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Nov 11, 2012 - 05:56 PM
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2012 NHRA: Spencer Massey Pomona II Qualifying Report: No 7
Posted by: newsla on Nov 11, 2012 - 05:50 PM
2012 NHRA: Spencer Massey Pomona II Qualifying Report: No 7

Spencer Massey and the FRAM/Prestone team are completely in charge of their own destiny on Sunday when eliminations begin and the championship will be decided during the Auto Club NHRA Finals at Auto Club Raceway in Pomona, Calif.


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Massey enters eliminations 70 points behind Don Schumacher Racing teammate and first round opponent Antron Brown. It is a must-win situation for both teams with major championship implications.

This territory is something Massey and his team led by crew chiefs Todd Okuhara and Phil Shuler, have been in previously. Last year, Massey came close to winning his first career Top Fuel championship in a semifinal round match up with Del Worsham. Worsham and Massey both had to win the round to win the championship, but Massey was lost by a few thousandths of a second.

"We are almost in the same situation as we were last year where we have to go win the race," said Massey. "If we would've won the race last year we would've won the championship. If we win the (event title) tomorrow, we win the championship."

Massey, calm and collected, after qualifying concluded Saturday evening, said although it sounds easy, it may not be.

"It's not that easy. With the championship, you think about having to get points and what your competition is going to do and having to go rounds. Right now, we just have to win the race. Realistically it's not that easy to go just win a race but we've won races this year."

It's an intramural bittersweet battle for Massey, but he accepts the challenge.

"For us to run Antron is kind of a bitter situation," he said. "We have to run our teammate, obviously he's number one in points and he has the national record so he can take us out.

"The other side is, he has to lose the first round in order for us to have a chance. It's a perfect situation because it's in our hands. I'd rather run him than anyone else out there."

This could be one of the most important rounds of Massey's young career.

"Last year it was one final run to determine the championship. Tomorrow it will hopefully be four runs. I'd say it's bigger at least times four."

No. 1 qualifier: Shawn Langdon, Al-Anabi Racing, 3.730, 327.82

Spencer Massey, FRAM/Prestone dragster
Qualifying Position: No. 7
First round opponent: Antron Brown

Session 1: rained out
Session 2: 3.791 sec., 325.69 mph
Session 3: 4.826, 146.94
Session 4: 8.908, 73.81

Championship Contenders
(Through Nov. 9, 2012; DSR drivers in CAPS)
TOP FUEL Pts. Pts. Behind
1. ANTRON BROWN 2,522 --
2. TONY SCHUMACHER 2,457 -67
3. SPENCER MASSEY 2,452 -70

A perfect weekend for a driver would produce 150 points. Here's how NHRA pro drivers can earn points:
LITTLE POINTS. Every driver who enters an event and makes a qualifying attempt gets 10 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 by a driver;
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;
BIG POINTS. During championship eliminations, each of the 16 qualifiers are assured 20 points, then each round winner gets 20 points so the event winner will receive 100 points;
There also is a 20-point bonus for a driver who sets and leaves an event with an NHRA national elapsed-time record. (No bonus points are offered for a national speed record.)
PENALTIES. A driver can lose points as the result of a malfunction that results in fluid being deposited on the racing surface and requires NHRA Safety Safari to clean the track resulting in an event delay.

Sunday: 11 a.m., championship eliminations

Sunday: High 69, 0 percent of rain

Sunday: 6-9 p.m. (EST), championship eliminations

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