Third-generation driver Megan Smith is making her national event debut this weekend in the Top Alcohol Dragster ranks at the Lucas Oil NHRA Southern Nationals. She will be behind the wheel of the Hartman Smith Racing A/Fuel Dragster thanks to Hartman Enterprises, Paul Smith Racing, General Machine of Anderson, and Lucas Oil. Megan has been around NHRA Drag Racing her entire life, she is the daughter of John “Bodie” Smith and Rhonda Hartman-Smith, the first husband and wife to race each other in NHRA competition when they drove the Hartman Motorsports Fram and Prestone Top Fuel Dragsters in the early 2000’s when Megan was just a toddler.
Now at the age of 22 and a recent Clemson University graduate, Megan is looking to follow in her parents footsteps. She started driving Junior Dragsters from the age of eight, earned her Super-Comp Dragster license at Frank Hawley’s Drag Racing School, and just recently completed her Top Alcohol Dragster License in the Hartman Smith Racing A/Fuel Dragster in Gainesville, FL during the Division 2 Baby Gators.
The dragster Megan will be piloting this weekend in Commerce has quite the history as it was her Grandfather, Paul Smith’s, school car from the early 2000’s that many drivers, including Clay Millican, got their license in and driven by her uncle, Mike Smith, as well as drag racing legend “Big Daddy” Don Garlits in competition. A legend in his own right, Paul has been racing Funny Cars since the 70’s and many have driven Paul’s Funny Car including Jeff Arend, Johnny Gray, Blake Alexander, and John who still makes appearances on the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series.
The A/Fuel Dragster is now housed at Hartman Smith Racing’s headquarters also known as Hartman Enterprises which is just 45 minutes up the road from Atlanta Dragway in Williamston, SC. Hartman Enterprises is a plastic injection mold making and molding manufacturer owned by Megan’s other grandfather, Virgil Hartman. Virgil, who has also been racing for over 50 years, has helped obtain the parts and equipment necessary to start this new A/Fuel operation.
It is a family effort to get Megan on track which is why Megan and her parents started Hartman Smith Racing to be able to race as a family. “The whole family has put a lot of time and resources into this car, especially my dad who will be calling the shots, “ added Megan. “We are sad this will be the final event held in Commerce since this is our hometrack, but excited to be here as we make our first national event appearance.” Megan designed and wrapped the car with assistance from her employer, T&R Graphics out of Seneca, SC where Megan works as a graphic designer.
Megan and the Hartman Smith Racing team will be looking to learn more valuable information this weekend and to improve upon a 5.89 at 261mph that she ran in Gainesville to gain her license. You can catch the whole family in the Hartman Smith Racing pit this weekend at the final Southern Nationals in Commerce, GA or stay up to date on the team’s social media pages on Facebook, Instagram (@team.hsr), and Twitter (@Team_HSR).