Spencer Massey Takes Third Win Of 2011
Captures Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals
Spencer Massey drove the FRAM/Prestone Top Fuel dragster into victory circle here today in the 32nd-annual MOPAR Mile-High NHRA Nationals at Bandimere Speedway by defeating Don Schumacher Racing teammate Tony Schumacher in a close pedal-fest final round.
The 28-year-old Fort Worth native took home his third Wally of the 2011 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series season and solidified his hold on second place in the Top Fuel championship standings.
It was the third time this season (against one loss) and the sixth time in his two-season career (against two losses) Massey has defeated the seven-time world champion.
“Beating someone like “The Sarge” is obviously very big,” he said. “He’s Tony Schumacher, “The Sarge,” the man – as the saying goes, to be the best, you have to beat the best. I’m not there yet; I have a long way to go, but these are the kind of wins you have to have to get to the top of the pack.
“And I don’t do anything differently whether I’m driving against Tony Schumacher or Larry Dixon or any other Top Fuel driver. I just get in my race car and do my job – get a good light, then stab the throttle and steer.”
Both drivers experienced mechanical and traction issues in the final round, necessitating pedaling and decisions.
“I felt the tires slipping, and then I had to decide whether to keep my foot in it, and chance throwing the blower belt, or back off,” he explained. “I decided to keep going and the Gates belt held; I actually think we picked it up again down the track.”
It was Massey’s fifth win in nine career final rounds (3-1 in 2011), his 58th round win against 32 losses (26-9 in 2011). He qualified fourth on a 4.010-second lap at 303.64 miles per hour to gain a first-round match with Brandon Bernstein.
Massey, who had a streak of 40-consecutive runs without smoking the tires broken in the first round of the last race (Joliet, Ill.), put away Bernstein, Shawn Langdon and DSR teammate Antron Brown in the first three rounds today with clean, drama-free passes.
“Phil, Todd (Shuler and Okuhara, co-crew chiefs) and the entire FRAM team have been giving me a great race car all season, especially these last seven races, which means I just have to do my job without screwing up,” he said. “Keeping the car going despite our traction issues was the least I could do in the finals.”
Massey recorded a 4.150-second run at 269.70 mph against Schumacher’s 4.255 run at 266.95 mph, who lost a cylinder at the start before spinning his tires.
He heads to next week’s 24th-annual FRAM/Autolite NHRA Nationals in Sonoma, Calif. less than four-round wins behind points-leader Del Worsham.
“I’m really excited about going to Sonoma,” he said. “Of course I want to do well in the sponsor’s race – but I always want to do well for my sponsor.”
By: don schumacher racing