ENGLISHTOWN, N.J. - Spencer Massey is stuck in a rut. But it's not a bad one. Out of nine NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series events, the Battery Extender Powered by Schumacher dragster team has reached the semifinals five times.

That fifth time came on Sunday during the NHRA Toyota Summernationals at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park in Englishtown, N.J.

Spencer Massey
Spencer Massey

Photo by: Michael C. Johnson

After qualifying fifth in the 16-car field, Massey defeated Morgan Lucas in the opening round with a 3.852-second pass. But it wasn't without drama.

Prior to the first round of eliminations, Massey's crew chief Phil Shuler noticed something amiss with the 10,000-horsepower dragster and called for a change.

"We saw something that wasn't exactly right with the blower," Massey said. "The guys had to do a little extra work before we even made a run today. We have a good group of guys so it was no problem and we ran first round and got the win."

But it was Massey putting in the extra work when it came to the second round of Sunday's eliminations when he was paired with rookie Brittany Force of John Force Racing.

The track surface continued to get hotter and making it tougher on the crew chiefs to tune the 10,000-horsepower machines. Both cars suffered tire smoke, but Massey held on to earn the win light.

"In the second round I had to work for it with a pedal fest over Brittany," he said. "You have to be ready for that at all times and it turned out to be a great pedal fest between us."

As the afternoon went on, the track surface got even hotter for the semifinal round and Massey was unable to make a full pull against Al-Anabi Racing's Khalid alBalooshi.

"Overall, it was just hot out here," Massey said. "It's tough for crew chiefs and it's tough for drivers with so many layers in our fire suits, sitting in the car.

"But we got another semifinal finish. We're going rounds, getting win lights and staying in the top-five in points. But we want to win races. We're not happy but we can't be disappointed either.

The car is going rounds and that's a good thing. It's going to be crunch time before we know it, getting close to the Countdown (to the Championship). But we have a handle on this racecar it was just tricky and tough out there today."

The following are Massey's results from the NHRA Toyota Nationals at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park.

Don Schumacher Racing