Massey overcome mechanical problems to win inaugural Nationals in Epping

The work will continue as the next stop on the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing tour begins June 28-30 for the 16th annual Route 66 NHRA Nationals in Joliet, Ill.

EPPING, N.H. - Momentum continued for Spencer Massey's Battery Extender Powered by Schumacher team with the inaugural New England NHRA Nationals event win on Sunday at New England Dragway.

But it didn't come easy. After earning the opening round win with his best elapsed time of the weekend, a 3.814-second lap against Khalid alBalooshi, Massey raced Don Schumacher Racing teammate and seven-time NHRA world champion Tony Schumacher in round two.

Spencer Massey
Spencer Massey

Photo by: NHRA

Schumacher's dragster slowed near the finish and Massey then met Doug Kalitta, the No. 1 qualifier at Epping, in the semifinal round.

"In the semifinals, we had some problems," Massey said. "I didn't even think the car was going to get down the track. It didn't show any oil pressure, didn't have any fuel pressure.

It was such a hectic semifinal round, just getting by that and getting to the finals was nice."

But it got even sweeter for the Battery Extender team who earned their second win of the 2013 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series and the12th of Massey's NHRA Top Fuel career. Massey now trails Schumacher by just 27 points for second place in the standings.

"We've just been trying to take baby steps," he said. "We've gone to a lot of semifinals but we've been wanting to get to these final rounds and get wins. We came up a little bit short last weekend so we rebounded this weekend.

"Qualifying we had our ups and downs but it ran good in the heat yesterday and ran awesome in the heat today. We had our problems in the semis but we got by it and got to the finals. It was one of those deals where the track was hot, and if you get to A to B first, it doesn't matter what it does as long as you get there first."

Massey was also leaving the starting line first all weekend at New England Dragway, something he is well known for throughout the NHRA pit area. He left first on all four of his opponents on Sunday.

"If you look at my lights through qualifying and eliminations, my worst light this weekend was a .059 (of-a-second)."

In the Winner's Circle Massey praised members from Tony Schumacher's U.S. Army team and Matt Hagan's Magneti Marelli Funny Car for their assistance when things got tough during eliminations.

"We had no data coming in here. And we didn't get anything from the semifinals and we had some of the Army guys and some of Matt Hagan's guys come over and go through the wiring and help us service the car.

They did a great job and we owe them a big thank you. If we wouldn't have had them we would've been struggling. That's how our Don Schumacher Racing teams work; we all help each other if we need it."

The work will continue as the next stop on the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing tour begins June 28-30 for the 16th annual Route 66 NHRA Nationals in Joliet, Ill., not far from the Schumacher Electric headquarters in nearby Mt. Prospect, Ill. and just three hours from the DSR shop in Brownsburg, Ind.

"We're excited, we're happy and we're going to carry this momentum into Battery Extender's hometown next week in Chicago."

Don Schumacher Racing

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Tony Schumacher , Doug Kalitta , Don Schumacher , Matt Hagan , Spencer Massey
Article type Race report
Tags albalooshi, massey, nhra, schumacher