SPENCER MASSEY WINS ON HOLE-SHOT IN COMPLETION OF SUSPENDED AUTO-PLUS® NHRA NATIONALS
MOHNTON, Pa., October 3, 2011 – Aboard his FRAM/Prestone Top Fuel dragster, Spencer Massey, who prides himself on his reaction times, pulled off a remarkable “hole-shot” victory in today’s final-round of the suspended 27th annual Auto-Plus® NHRA Nationals here at Maple Grove Raceway.
The 29-year-old Don Schumacher Racing driver, leading in the Countdown to the Championship, used a .056 light on his 3.770-second pass (at 323.12 miles per hour) to defeat Del Worsham, despite his rival’s establishing an elapsed-time record of 3.735 seconds.
“It was pretty amazing to beat a guy who was on a record run,” said an excited Massey, after his fourth 2011 win in seven final rounds. “This makes the win that much sweeter. Del is usually a good ‘leaver,’ but I don’t know what happened there (Worsham recorded a .101 reaction time).
“I did my usual routine at the tree. I try to be consistent; to do the same thing every time I go to the line. I’ve always prided myself on my reaction times.
“But the key to our success is the great job Phil and Todd (Shuler and Okuhara, co-crew chiefs) do in setting up the FRAM/Prestone dragster, regardless of the conditions, which were really tricky this weekend.”
Massey, on the strength of a 3.771 pass at 316.82 mph, came out of the number-three-qualifying position en route to his third consecutive final-round appearance. He began Sunday’s final eliminations with a 3.783 run at 311.85 mph to defeat Dom Lagana, followed by a pass of 3.778 at 324.90 mph to top DSR teammate Tony Schumacher.
Rain and cold stopped the event following the Funny Car quarterfinals, which meant Massey would open today’s resumption of the event with a race against defending champion Larry Dixon. The Fort Worth native defeated Dixon with a 3.773 lap at 322.11 mph to set up the final-round match with Dixon’s teammate Worsham.
“Winning the last three rounds in this race was huge because they came against drivers who are right behind us in the Countdown,” explained Massey who has extended his lead in the title race to 65 points over DSR teammate Antron Brown. “We’ve been to three consecutive final rounds in the first three Countdown races and if we continue to do that (in the last three), I think we have a good shot at the championship.
“I’m excited about heading to Phoenix (in less than two weeks for the 26th-annual Arizona NHRA Nationals, fourth out of six Countdown events) having just won a race and in the points lead.