With the recent announcement of her DENSO Spark Plug full-time sponsorship, Angie Smith has been given the funds to fight for the thing most NHRA racers go after: a world championship in 2018.

To the casual observer, Angie Smith is part of a racing duo with her husband Matt. As a proven winner with a victory at the 2014 nationals in Epping, New Hampshire, Smith brings more to the table than just an expertise in driving her motorcycle.

“My role on and off the track has become a really big role,” Smith said who’s shop resides in King, North Carolina. “We do a lot at our shop. We have our own engine program here and we build our own chassis in-house. We do everything in-house and I think that’s important in our sport because in Pro Stock Motorcycle, it’s important to keep your technology for your own team. We do all of our engines and research and development here at our shop and we even dyno in our shop. Everything that needs to be done in order for our bikes to be fast at the racetrack, we do it here.”

Once that process is complete, Smith will clean all the parts and she will proceed to reassemble the engine. Additionally, Smith acts as team manager for Matt Smith Racing.

“I am actually the one that assembles my own motors,” Smith added. “I tear them down after every run and look at all the parts and pieces and make sure there’s no cracks in the pistons and make sure everything is up to par.”

To understand Smith’s determination to succeed, one must go back all the way to the beginning.

Growing up in North Carolina, Smith was first introduced to the racing world at local racetracks where she would watch oval racing. In her teenager years, she would go to local dragstrips with her friends and despite her parent’s disapproval, she bought a motorcycle at the age of 19 and raced it.

Many years later, Smith is at the top of her game in the NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle world. In a male-dominated sport, Smith rises above as not just a woman in racing but an all-around racer who sets herself apart by working on her own equipment.

“There is no 9-5 in racing,” she said. “You have to dedicate your life to it. You have to work really hard. When it comes to racing, all rules are out the window.”

Smith’s racing season is only a few weeks away. The first event of her 16-race season will be at Gainesville Raceway March 15-18, 2018 where she will compete with the best of the best on her quest for victory at the NHRA Gatornationals.

Photography Credits: Auto Imagery, Joe Girouard Photography, Rick Belden Photography

Find out more about DENSO parts for your car