Eric Mauk/Jeff Wolf
Becoming the "quickest ever" to go along with already being the "fastest ever" wasn't enough to make Spencer Massey and the FRAM/Prestone Top Fuel Dragster team smile as they left Englishtown, N.J., two weeks ago.
Completing a qualifying run in 3.728 seconds at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park made Massey and crew chiefs Todd Okuhara and Phil Shuler the quickest trio ever in the Full Throttle Drag Racing Series.
The team became the fastest ever (332.18 mph) in April at zMAX Dragway at Concord, N.C.
But the FRAM/Prestone team, the current Top Fuel points leader with a series-best three titles, had every reason to expect to race for a fourth title at Englishtown, where they were the reigning champions. However, they were sidelined in the semifinals when Steve Torrence left first and held on to beat Massey by one-thousandth of a second and mere inches.
Massey, usually the first to react to the starting-line Christmas tree, was reeling from the outcome.
"This is one great car that Phil and Todd have put together, and it will win a lot more than it loses but that's a tough one to get over," Massey said. "I just feel bad because I let down my Prestone/FRAM team. These guys always give it 100 percent and I let them down.
The team, however, didn't feel that way. They know Massey's reaction times have bailed them out numerous times. Massey will look to atone for the misstep this weekend at the NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals at Bristol Dragway. Massey, who has three wins on the year, holds a 34-point lead over Tony Schumacher.