2013 NHRA: Spencer Massey Brainerd Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals Results: WINNER
Entering Sunday's final eliminations, Spencer Massey was 0-3 in three career trips as a professional NHRA driver at Brainerd International Raceway.
The driver of the Battery Extender Powered by Schumacher Top Fuel dragster now has a mark of 4-3 at the track located about 130 miles north of Minneapolis after capturing his fourth win of the 2013 NHRA season.
With his 14th career Top Fuel win, Massey passed DSR teammate Tony Schumacher for second place in the Mello Yello NHRA Top Fuel standings and childhood idol Eddie Hill on NHRA's all-time Top Fuel wins list.
"The day started off pretty spectacular in the first round where we had a little bit of a fire," Massey said of his fire-balling opening round win over rookie Brittany Force. "It kind of burned off a lot from the driver's compartment back. We had to replace a lot for that key second round race with Tony (Schumacher).
"When I race Tony or Antron (Brown), I get more fired up to race either one of those guys almost more than anyone else because I know they'll be on their game on the starting line and the cars are going to run just like my car runs. We have the same parts and we run out of the same stable. I want to beat Tony just as much as anyone out here because he's second in points and he's won tons of championships and we want that."
After scoring that coveted first win light at Brainerd and edging the seven-time champ in round two, Massey scored a narrow win over Khalid alBalooshi of Al-Anabi Racing before outrunning the event's No. 1 qualifier Clay Millican in the final round, 3.811 to 3.856.
"Every round was tough today," Massey said. "We had to run Brittany (Force) in the first round, Tony second round, (Khalid al)Balooshi. It's pretty spectacular just to beat all those drivers, and then Clay (Millican). He was the No. 1 qualifier and that car has been hauling butt all season long and especially this weekend."
Prior to today, Massey's only professional round win at B.I.R. came in 2002 when he was a crew member on Scott Palmer's Top Fuel dragster.
"Coming into the race we just didn't have any luck here, even going back to 2009 with Don Prudhomme, I lost first round. I won racing (Top) Alcohol dragster in 2007, but it doesn't matter. Top Fuel is a different category. My goal today was to see that win light come on in the first round. That happened and we got to the finals and we got it done. It's a great feeling."
Massey joined DSR teammate Ron Capps in the Brainerd winner's circle for the sixth DSR double-up for 2013 and 20th win this season. DSR now has 216 NHRA wins.
"Don (Schumacher) has great teams and a great organization," Massey said of his team owner's 40th multiple-win event. "It's not surprising that he has that many double-ups because he has great teams and people and I'm very honored to be in this spot and drive for a person like Don. This is amazing. Hats off to Don."
With one race remaining on NHRA's regular-season schedule, the U.S. Nationals, Aug. 29-Sept. 2, at Lucas Oil Raceway near Indianapolis, Massey trails points-leader Shawn Langdon by 121 points. The native Texan leads third-place Schumacher by 50 points.
Massey's 14th NHRA Top Fuel win equals former team owner Don "the Snake" Prudhomme.
The following are Massey's results and other notes from the Brainerd International Raceway:
Event winner: Spencer Massey (DSR)
No. 1 qualifier: Clay Millican (Bob Vandergriff Racing), 3.773 sec., 326.63 mph
Spencer Massey, Battery Extender Powered by Schumacher dragster
Qualifying position: 2
First round: MASSEY (3.791, 319.67) def. B. Force (3.823, 317.72)
Second round: MASSEY (3.799, 322.04) def. T. Schumacher (3.813, 320.36)
Semifinals: MASSEY (3.820, 323.50) def. K. alBalooshi (3.831, 320.89)
Final round: MASSEY (3.811, 322.11) def. C. Millican (3.856, 320.66)
Session 1: 3.857 sec., 316.23 mph
Session 2: 3.792, 324.05
Session 3: 4.737, 155.02
Session 4: 3.860, 318.69
NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Points Standings
(Unofficial after 17 of 24 events)
1. Shawn Langdon, 1,370
2. SPENCER MASSEY, 1,249
3. TONY SCHUMACHER, 1,199
4. Doug Kalitta, 1,009
5. Khalid alBalooshi, 1,002
6. ANTRON BROWN, 994
7. Clay Millican, 928
8. Morgan Lucas, 917
9. Steve Torrence, 794
10. Bob Vandergriff, 789
Sunday: Eliminations, 9 p.m. (ET), delayed
59th annual NHRA U.S. Nationals, Aug. 30-Sept. 2, Clermont, Ind.
TRAXXAS NITRO SCHOOTOUT QUALIFIERS
The NHRA Traxxas Nitro Shootouts, which are races within U.S. Nationals at Lucas Oil Raceway near over Labor Day Weekend, showcases Top Fuel on Aug. 31 (Saturday) and Funny Car on Sept. 1 (Sunday). Each Nitro Shootout champ will receive $100,000 for their teams.
The following drivers have qualified by winning Mello Yello Series titles this season:
1. Shawn Langdon (Pomona 1 winner)
2. TONY SCHUMACHER (PHOENIX)
3. ANTRON BROWN (GAINESVILLE)
4. SPENCER MASSEY (CHARLOTTE 1)
5. Bob Vandergriff Jr. (Houston)
6. Steve Torrence (Bristol)
7. Khalid alBalooshi (Norwalk)
8. Fan vote
The top-10 drivers in points after the Aug. 28-Sept. 2 U.S. Nationals at Lucas Oil Raceway near Indianapolis qualify for the six-event NHRA Countdown to the Championship that begins Sept. 13 near Charlotte to determine the 2013 season champs in NHRA pro categories.
The following are drivers who are qualified through the past weekend's Mello Yello event at Brainerd, Minn.:
1. Shawn Langdon
2. SPENCER MASSEY
3. TONY SCHUMACHER
4. ANTRON BROWN
5. Doug Kalitta
6. Khalid alBalooshi
7. Morgan Lucas
8. Clay Millican
TESTING, TESTING, TESTING
DSR teams and many others from the Mello Yello Series will test Wednesday and Thursday at Lucas Oil Raceway near Indianapolis in preparation for the 59th annual U.S. Nationals Aug. 28-Sept. 2 at the track.
DSR INDY OPEN HOUSE ON AUG. 30
Fans and friends of Don Schumacher Racing are invited to join the biggest team in professional racing on Aug. 30 at the 8th annual Don Schumacher Racing Open House to benefit Riley Hospital for Children at Indiana University Health and Camp Riley.
The festive, free event from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on that Friday will feature a giant car show, entertainment and appearances by each of DSR's seven professional drivers along with owner Don Schumacher at DSR headquarters at 1681 E. Northfield Drive in Brownsburg, Ind.
The event kicks off the NHRA U.S. Nationals Labor Day Weekend, which opens with professional qualifying later that day at Lucas Oil Raceway located about 3 miles from DSR headquarters.
The Open House, which attracted a record-crowd of more than 4,000 fans last year and boosted DSR's contributions to Riley past the $200,000 mark, invites all to celebrate DSR's 200th NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series title.