2013 NHRA: Spencer Massey NHRA Nationals at Maple Grove Raceway Event Preview
Spencer Massey and the Battery Extender Powered by Schumacher team are happy it's a new week.
At last weekend's NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series event, the Battery Extender team had an "off" weekend where they qualified No. 14 for the 16-car event at Gateway Motorsports Park and suffered a rare first-round loss.
After the event near St. Louis concluded, the team traveled back to Don Schumacher Racing headquarters near Indianapolis to hit the reset button before traveling to the fourth consecutive NHRA event this weekend at Maple Grove Raceway near Reading, Pa.
The Battery Extender dragster team has had success in the past at Maple Grove Raceway, including 2011 when they won the event title.
"I love going to Maple Grove," Massey said. "It's a great facility and it's surrounded by trees and my dragster loves the air there. It's about horsepower there and Phil (Shuler) and Todd (Okuhara) know how to make horsepower."
The St. Louis event will be far from Massey's mind when qualifying begins at 2 p.m. (ET) on Friday.
"We just had an off race last week," he said. "We used some of our luck up that day because although we went out first round, we didn't lose too much ground in the points chase. We are less than two rounds (33 points) behind (Shawn) Langdon and only two points back of No. 2 (Doug) Kalitta.
"We need to have a strong qualifying effort in Reading, get some bonus points and go rounds on Sunday. It's that simple. We know what we have to do. We just can't beat ourselves.
"I've said that all season long, and it's winding down now. We can't have mistakes from here on out. We have to turn on four win lights on Sunday to stay in this Countdown to the Championship fight. It's tough. But it's exciting. I love this part of the season. It's what it's all about."
SPENCER MASSEY, Battery Extender Powered by Schumacher dragster
Last event (Sept. 27-29, Madison, Ill.): Qualified No. 14; lost in first round to Clay Millican.
A year ago at Maple Grove: Qualified No. 8; lost in first round to Khalid alBalooshi.
Career at Maple Grove: Wins 1 (2011); runner-ups 1 (2009); poles 0.
Pts Events Titles Rup Semi Qtr 1st rd Poles DNQ W/L
2013 3rd 21 4 2 7 3 5 1 0 38-17
CAREER 91 14 14 22 18 21 6 2 160-76
Best Time, Speed
3.728 sec. (5-31-12, Englishtown, N.J.), 332.18** mph (4-15-12, Charlotte 1)
NHRA COUNTDOWN TO THE CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS
(Official through Sept. 29 near St. Louis; DSR drivers in CAPS)
1. Shawn Langdon 2,317 (--)
2. Doug Kalitta 2,284 (-33)
3. SPENCER MASSEY 2,282 (-35)
4. Morgan Lucas 2,272 (-45)
5. TONY SCHUMACHER 2,245 (-72)
6. ANTRON BROWN 2,215 (-102)
7. Clay Millican 2,198 (-119)
8. Khalid alBalooshi 2,192 (-125)
9. Bob Vandergriff 2,134 (-183)
10. Steve Torrence 2,115 (-202)
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 (Charlotte), Doug Kalitta (Dallas), BROWN.
NHRA NATIONALS NEAR READING
SCHEDULE (Times are ET)
Friday: 2 p.m., 5 p.m., nitro qualifying
Saturday: Noon, 3 p.m., nitro qualifying
Sunday: 11 a.m., championship eliminations
Sunday: 8 p.m. (ET), championship eliminations, delayed
WEATHER.COM FORECAST MOHNTON, PA.
(As of Tuesday afternoon)
Friday: High 81; 10 percent chance rain
Saturday: High 82; 20 percent chance of rain
Sunday: High 80; 20 percent chance of thunderstorms
NHRA COUNTDOWN TO THE CHAMPIONSHIP SCHEDULE/RESULTS
Sept. 13-15 Charlotte, N.C.
(Finals: TF/Lucas def. MASSEY; FC/Hight def. HAGAN)
Sept. 19-22 Texas Motorplex, Dallas
(Finals: TF/Kalitta def. Langdon; FC/C. Pedregon def. J. Force)
Sept. 27-29 Gateway Motorsports Park, St. Louis
(TF/BROWN def. alBalooshi; FC/J. Force def. BECKMAN)
Oct. 3-6 Maple Grove Raceway, Reading, Pa.
Oct. 24-27 Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Las Vegas
Nov. 7-10 Auto Club Raceway, Pomona