Don Schumacher Racing press release
SPENCER MASSEY EXCITED ABOUT START OF PLAYOFFS AT THIS WEEKEND’S NHRA NATIONALS AT zMAX DRAGWAY
CONCORD, N.C., September 12, 2011 – Spencer Massey, driver of the FRAM/Prestone Top Fuel dragster, cannot wait to get to zMAX Dragway here for this weekend’s fourth-annual NHRA Nationals and the start of the 2011 NHRA Full Throttle Countdown to the Championship playoffs.
The 28-year-old Don Schumacher Racing driver – who turns 29 tomorrow – said the season has been spent getting to this moment and he is ready.
“All year long you race to get points to get into the playoff field,” explained the Fort Worth native who finished the 2011 regular season third in the standings. “This is what it’s all about – going for the championship. Sure you want to win races, and we’ve won three, but the title as champion is the ultimate prize.
“And, on top of it all, I’d love to pick up the Wally Sunday as a late birthday present!”
A year ago Massey was not in the starting field for this race having lost his ride following his rookie-of-the-year 2009 season when the sponsor did not renew. Getting a shot to join Don Schumacher Racing and drive the FRAM/Prestone dragster represented a return to fulfilling his life-long dream of being a Top Fuel driver.
“If you work at something hard enough, you have a chance to achieve your dreams,” he said. “I still find it hard to believe I’m in this position, driving this car for Don (Schumacher, team owner) and the folks at FRAM/Prestone. It’s also unbelievable I’m sitting ahead of the likes of Tony Schumacher (fifth) and Larry Dixon (fourth), the guys who have won every Top Fuel championship for the last 10 years.
“I don’t want to be pinched and wake up from this dream.”
Despite the playoff implications, this is the first of six races in the Countdown; Massey’s approach will be the same it has been for the past 16 races (which have resulted in three wins).
“We have to approach this as just another race,” he explained. “We need to qualify well for the points, for lane choice on Sunday and to get data for race day. And I have to go to the starting line concentrating on my job and not worrying about who’s in the other lane or what the outcome means. I have to get a good light and then stab (the throttle) and steer because I’m confident Todd and Phil (Okuhara and Shuler, co-crew chiefs) will give me a great car.
“Yes, the pressure is on because this is the Countdown. I just have to go up there and run my race, go rounds and do well here in Charlotte and the five races after it. I really think we have a good shot at that championship!”