2013 NHRA: Spencer Massey NHRA Arizona Nationals Event Preview
Spencer Massey drives his motorhome to most NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series events, giving the driver of the Battery Extender powered by Schumacher dragster plenty of time to think.
On Tuesday's trip from Pomona, Calif., to Phoenix, Massey was thinking about how to be a better driver and - more specifically - how to get his foot to react even one hundredth of a second faster.
It was a harsh start to the 2013 Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season for Massey last weekend at Pomona, Calif., when he lost in the first round of eliminations on a holeshot. Massey hasn't thought about much more than how to be the first to leave the starting line. Although Massey's Battery Extender dragster was quicker than Steve Torrence, Torrence's starting line reaction was quicker and allowed him to overcome Massey's better car.
"We've had one event and it's already very obvious that everyone has stepped up their driving game," Massey said. "After looking at the results from the Winternationals, I counted at least 14 reaction times on Sunday that were in the sub-.050-second range. That's stout.
"I'm about a .060 average, so that means I better be stepping up my game. It just takes practice; the more you do it the better you're going to get at it."
But Massey's motorhome doesn't have the ideal pedal on which to practice.
"I definitely can't practice while driving this big motorhome around, but I can keep replaying the routine in my head. You can bet I'll be sitting in my canopy dragster whenever I can and getting back in the routine of hitting that throttle."
He also looks forward to getting a momentum swing early in 2013.
"Pomona was almost a test for us, and I think we did well. Our dragster started coming around and on Sunday in the cool weather it really responded. I've been keeping my eye on the forecast and it's going to be cool all weekend at Firebird.
"This dragster loves making horsepower, and we'll definitely be in perfect conditions for that. I just can't wait to get out from behind the wheel of this motorhome and under the canopy of my DSR dragster."
2013 Pts Races Titles Rup Poles DNQ Win/Loss
9th 1 0 0 0 0 0-1
Career Races Titles Rup Poles DNQ Win/Loss
72 10 12 6 2 122-60
DSR Career Best Time, Speed
Massey 3.728 (5-31-12, Englishtown), 332.18** (4-15-12, Charlotte 1)
*current NHRA record
SPENCER AT PHOENIX
A year ago: Qualified fourth then lost to eventual event winner and DSR teammate Antron Brown in the second round.
Career: Wins 0; runner-ups 0; poles 0
LAST WEEK AT POMONA
DSR's Tony Schumacher in the U.S. Army dragster advanced to the Winternationals championship round of Top Fuel where he lost a close race to Shawn Langdon of Al-Anabi Racing; Ron Capps put the NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge Charger R/T into the final round but lost traction and Courtney Force of John Force Racing produced the quickest run of the weekend. ...
In an unplanned test of the strength and safety of DSR-built Top Fuel Dragsters and innovative enclosed safety canopy, reigning world champion Antron Brown walked away unscathed from a horrific crash at nearly 300 mph that destroyed his Matco Tools dragster. Brown will be at Phoenix with an all-new car and eager to run in Friday's first qualifying session.
THIS WEEK AT FIREBIRD
WHAT: 29th annual NHRA Arizona Nationals
WHERE: Firebird International Raceway, south of Phoenix
Friday: Qualifying, 2:30 p.m., 4:30 p.m.
Saturday: Qualifying, 1 p.m., 3 p.m.
Sunday: Championship eliminations, 11:30 a.m.
Sunday: Qualifying, 1 a.m., 8 a.m. (ET)
Sunday: Championship eliminations, 8 p.m. (ET)
Friday: High 63; 0 percent chance of rain
Saturday: High 69; 0 percent chance of rain
Sunday: High 64; 0 percent chance of rain
NHRA MELLO YELLO DRAG RACING SERIES
(After 1 of 24 events; DSR drivers in CAPS)
1. Shawn Langdon, 116
2. TONY SCHUMACHER, 106
3. Khalid alBalooshi, 74
4. ANTRON BROWN, 67
5. Brandon Bernstein, 60
6. Doug Kalitta, 59
7. David Grubnic, 55
8. Steve Torrence, 53
9. SPENCER MASSEY, 34
10. Clay Millican, 33