2012 NHRA: Spencer Massey Reading NHRA Event Preview
For six consecutive weeks, Spencer Massey has been nothing but focused on going rounds and keeping his NHRA Full Throttle Countdown to the Championship hopes alive.
Massey thrives on the environment he has been living in for the past six weeks. He loves being focused at all times on the task ahead of winning his first NHRA professional championship in the Top Fuel category.
"This will be the sixth weekend in a row I'm going to be strapped into my Prestone/FRAM dragster," said Massey. "That's just how I like it. I stay focused, I stay in my routine and it's good. There's no place I'd rather be."
Massey lost to Don Schumacher Racing teammate Antron Brown in last Sunday's final round and has fallen behind the points leader Brown by 21 points.
It's also a good thing that Massey and the Prestone/FRAM team led by crew chiefs Todd Okuhara and Phil Shuler are returning to Maple Grove Raceway near Reading, Pa., where they are defending event champions.
"We made some incredible runs at Reading last year and it looks like the weather is going to be great to make some more runs in the (3.70s)," he said. "Todd and Phil know how to tune this machine up and make it fly."
Massey has gone to two final rounds in a row and three of the last four finals, only losing to his Don Schumacher Racing teammates Tony Schumacher and Antron Brown.
"It's really a testament to this Don Schumacher Racing organization," he said. "We are really battling it out inside DSR and when you line up against one of our other dragsters you have to be on your game. I'm ready to turn the tables on them."
The team knows what it's going to take to stay in the hunt for the NHRA championship.
"We just need to continue going to final rounds to stay in the championship hunt. We're a little more than one round behind Antron right now. Last year we put a string together of final round appearances and we need to just keep doing the same. If we go rounds, we know we'll be in the fight at the end.
The NHRA Nationals at Reading this weekend will be the sixth race in a row for the NHRA Full Throttle Series before taking two weeks off and heading to Las Vegas on Oct. 26.
"I'm just so proud of my guys," Massey said. "They've been working so hard and have been on the road for all of this time and there's no better way I can thank them for all of their hard work other than doing my part in getting a Wally for them this weekend."
SPENCER MASSEY, Prestone/FRAM dragster
Career at Maple Grove Raceway: Wins 1 (2011), Runner-ups 1 (2009), Poles 0
2011 at Maple Grove Raceway: Qualified No. 3; defeated Del Worsham in final round
2012 Pts Races Titles Rup Poles DNQ Win/Loss
2nd 20 4 5 3 0 43-16
Career Races Titles Rup Poles DNQ Win/Loss
68 10 11 6 2 120-56
NHRA FULL THROTTLE STANDINGS
Countdown to the Championship
(Thru Sept. 30, 2012; DSR drivers in CAPS)
1. ANTRON BROWN 2,378
2. SPENCER MASSEY 2,357
3. TONY SCHUMACHER 2,295
4. Shawn Langdon 2,274
5. Brandon Bernstein 2,238
6. Morgan Lucas 2,205
7. Steve Torrence 2,180
8. Doug Kalitta 2,168
9. David Grubnic 2,152
10. Bob Vandergriff 2,117
Friday: Qualifying, 2 p.m., 5 p.m.
Saturday: Qualifying, Noon, 3 p.m.
Sunday: Championship eliminations, 11 a.m.
(Times are ET, schedule subject to change)
SUNDAY: Qualifying, 12:30 a.m., 6 p.m.
SUNDAY: Eliminations, 7 p.m.
FRIDAY: High 80; 10 percent chance of rain
SATURDAY: High 64; 40 percent chance of showers
SUNDAY: High 55; 40 percent chance of showers
UPCOMING FULL THROTTLE EVENTS
Oct. 25-28, Big O Tires NHRA Nationals, Las Vegas
Nov. 8-11, Auto Club of Southern California NHRA Finals, Pomona, Calif.