BROWNSBURG, Ind. - Just two months ago, 10 Top Fuel drivers set out on a quest for an NHRA world championship, and now it's down to three.
Though Don Schumacher Racing's trio of Top Fuel dragster pilots could be considered the Three Musketeers of NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing series, they don't carry the same "all for one, one for all" motto the novel is known for while competing for the title.
Massey enters the event third in Countdown to the Championship points, 70 points behind leader and teammate Antron Brown, and only five behind second-place Tony Schumacher, who is 65 points behind Brown.
"You know, you can write it out on paper but it would never happen just like you'd imagine it happening," Massey said. "That's why it's so crazy out here racing, how we're racing right now.
It's very, very close, not only in the points but each and every race, every round, every incremental of the dragstrip, every part of the race is very, very close, and any split second, anything can happen, anything can malfunction.
"A team can step up that's never even won a round, they can come into Pomona and take one of us three out early. Anything can happen.
I mean, that's why you can never say never, but there again, I mean, you've got to have all your ducks in a row whenever you're sitting in a situation like Tony (Schumacher) and us. You've got to have everything fall your way."
Getting everything aligned for the final four rounds of racing in 2012 means not only does Massey have to be prepared, but his FRAM team led by crew chiefs Todd Okuhara and Phil Shuler need to be flawless, despite the amount of pressure that comes with fighting for a championship.
"It's the Countdown," Massey said. "It's the end of what we've been dreaming about doing all season long, going for the championship.
The Countdown is tougher than you could ever imagine. Everybody is wanting to win that big prize, wanting to win that trophy to get that world championship."
The toughest competition will no doubt come from his DSR counterparts.
"Don Schumacher has put such a great organization together that he's (most likely) going to have a champion in both nitro classes.
But let me tell you, it's highs and lows; I wouldn't have it any other way but sitting right where I'm sitting right now and having this pressure because that means we have a chance for that championship."
Don Schumacher Racing