2013 NHRA: Spencer Massey AAA Insurance NHRA Midwest Nationals Qualifying Report: No. 14
An uncharacteristic No. 14 starting spot for the 16-car eliminations field at the AAA Insurance NHRA Midwest Nationals doesn't have Spencer Massey and the Battery Extender Powered by Schumacher team worried.
Massey's best pass of the weekend came in the opening round of qualifying at Gateway Motorsports Park near St. Louis in Friday's first session with a 3.853-second pass at 319 mph.
"We aren't worried at all," said Massey. "It doesn't matter where you qualify as long as you do and we did that. It may not look good on paper but the truth is Todd (Okuhara) and Phil (Shuler) learned something on every run, even when we didn't make it down the track."
Earlier in the 2013 Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season at Phoenix, Massey started from the No. 16 spot but advanced to the semifinal round.
"We've qualified in the bottom half of the field a few times this season and we've gone rounds from the bottom half of the field as well. It just means you don't get lane choice in that first round but (crew chiefs) Todd and Phil know what to do and this Battery Extender team will be ready for race day."
The Battery Extender Powered by Schumacher team entered the event ranked No. 3 in NHRA Mello Yello Top Fuel points standings, just two points behind points leaders Shawn Langdon and Clay Millican. After qualifying points, Massey will start Sunday 15 points, less than one round of racing, behind No. 1 ranked Langdon.
"We know we need to go rounds and stay in the hunt for the points lead," Massey said. "It's going to be a tough fight to the finish and we just need to be in the mix. Tomorrow looks like it might be a little bit cooler and we'll be ready for Clay (Millican) in round one."
TOP FUEL DRAGSTER
No. 1 Qualifier: Shawn Langdon (Al-Anabi Racing) 3.761 sec., 326.40 mph
SPENCER MASSEY, Battery Extender Powered by Schumacher Top Fuel Dragster
Qualifying position: No. 14
First round opponent: Clay Millican
First session: 3.853 sec., 319.37 mph
Second session: 7.097, 83.44
Third session: 4.172, 208.75
Final session: 5.066 at 137.51
MELLO YELLO DRAG RACING SERIES
NHRA Countdown to the Championship Standings
(Unofficial through Sept. 28 through St. Louis qualifying; DSR drivers in CAPS)
1. Shawn Langdon 2,297
2. Doug Kalitta 2,284
3. Spencer Massey 2,282
4. Morgan Lucas 2,252
5. Tony Schumacher 2,205
6. Clay Millican 2,178
7. Antron Brown 2,135
8. Bob Vandergriff 2,134
9. Khalid alBalooshi 2,132
10. Steve Torrence 2,115
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
(Times are CT)
Sunday: 11 a.m., championship eliminations
(Times are ET)
Sunday: 1 a.m., qualifying, ESPN News, delayed; 3:30 a.m., qualifying, ESPN2, delayed
Sunday: 8:30 p.m. (ET), championship eliminations, delayed
Sunday: High 77; 20 percent chance of early morning rain