Don Schumacher Racing press release
COUNTDOWN LEADER MASSEY WANTS TO GO ROUNDS AT NHRA ARIZONA NATIONALS
CHANDLER, Ariz., October 10, 2011 – Carrying the points lead half-way through the 2011 NHRA Full Throttle Countdown to the Championship, FRAM/Prestone Top Fuel dragster driver Spencer Massey’s goal for this weekend’s 27th-annual NHRA Arizona Nationals here is to be smart and go rounds on what could be a tricky track at Firebird International Raceway.
According to the Don Schumacher Racing driver who has made it to the final round the three Countdown races, including a win last week in Pennsylvania, remaining consistent is a key to continued success.
“When I get to Phoenix, I’m going to follow my regular routine and so will the FRAM crew,” explained the 29-year-old Fort Worth native. “I try to do the same things every time I go to the starting line – get a good light, hit the throttle and stay in the groove – and thanks to the great car Todd and Phil (Okuhara and Shuler, co-crew chiefs) keep giving me to drive, we’ve got the points lead.
“That’s how we won last week in Reading, despite Del (Worsham) running a record lap against us in the finals. I saw the light come on and my foot went down – my eyes and foot seem to have a direct connection; my foot seems to have a mind of its own and sometimes I have to calm it down. I managed the better reaction time and got the win light, but that’s a car, like the others at the top of the pack, which cannot be taken lightly.
He carries a 65-point lead over DSR teammate Antron Brown, with Worsham, Larry Dixon and DSR teammate Tony Schumacher rounding out the top five.
“My confidence is up, coming off a race win,” said Massey. “We want to go into Phoenix, qualify well and start going rounds on Sunday. We’re not scared or overly concerned about the forecasts for Dallas-like heat for a couple of reasons.
“First, no one has data on the new Phoenix surface, so that levels the playing field a bit. The track should be ‘A+’ after the NHRA finishes preparing it, but the heat will be a major factor. Second, we did really well in Dallas (reached the final round after qualifying seventh) under similar weather conditions.” According to Massey, the added interest and pressure brought on by his success, points leadership and four wins in seven final rounds, during his second full-season of piloting a Top Fuel dragster, has not impacted his driving.
“If anything, I am more focused now than earlier in the year,” he explained. “Success like this has brought out friends and it’s pretty cool knowing these folks are ‘keeping an eye out’ for what I’m doing. Yeah, I’ve been pulled in a lot of directions, but that’s what racing at this level is all about. I’m having fun, which is the most important thing.”