Spencer Massey Joliet Friday Report

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Route 66 Raceway

Spencer Massey’s Streak Continues Grabs Provisional Pole At Route 66 NHRA Nationals

Spencer Massey, while continuing his consecutive-drama-free runs, drove the FRAM/Prestone Top Fuel dragster into the number-one position at the conclusion of today’s first-two-qualifying rounds for Sunday’s 14th annual Route 66 NHRA Nationals here at Route 66 Raceway.

Spencer Massey
Spencer Massey

Photo by: Ted Rossino

The Don Schumacher Racing driver, who has gone 38-consecutive laps without smoking the tires of his hot rod, ran the quickest and fastest in both sessions. With track temperatures above 135 degrees for the opening round, the Fort Worth native posted a 3.930-second, 308.92-miles-per-hour lap. He bettered these results later in the evening, as the track cooled to 99 degrees, with a 3.819 run at 319.29 mph to capture the provisional pole.

“I was surprised with the ’81,” remarked the 28 year old. “I knew it was a good run, but I thought it was an ’82 or ’83 as the tires started spinning at the top end.”

The clean-run streak, which began with the first-qualifying run at the Atlanta race, has produced two wins, a runner up and two-semifinal finishes and propelled Massey into second place in the 2011 NHRA Full Throttle standings (behind Del Worsham).

“We’ve run well since pre-season testing,” he said. “In the beginning of the season, we were beating ourselves, smoking the tires. Todd and Phil (Okuhara and Shuler, co-crew chiefs) decided that had to stop, backed it down a bit and we began to go A to B.

“But Todd and Phil really don’t know how to back it down that much and not only are we getting down the track consistently, we’re making good runs. It’s a testament to them, the entire FRAM/Prestone team and the guys at DSR who built the chassis. It’s a great organization and our success is proof.”

Track and weather conditions for Saturday’s two-final-qualifying rounds, which begin at 6 p.m. ET, are expected to be similar, providing challenges for all the crew chiefs who would rather run in the afternoon to mimic Sunday’s race conditions.

Massey understands their predicament, but believes evening sessions add something to the sport.

“Running two nights in a row, with flames coming from the exhaust, is great for the fans,” he said. “I loved it when I was a kid and came to the races. And I like driving at night because we can go faster than in the heat of the day and I love going fast.

“It’s tough on the crew chiefs because they won’t have any real data for race-day conditions. But we’ll all be in the same spot come Sunday, which makes it fair for everyone.”

By: don schumacher racing

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Series NHRA
Tags chicago, don schumacher, joliet, massey, nhra, route 66 raceway, top fuel

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