RIP! Legendary Nitrous Tuner and Innovator Monte Smith Has Passed Away

Monte Smith, quite literally one of the forefathers of nitrous oxide technology as we ...

Monte Smith, quite literally one of the forefathers of nitrous oxide technology as we know it today, passed away while traveling home from North Carolina, where he had been helping a customer complete his intake. Widely known across all branches of drag racing, from big tire to radials and any level of prep you can name, Monte was often sought out by some of the biggest names in the sport for his decades of expertise. His passing leaves a void not only in the nitrous knowledge base, but the personal lives of many racers that would come to call him friend after calling him for help.

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Monte Smith (behind the car on the right) spent many years as the tuner for Chad Henderson, and while he certainly had a knack for sending Chad's lexan scoop skyward, he also made this gorgeous Grand National one of the most respected and feared nitrous cars in all of small tire racing.
Monte Smith (behind the car on the right) spent many years as the tuner for Chad Henderson, and while he certainly had a knack for sending Chad’s lexan scoop skyward, he also made this gorgeous Grand National one of the most respected and feared nitrous cars in all of small tire racing.

I had personally known Monte for more of my life than not. From the trademark yellow Plymouth GTX he campaigned, quite successfully, in the early days of small tire racing to his decade plus as the crew chief for my cousin Chad Henderson and his beloved big-inch, nitrous-huffing Grand National, Monte was a constant figure in my life since I was just a kid hanging on the fence at Huntsville Dragway watching him do his thing. Monte had likely forgotten more about nitrous oxide than all but a handful of individuals on the planet will ever know about it, as he was one of the key figures at Nitrous Oxide Systems, or NOS as it is more widely known and helped the brand grow to reach countless hotrodders, thanks in large part to Monte’s tireless innovation and endless drive to make their systems perform better.

Monte will be missed by many, a point driven home by the amazing outpouring of support and condolences that came from racers around the world as news of his passing spread earlier this evening. We at Speed Society certainly send our sincerest condolences to his family and friends as they cope with this tremendous loss.

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