in 2015. "Yes, we want to be competitive, but in the end it's all about family and having some fun." John will be representing The Original Discount Furniture, Rock Batteries, and E3 Spark Plugs