Route 66 Raceway
Spencer Massey’S Day Ends In First-Round Tire Smoke At 14Th-Annual Route 66 NHRA Nationals
Smoking the tires of the FRAM/Prestone Top Fuel dragster for the first time after 40-consecutive clean runs, Spencer Massey dropped an opening-round race in the late-morning heat today during the 14th-annual Route 66 NHRA Nationals here at Route 66 Raceway.
Starting from the pole position (second of the year), the Don Schumacher Racing driver pedaled the dragster twice as it broke free on the hot, slippery track surface in his attempt to defeat 16th-qualifier T.J. Zizzo.
“The tires started spinning at about the 1/8-mile mark,” said the 28-year-old Fort Worth native. “So I started pedaling, then it broke loose a second time. I started pedaling again, but then there was a mechanical issue. It’s a shame, because I was still ahead of T.J. when the car’s safety system shut it down.”
Massey’s first-round lap of 4.254 seconds at 213.91 miles per hour was not quite quick enough to catch Illinois-native Zizzo, who turned in a 4.088 pass at 294.56.
“We were bound to smoke the tires at some point,” reflected Massey, “I just wish we had done it at another time, like later in the race.
“But it was still a good weekend. We qualified first (on a 3.819-second, 319.29 mph lap), had the quickest car in three of the four sessions and second-quickest one in the fourth. We also were fastest with that number-one qualifying run.”
The streak, which began with the first qualifying round at the Atlanta race, included two wins (Topeka and Englishtown, N.J.), as well as a runner up and two semifinal finishes in the five races prior to Joliet.
“Despite today’s blip, the team remains up and happy, so now we’ll get ready to go to Denver and begin the Western Swing,” Massey said. “We made a lot of progress during the last six races and today’s results are just racing. It’s just one of those things which happens during the course of the season.
“It was the first time this season we went out in the first round and it took a very hot, slippery and tricky track for this to happen.”
By: don schumacher racing