2013 NHRA: Spencer Massey AAA Insurance NHRA Midwest Nationals Event Preview
The six-race Countdown to the Championship reaches its halfway point this weekend at the AAA Insurance NHRA Midwest Nationals near St. Louis and Spencer Massey is satisfied with how the Battery Extender Powered by Schumacher team has performed thus far.
With a runner-up performance at race one of the Countdown near Charlotte followed by a semifinal round finish last week near Massey's hometown of Fort Worth, the Battery Extender dragster team sits just two points behind Shawn Langdon and Doug Kalitta, who are tied for the Top Fuel points lead.
"It's pretty incredible how close the points are," Massey said. "There's 35 points separating the top four in points, so it's really anyone's game at this point. I've been saying all year long how tough the competition is and the points are showing that. Those two points between us the leaders can be made up in qualifying. Every run really counts in this Countdown right now."
Last year at Gateway Motorsports Park near St. Louis, Massey qualified No. 2 and was runner-up to Don Schumacher Racing teammate Antron Brown.
"We had a really good race there last year," he said. "That's what we have to do again this year. Like I've said all season long, we just have to go rounds and be consistent and I feel like Todd (Okuhara) and Phil (Shuler) have been doing that all year long.
"Our goal for St. Louis is to go out there and get qualified and try to get some of those bonus qualifying points and then go rounds on Sunday. This is our third race in a row and we can't slow down now."
In 20 races this season, Massey has reached the final round six times and has seven semifinal finishes.
"It's crunch time. I'm excited. This is what I've dreamed about since I was a little kid. We've got four more chances to get a Wally (trophy) and we're ready. The guys are back in the shop getting everything serviced and ready to go again and we'll be ready for Gateway."
SPENCER MASSEY, Battery Extender Powered by Schumacher dragster
Last event (Sept. 20-22, Ennis, Texas): Qualified No. 6; lost to Doug Kalitta in semifinals.
A year ago at Gateway: Qualified No.2; lost to teammate Antron Brown in championship round.
Career at Gateway: Wins 0; runner-ups 1 (2012); poles 0.
Pts Events Titles Rup Semi Qtr 1st rd Poles DNQ Win/Loss
2013 3rd 20 4 2 7 3 4 1 0 38-16
CAREER 90 14 14 22 18 20 6 2 160-75
Best Time, Speed
3.728 sec. (5-31-12, Englishtown, N.J.), 332.18** mph (4-15-12, Charlotte 1)
MELLO YELLO DRAG RACING SERIES
NHRA Countdown to the Championship Standings
(Official through Sept. 22 near Dallas; DSR drivers in CAPS)
1. Shawn Langdon 2,251 (--)
1t. Doug Kalitta 2,251 (--)
3. SPENCER MASSEY 2,249 (-2)
4. Morgan Lucas 2,216 (-35)
5. TONY SCHUMACHER 2,163 (-88)
6. Clay Millican 2,140 (-111)
7. Bob Vandergriff 2,103 (-148)
8. ANTRON BROWN 2, 101 (-150)
9. Khalid alBalooshi 2,097 (-154)
10. Steve Torrence 2,080 (-171)
2013 REGULAR SEASON WINNERS: Langdon, SCHUMACHER, BROWN, SCHUMACHER, MASSEY, Vandergriff, BROWN, Langdon, Langdon, Steve Torrence, MASSEY, SCHUMACHER, alBalooshi, MASSEY, Langdon, Lucas, MASSEY, Langdon.
2013 COUNTDOWN WINNERS: Lucas, Kalitta
ST. LOUIS SCHEDULE
(Times are CT)
Friday: 3:30 p.m., 6 p.m., nitro qualifying
Saturday: 12:30 p.m., 3 p.m., nitro qualifying
Sunday: 11 a.m., championship eliminations
(Times are ET)
Saturday: TBD, qualifying
Sunday: 8:30 p.m., championship eliminations, delayed
(As of Tuesday afternoon)
Friday: High 81; 10 percent chance of rain
Saturday: High 82; 20 percent chance of rain
Sunday: High 71; 40 percent chance of rain
NHRA COUNTDOWN TO THE CHAMPIONSHIP SCHEDULE
Sept. 13-15: Charlotte, N.C. (Finals: TF/Morgan Lucas def. SPENCER MASSEY; FC/Robert Hight def. MATT HAGAN)
Sept. 19-22: Texas Motorplex, Dallas(Finals: TF/Doug Kalitta def. Shawn Langdon; FC/Cruz Pedregon def. John Force)
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