NHRA’s Pro Stock Motorcycle class has been completely dominated by Gaige Herrera in the past year and a half.

Well, for at least one day – Saturday – Matt Smith stepped back into the PSM spotlight.

Smith, a six-time world champion (2007, 2013, 2018 and 2020-22), won the #2Fast2Tasty Pro Stock Motorcycle Challenge and took the No. 1 qualifying spot at the Super Grip NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals in Bristol, Tenn.

Smith took the title at the #2Fast2Tasty event by defeating his wife, Angie Smith, clocking a 6.802-second run at 199.05 mph to upend end her 6.951-second pass.

Smith’s #2Fast2Tasty victory included knocking off Herrera in Round One with a 6.759-second elapsed time at 200.05. That blast also propelled Smith to the No. 1 qualifying spot.

“This Denso bike is pretty mean right now. We've gone to work, we've got improvement in our program with 60 foots and we've got good power, and it is showing,” Smith said. “Like I said in Chicago, we've done more testing since Gainesville than the whole class combined. We're putting the work in. We're spending the money to get better, and it's showing.”

The E.T. and mph against Herrera were track records by Smith. Karen Stoffer had the track elapsed-time record at 6.760 seconds and Eddie Krawiec had the mph record at 199.29 mph. Both records were set in 2021.

“I didn't think 75 was possible. (Friday night) when I went to the center line, I knew we could have gone 76. Then (Saturday morning) we just got all of them. ... So that was a pretty much perfect pass for us. And we come back in Q4 and we're low at another round again. All in all, I think we got a good deal for (Sunday).”

This is Smith’s 54th career No. 1 qualifying spot and his second this season, his first being at the last PSM national event in Chicago.

“I hate to go all Rocky on you, but Rocky IV, where he cut the Russian (Ivan Drago), and it's like you finally cut the Russian in here with Gaige and prove that he is human," Smith said. "Yes, we're the first person to beat Gaige heads up. Every time Gaige has lost since he's come onboard with that team (Vance & Hines), it's either the bike broke or he had a redlight. And so that was the first time that they weren’t as good, and we beat them. So, hats off to my whole team. I'm the privileged one that gets to ride the thing. And all these guys working on it are the ones making my bike really good. We’ve got a really good program right now.”

Smith’s double celebration came because of his stellar performance on the bumpy Bristol Dragway track.

“Yeah, now the track has got its challenges. But it makes it fun,” Smith said. “It's no different ... Bruton (Smith) has got two tracks that are Four Wide and that's a challenge. I like challenges. I'm up for it. It makes you try to change your program a little bit to adapt to go over the bumps, and we're doing that. The only thing that I don't like is where they started the new pavement down there. They need to grind that to make it a smooth transition. It's like a speed bump for our motorcycles. It hits it and the front shocks bottom out, and the tire comes off the ground and just toasts it. And if you're laying off the bike, it could be dangerous, but you got to be going straight when you hit that bump.”

On Sunday, Smith, who is riding a Buell, is looking to collect his 39th career win, and his first at Bristol.