Massey set for national event debut in Houston BAYTOWN, Texas - Despite having big shoes to fill, NHRA Top Alcohol Dragster rookie Spencer Massey appears to be the proverbial 'chip off the old block.' The shoes Massey has been selected to fill...
Massey set for national event debut in Houston
BAYTOWN, Texas - Despite having big shoes to fill, NHRA Top Alcohol Dragster rookie Spencer Massey appears to be the proverbial 'chip off the old block.' The shoes Massey has been selected to fill are none other than drag race legend Gene Snow in his A/Fuel Dragster. After reaching the final in both of the divisional events he has entered this year, Snow and Massey will make their debut on the national level during this weekend's O'Reilly Spring Nationals presented by Pennzoil at Houston Raceway Park.
Massey, 23, of Fort Worth, Texas, started his journey to the cockpit of the "Snowman" A/Fuel Dragster by crewing for Snow and several other prominent A/Fuel and Top Fuel teams over the past few years. While crewing for him, Snow developed Massey's driving skills starting in the Jr. Dragster ranks, then a 7 second dragster and on to the A/Fuel car. Massey is quick to point out his experience working on the car has helped accelerate the learning curve of being a rookie driver.
"This has been my life goal to drive one of these cars," said Massey. "I'm very fortunate to have this opportunity to drive for Gene. It has definitely helped working on these cars for so long. I think it has made me a better driver knowing the in's and out's of the car."
Snow, who was ranked No. 26 in NHRA's Top 50 drag racers of all time, is adjusting to the perspective of being outside the car, rather than inside.
"I can't really say if being outside the car has helped my tuning," commented Snow. "I do enjoy watching the car from the outside, however. When I was driving I kind of developed a reputation for shutting it off early. Being the driver, owner and tuner, I could feel when the car had dropped a cylinder, so I would just shut it off because I have to pay for it if it blows up. I don't think Spencer is just going to go out there and blow the car up, but I think he will push the envelope a little harder because he's more focused on his job as a driver - winning rounds."
"People have come up to me and asked me why I'm putting someone else in the car," stated Snow. "One, I'm not quite sure I'm ready to get back in the cockpit after that crash last year. I'm not uncomfortable putting Spencer in the car because I've watched him develop through the ranks. He's warmed our car up probably a thousand times. He does nearly everything exactly like I did it. Except he cuts much better lights than I do. He's picked up on the good habits of mine, and not the bad ones."
Both Snow and Massey hope the early success they've enjoyed continues in Houston.
"I'm just excited to be going past the first round," commented Massey. "Much less going to two finals right off the bat. I just hope it doesn't end here at my first national."
Qualifying begins on Friday for the alcohol cars with two sessions. Qualifying will conclude Saturday morning with one final session, followed by round one of eliminations in the afternoon. Final eliminations will conclude the event on Sunday.