2012 NHRA: Spencer Massey Las Vegas II Event Preview
Spencer Massey is worn out after two weeks off from NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series. But it's not in a way that most would think; he's just tired of twiddling his thumbs.
After a grueling cross-country jaunt driving his motorhome from race to race that started for him in July, didn't end until a couple weeks ago when he returned to his home state of Texas to see friends and family. But after a few days, he had to get back to a racetrack where he helped friends test an alcohol dragster.
"You know how I am," Massey said. "I can't get away from these dang racecars or racetracks. Even in my off week, I am still playing with them and going out to another racetrack."
But his mind was also on the challenge that lies ahead in his quest for the 2012 NHRA Countdown to the Championship title. Massey enters this weekend's NHRA Big O Tires Nationals at Las Vegas trailing Don Schumacher Racing teammate Antron Brown by 104 points, which is a little more than five rounds of racing. Massey said with a little help from the racing gods, he will be in the hunt until the end.
"Racing gods are racing gods," he said. "Hopefully, they will fall in the favor of the my FRAM/Prestone car, but a lot of things are going to have to fall our way. But if you think back a few years ago when Tony Schumacher won the championship with his final run in 2006 that was kind of the same situation.
The season ends in two weeks at Pomona, Calif., with the NHRA Auto Club Finals.
"Anything can happen, but in reality, I mean, it's going to be tough. But I am going to keep my same focus like we have been and try and win both races.
"We're not going to change what we've been doing. We're going to get out there and try to get as many rounds and try and get a Wally or two before the end of the season. With only two races left, it makes everybody hungry to at least get another Wally with only two of them sitting out there."
Getting a Wally from The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway is something Massey has already done twice, including the spring race this year when he beat Brown in the championship round.
"I tend to do well there," said Massey, who finished second in last year's standings. "I got my second win ever there with Don Prudhomme Racing, and obviously, the final round there a year ago for the fall race against Del Worsham and then winning in the spring. I like racing there.
"Obviously, it's Vegas, we all have a good reason we like to go there; from hanging out on the Strip to actually racing on the dragstrip. It's always a fun place, and it makes it that much more special whenever you're racing for so much meaning, meaning that you're racing for the championship, for the Countdown."
SPENCER MASSEY, FRAM/Prestone dragster
Career at Las Vegas: Wins 2 (2009-Oct., 2012-April), Runner-ups 1 (2011-Oct.), Poles 0
2012 April at Las Vegas: Qualified No. 2, defeated Antron Brown in final round
2011 October at Las Vegas: Qualified No. 2, lost to Del Worsham in final round
2012 Pts Races Titles Rup Poles DNQ Win/Loss
2nd 21 4 5 3 0 43-17
Career Races Titles Rup Poles DNQ Win/Loss
69 10 12 6 2 120-57
NHRA Full Throttle Countdown to the Championship standings
TOP FUEL Pts. Pts. Behind
1. ANTRON BROWN 2,491 --
2. SPENCER MASSEY 2,387 -104
3. TONY SCHUMACHER 2,355 -136
4. Shawn Langdon 2,351 -140
5. Brandon Bernstein 2,314 -177
6. Morgan Lucas 2,267 -224
8. Doug Kalitta 2,228 -263
7. Steve Torrence 2,212 -279
9. David Grubnic 2,193 -298
10. Bob Vandergriff 2,149 -342
Friday: 1, 4 p.m., qualifying
Saturday: 12, 3 p.m., qualifying
Sunday: 11 a.m., eliminations
Friday: High 72, 0 percent chance of rain
Saturday: High 77, 0 percent chance of rain
Sunday: High 79, 0 percent chance of rain
Sunday: 4-5 p.m. ET, qualifying
Sunday: 8-11 p.m. ET, eliminations