Just two weeks after the passing of grandfather, Virgil Hartman, Megan Smith will drive the Hartman Smith Racing A/Fuel Dragster at the Circle K NHRA Four-Wide Nationals this weekend with a decal on the side to honor the Hartman family patriarch. Virgil was involved in drag racing from the early 70’s and passed on his passion to his children, Richard and Rhonda, and later his granddaughter, Megan. “Many knew him as Virgil but to me he was Papa,” Megan says. “He was the smartest and strongest man I knew. Papa built an empire to support his family and his love of fast cars which turned into his family’s love. He had such a big heart and supported everything I did or wanted to do. Most of all, I’ll miss his wise words, advice, and guidance. I will forever utilize the lessons he taught me.” Memorial Decals will be available at the HSR pits this weekend. Donations are welcomed and will be given to DRAW in Virgil’s Honor.
Since the closure of Atlanta Dragway, zMAX Dragway is the new hometrack for the team as well as the home of Megan’s career-best run of 5.39 ET at 270 MPH that she made in the fall of last year. Megan strives to keep improving while honoring her grandfather in the process. “This team and operation is a group effort but Papa invested a lot into it, especially our motor program. He wanted to see this car go out and run in the low twenties. I don’t know if we’re there yet,” Megan admitted, “but this weekend we are just focusing on having fun and making Papa proud.” As always, Megan would like to thank her partners Lucas Oil, Hartman Enterprises, Paul Smith Racing, and General Machine of Anderson.
Megan’s father and crew chief, John “Bodie” Smith, will be pulling double-duty as he will be behind the wheel of the Paul Smith Racing Nitro Funny Car. Despite qualifying at the Gatornationals earlier this year, John was unable to make the first round after the team had an issue with the idle. The team will work to redeem themselves in their first 4-Wide Nationals since 2018. John would like to thank his partners E3 Spark Plugs, The Original Discount Furniture, and Rock Batteries.