2012 NHRA: DSR Las Vegas II Saturday Results: Massey Inches Closer To Teammate Brown In Top Fuel
Spencer Massey and Don Schumacher Racing's FRAM/Prestone Top Fuel Dragster team is not going quietly into the night.
The team led by crew chiefs Todd Okuhara and Phil Shuler arrived at the Big O Tires NHRA Nationals near Las Vegas trailing DSR teammate and points leader Antron Brown's Matco Tools "Tools for the Cause" team by 104 points with two events remaining in the season, including this weekend's at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Brown's team struggled on three of its four qualifying runs and will start 13th - its worst of the season - on Sunday, while Massey earned the No. 2 seed with the quickest run in Saturday's fourth and final session with an elapsed time of 3.776 seconds at 321.42 mph.
The solid effort by Massey's team enabled it to narrow the gap to 90 points by gaining 14 on Brown during qualifying with eight elimination rounds left in the season, including the Auto Club NHRA Finals in two weeks at Pomona, Calif.
The third member of DSR's Top Fuel contingent, Tony Schumacher, won the U.S. Army team its fourth No. 1 qualifying position of the season with its first Friday run of 3.773 (323.66) and moved within 125 points of Brown.
In Funny Car, points leader Jack Beckman and the Battery eXtender Powered by Schumacher/Valvoline Dodge Charger R/T and his closest pursuer, Ron Capps and the NAPA Carlyle Tools Dodge, qualified seventh and eighth, respectively.
Beckman will start Sunday 24 points ahead of Capps and 48 ahead of John Force Racing's Mike Neff, who qualified No. 2.
Johnny Gray, who is fourth in points, is qualified No. 5 in the Big O Tires/Service Central Dodge.
The quickest DSR Funny Car of qualifying was Matt Hagan in the Aaron's Dream Machine/Mopar Dodge with a best run of 4.077 (310.98) that earned the team led by crew chief Tommy DeLago the fourth starting spot. Hagan, however, did not qualify for the Countdown to the Championship playoff so he cannot defend his Funny Car world championship but desperately wants to win an event title before the season ends in two weeks.
The following are DSR qualifying results from The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway near Las Vegas:
No. 1 qualifier: Tony Schumacher (DSR) 3.773 sec., 323.66 mph
U.S. Army dragster
Qualified: No. 1
First-round opponent: Terry McMillen
Session 1: 3.773 sec., 323.66 mph
Session 2: 12.426, 79.76
Session 3: 3.807, 324.20
Session 4: 6.928, 92.30
Qualified: No. 2
First-round opponent: T.J. Zizzo
Session 1: 3.807 sec., 323.43 mph
Session 2: 7.222, 76.51
Session 3: 3.787, 317.19
Session 4: 3.776, 321.42
Matco Tools "Tools for the Cause" dragster
Qualified: No. 13
First-round opponent: Khalid alBalooshi (Al-Anabi Racing)
Session 1: 3.869 sec., 313.88 mph
Session 2: 5.582, 117.93
Session 3: 5.470, 124.32
Session 4: 4.013, 251.95
No. 1 qualifier: Cruz Pedregon (Cruz Pedregon Racing) 4.066 sec., 312.50 mph
Aaron's Dream Machine/Mopar Dodge Charger R/T
Qualified: No. 4
First-round opponent: Jon Capps
Session 1: 4.162 sec., 300.66 mph
Session 2: 7.228, 93.10
Session 3: 4.091, 307.09
Session 4: 4.077, 310.98
Big O Tires/Service Central Dodge Charger R/T
Qualified: No. 5
First-round opponent: Tim Wilkerson
Session 1: 4.143 sec., 291.95 mph
Session 2: 4.123, 302.41
Session 3: 4.089, 313.22
Session 4: 4.170, 281.07
Battery eXtender by Schumacher Electric/Valvoline NextGen Dodge Charger R/T
Qualified: No. 7
First-round opponent: John Force
Session 1: 4.093 sec., 306.88 mph
Session 2: 6.844, 99.26
Session 3: 4.091, 307.09
Session 4: 4.427, 201.88
NAPA Carlyle Tools Dodge Charger R/T
Qualified: No. 8
First-round opponent: Tony Pedregon
Session 1: 4.098 sec., 308.78 mph
Session 2: 8.023, 82.90
Session 3: 4.128, 307.37
Session 4: 4.191, 301.40
UNDERSTANDING THE POINTS
You'll hear drivers talk about "little points" and "big points" as the season winds down in the Full Throttle Series.
The following is an explanation of how drivers in NHRA's pro categories can earn points.
In each of four qualifying sessions, the three quickest in each session earn up to 3 bonus points; 3 for the quickest, 2 for second quickest and 1 for third quickest. A maximum of 12 qualifying points can be earned at an event.
Points are awarded incrementally after final qualifying: 1st, 8 points; 2nd, 7 points, 3rd, 6 points; 4th, 5 points; 5th and 6th, 4 points; 7th and 8th, 3 points; 9th-12th 2 points; and 13th-16th, 1 point.
During championship eliminations, each of the 16 qualifiers are assured 20 points, then each round winner gets 20 points to the event winner will receive 100 points.
There also is a 20-point bonus for a driver sets an NHRA national elapsed-time record and leaves that event as the record-holder.
Every driver who enters that event and makes a qualifying attempt gets 10 points.
A perfect weekend would produce 150 points.
NHRA FULL THROTTLE EVENT SCHEDULE:
Sunday: Championship eliminations, 11 a.m.
WEATHER.COM FOR LAS VEGAS
(As of 5 p.m. Saturday)
Sunday: High 82, 0 percent of rain
Sunday: 8 -11 p.m. ET, eliminations
NEXT FULL THROTTLE EVENT
Nov. 8-11; Auto Club of Southern California NHRA Finals, Pomona, Calif.