2013 NHRA: Spencer Massey Carlyle Tools Carolina Nationals Presented By NAPA Event Preview
Spencer Massey is anxious to get to zMAX Dragway near Charlotte, the site of the first of six NHRA Countdown to the Championship events.
The NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series took a weekend off after the NHRA U.S. Nationals held on Labor Day. Time off for Massey only gets him more anxious to sit behind the wheel of his 10,000-horsepower Battery Extender Powered by Schumacher Top Fuel dragster.
"We had a weekend off after Indy and I'm ready to go racing for these four events in a row," Massey said of the schedule that has four consecutive events planned near Charlotte, Dallas, St. Louis and Reading, Pa., before taking a break.
"It's tough. It's tough mentally, it's tough physically but we are ready for it. We had four in a row earlier this season and we had a No. 1 qualifier, a win and a runner-up in that time.
"This is a great team and there's no better way to show it than putting the pressure of running for a championship on us and have four races in a row in what could be four totally different weather conditions."
But to be successful during the four-race stretch, Massey insists on taking it one round at a time.
"You can't get ahead of yourself. Our goal all season long has been to not beat ourselves. That doesn't change.
"For the Countdown, you have to go rounds. You have to make it to the semis or the finals at almost every race. Competition in the Top Fuel class is so tight this year. Right now, we're less than two rounds out of sitting No. 1. It's within reach and we have to go out there and get it."
There's not a better place to start for Massey than zMAX Dragway. The Battery Extender dragster already has an event title at Bruton Smith's "Bellagio of Drag Strips" this season from winning the Four-Wide Nationals in April and has hopes to sweep Charlotte this weekend.
"We've been to Charlotte when it's cool, and we've raced there when it's hot. Todd (Okuhara) and Phil (Shuler) have a great notebook from our past events at Charlotte. They've always performed well there. I'm excited. This is what I love to do. I'm living out my childhood dreams right now."
SPENCER MASSEY, BATTERY EXTENDER POWERED BY SCHUMACHER TOP FUEL DRAGSTER
Last event (Sept. 2, Indianapolis): Qualified No. 11; lost in first round to Billy Torrence.
Last race at zMAX Dragway (April 21, 2013, Four-Wide): Qualified No. 2; defeated Tony Schumacher, Shawn Langdon and Brandon Bernstein in championship round.
Last September at zMAX: Qualified No. 10; lost in semifinals to Tony Schumacher.
Career at zMAX: Wins 1 (Spring-2012); runner-ups 1 (Sept.-2011); poles 0
Points Events Titles Rup Semi Qtr 1st rd Poles DNQ Win/Loss
2013 2nd 18 4 1 6 3 4 1 0 33-14
CAREER 89 14 13 21 18 20 6 2 155-73
Best Time, Speed: 3.728 sec. (5-31-12, Englishtown, N.J.), 332.18 mph** (4-15-12, Charlotte 1); ** NHRA record
CARLYLE TOOLS CAROLINA NATIONALS presented by NAPA
Friday: 5:15 p.m., 7:30 p.m., nitro qualifying
Saturday: 1 p.m., 3:15 p.m., nitro qualifying
Sunday: Noon, championship eliminations
ON ESPN2 (times are ET)
Saturday: TBD, qualifying, delayed
Sunday: 8:30 p.m., championship eliminations, delayed
Friday: High 85 degrees; 20 percent chance of rain
Saturday: High 77 degrees; 10 percent chance of rain
Sunday: High 79 degrees; 0 percent chance of rain
NHRA COUNTDOWN TO THE CHAMPIONSHIP SCHEDULE
Sept. 13-15 - zMAX Dragway, Charlotte, N.C.
Sept. 19-22 - Texas Motorplex, Dallas
Sept. 27-29 - Gateway Motorsports Park, St. Louis
Oct. 3-6 - Maple Grove Raceway, Reading, Pa.
Oct. 24-27 - Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Las Vegas
Nov. 7-10 - Auto Club Raceway, Pomona
(Reset for start of six-event playoff that starts Sept. 13 near Charlotte; DSR drivers in CAPS)
1. Shawn Langdon, 2,110
2. SPENCER MASSEY, 2,080
3. TONY SCHUMACHER, 2,070
4. Doug Kalitta, 2,060
5. Khalid alBalooshi, 2,050
6. ANTRON BROWN, 2,040
7. Clay Millican, 2,030
8. Morgan Lucas, 2,020
9. Steve Torrence, 2,010
10. Bob Vandergriff, 2,000
NHRA MELLO YELLO SERIES REGULAR SEASON STANDINGS
(Final regular season after 18 events through U.S. Nationals; DSR drivers in CAPS)
1. Shawn Langdon, 1,488
2. SPENCER MASSEY, 1,273
3. TONY SCHUMACHER, 1,238
4. Doug Kalitta, 1,086
5. Khalid alBalooshi, 1,074
6. ANTRON BROWN, 1,035
7. Clay Millican, 979
8. Morgan Lucas, 968
9. Steve Torrence, 893
10. Bob Vandergriff, 821
2013 TOP FUEL WINNERS: Langdon, SCHUMACHER, BROWN, SCHUMACHER, MASSEY, Vandergriff, BROWN, Langdon, Langdon, Steve Torrence, MASSEY, SCHUMACHER, alBalooshi, MASSEY, Langdon, Lucas, MASSEY, Langdon.