2013 NHRA: Massey Is No 2 Heading Into Defense Of His Shootout Title; Hagan Leads DSR Dodge Funny Cars With No 5 Effort
On a very hot, humid Friday evening for the opening day of the NHRA U.S. Nationals near Indianapolis, Don Schumacher Racing's Spencer Massey qualified second in Top Fuel with four qualifying sessions remaining over the next two days.
Massey, with crew chiefs Todd Okuhara and Phil Shuler tuning his Battery Extender Powered by Schumacher dragster, was in the last pair down the track and recorded a time of 3.837 seconds at 316.38 mph.
"It was a pretty solid run," said Massey, who is second in the points standings. "We wanted to make a good, consistent pass and get down the track and we did. That will help us get ready for Saturday."
Saturday consists of more than two qualifying sessions. The $100,000 Traxxas Nitro Shootout for the Top Fuel class will run concurrently with the qualifying sessions and the two finalists advance to determine the Shootout champion at 8:15 p.m. that is about when Massey raced Friday.
After qualifying 24th a year ago in the first session, Massey went on to win the Shootout title and $100,000 bonus for his DSR team.
"There was a little bit of pressure on us last year going into the Shootout because we weren't qualified for the race. Now we can go into Saturday focused on the Shootout and defending our title."
Massey's teammates Antron Brown and Tony Schumacher also are in the Shootout but did not run well on Saturday; Browns sits precariously at 15th for Monday's 16-car field while Schumacher is 19th and not qualified.
In Funny Car, points-leader Matt Hagan led the DSR teams in the Magneti Marelli Offered by Mopar/Rocky Boots Dodge Charger R/T with a run of 4.102 seconds at 311.63 mph to earn the provisional No. 5 qualifying spot.
Johnny Gray ranks seventh, Jack Beckman is 10th and Ron Capps is 11th.
DSR OPEN HOUSE A HUGE SUCCESS
The eighth annual Don Schumacher Racing Open House Friday to benefit Riley Hospital for Children at Indiana University Health and Camp Riley was a resounding success.
Another record crowd estimated to be 4,000 guests contributed to a record silent auction that raised more than $25,000 to push the amount DSR has raised for Riley to over $225,000 thanks to a plethora of items donated for the auction by DSR partners and friends.
The free, festive event featured a giant car show and appearances by all seven DSR drivers along with team owner Don Schumacher.
"It was a pretty hot afternoon but it showed how great NHRA drag racing fans are because the line for driver autographs was an hour long," said Mike Lewis, DSR's senior vice president.
"Next year is the 60th anniversary of the U.S. Nationals and we promise that our Open House on Friday of that weekend next year will be our biggest ever."
TRAXXAS NITRO SHOOTOUT FOR TOP FUEL ON SATURDAY
All three DSR Top Fuel teams will compete Saturday in the second annual $100,000 Traxxas Nitro Shootout to be held during qualifying for the U.S. Nationals.
The following are first-round match-ups Saturday in Top Fuel: TOP FUEL: No. 1 Shawn Langdon vs. No. 8 Brittany Force; No. 2 SPENCER MASSEY vs. No. 7 Bob Vandergriff; No. 3 TONY SCHUMACHER vs. Steve Torrence; No. 4 Khalid alBalooshi vs. No. 5 ANTRON BROWN.
Sunday's Funny Car Shootout first-round match-ups are: No. 1 MATT HAGAN vs. No. 8 Tim Wilkerson; No. 2 RON CAPPS vs. No. 7 JACK BECKMAN; No. 3 JOHNNY GRAY vs. No. 6 Courtney Force; No. 4 Cruz Pedregon vs. No. 5 John Force.
The following are DSR results and notes from the U.S. Nationals:
TOP FUEL DRAGSTER
Provisional No. 1 qualifier: Brittany Force (John Force Racing), 3.820 sec., 313.44 mph
Spencer Massey, Battery Extender Powered by Schumacher
Provisional qualifying position: No. 2
Session 1: 3.837 sec., 316.38 mph
Antron Brown, Matco Tools
Provisional qualifying position: No. 15
Session 1: 4.806 sec., 138.80 mph
Tony Schumacher, U.S. Army Top Fuel dragster
Provisional qualifying position: No. 19
Session 1: 5.062 sec., 138.80 mph
Provisional No. 1 qualifier: Bob Tasca III (Bob Tasca Racing)
Matt Hagan, Magneti Marelli Offered by Mopar/Rocky Dodge Charger R/T
Provisional qualifying position: No. 5
Session 1: 4.102 sec., 311.63 mph
Johnny Gray, Pitch Energy Dodge Charger R/T
Provisional qualifying position: No. 7
Session 1: 4.122 sec., 307.44 mph
Jack Beckman, Valvoline MaxLife/MTS Mail for Wounded Warriors Dodge Charger R/T
Provisional qualifying position: No. 10
Session 1: 4.145 sec., 306.53 mph
Ron Capps, NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge Charger R/T
Provisional qualifying position: No. 11
Session 1: 4.151 sec., 304.60 mph
U.S. NATIONALS SCHEDULE
4 p.m.: Nitro qualifying, session 2
7 p.m.: Nitro qualifying, session 3
8:15 p.m.: Top Fuel Traxxas Shootout final
12:30 p.m.: Nitro qualifying, session 4
3:30 p.m.: Nitro qualifying, session 5
4:45 p.m.: Funny Car Traxxas Shootout final
Monday, Sept. 2
11 a.m., championship eliminations
Saturday: High 88; 40 percent chance of rain
Sunday: High 90; 30 percent chance of rain
Monday: High 81; 10 percent chance of rain
ON ESPN2 (times are EDT)
Sunday: Qualifying, 1-6 p.m., delayed
Monday: Championship eliminations, noon-6 p.m.