POMONA, Calif. - Spencer Massey hasn't felt like a rookie since his first full season in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Top Fuel class in 2009, when he won the Road the Future top-rookie award.
But those rookie jitters were back in his stomach as he made his first full passes this weekend in the Don Schumacher Racing dragster that now features an enclosed canopy manufactured by Aerodine Composites outside of Indianapolis.
But Massey had never made a full pass until the team unloaded the Battery Extender Powered by Schumacher dragster Thursday at Auto Club Raceway in Pomona.
It wasn't until Saturday when Massey was able to get the full effect of how different driving under ballistic glass feels when he unleashed a 3.793-second pass at 323 mph.
"It's really cool to get inside this canopy car and feel a different sensation with the windshield and being enclosed," said Massey.
"It's a totally different feeling because you have less noise and you can really hear the motor work when you go down the track. It feels cool, it looks cool and the best part is it's a safer car."
Massey will face fellow Texan Steve Torrence in his first round of eliminations in 2013 after qualifying eighth in the 16-car field.
"It's been an extremely exciting weekend to get back in this racecar and to be around all of my guys," he said. "I can't wait to get out there on race day."
Don Schumacher Racing