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Apr 09, 2014 - 06:54 AM
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2014 NHRA: Spencer Massey NHRA Four-Wide Nationals Event Preview
Posted by: newsla on Apr 09, 2014 - 06:50 AM
NHRA
2014 NHRA: Spencer Massey NHRA Four-Wide Nationals Event Preview


Spencer Massey couldn't choose a better venue to celebrate his 100th career NHRA Mello Yello Series Top Fuel start than zMAX Dragway near Charlotte.

 

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It's the site of two of his 14 career NHRA event titles and the Battery Extender Powered by Schumacher Top Fuel team own the past two Four-Wide event titles at zMAX. Spencer has event titles from 11 different NHRA facilities with two wins each near Charlotte, Denver and Las Vegas.

But Spencer is just honored to be making his 100th career start in a series he grew up loving.

"I went to my first drag race in Texas when I was 4 and this is just a dream come true," he said. "I'm not sure I ever could have imagined this when I was a kid. Back then I knew I wanted to drive one and that's all I've ever wanted to do since then.

"It's very special. I have to thank Don Prudhomme and Don Schumacher for giving me the opportunity to do something that I love. I feel like someone should pinch me."

The Four-Wide Nationals near Charlotte come at a good time for the Battery Extender team led by crew chiefs Phil Shuler and Todd Okuhara, who have been mired in a quarterfinal finish streak for the past three NHRA Mello Yello events.

"We definitely need to get out of that second round," he said. "Even though we didn't make it past second round in Vegas, I think we made huge gains with this Battery Extender car. Phil and Todd are definitely getting a handle on this car. We had a great test session after Vegas and I think we've turned the corner with this race car."

The fifth annual NHRA Four-Wide Nationals at zMAX Dragway, the world's only four-lane dragstrip, features heats of four drivers in two pair of lanes separated by a center dividing wall. Four drivers contend in each of four qualifying sessions beginning Friday for the chance to race in Sunday's 16-car elimination brackets again in four-car heats with the first two crossing the finish line advancing to the next round.

"We've obviously had a lot of success at Charlotte and I can't wait to get back. It definitely gives us confidence going back to a track where we've won the event twice. Racing in the Four-Wide requires a lot of focus as a driver and I look forward to it. It's a challenge that I seem to do well at. You just have to focus on your light and your lane and let the rest play out. I can't wait."

SPENCER MASSEY, Battery Extender Powered by Schumacher
Pts Events Titles Rup Semi Qtr 1st rd Poles DNQ Win/Loss
2014 5th 4 0 0 1 3 0 0 0 5-4
CAREER 99 14 14 24 21 23 7 2 167-83
Best Time, Speed: 3.728 sec. (5-31-12, Englishtown, N.J.); 332.18 mph

BY THE NUMBERS
Last event (March 28-30, Las Vegas): Qualified No. 5; lost in second round to Tony Schumacher
A year ago at Four-Wide: Qualified No. 2; won title
Last fall at zMAX: Qualified No. 7; lost in championship round to Morgan Lucas
Career at Four-Wide: Wins 2 (2013, 2012); Runner-ups 0; Poles 0
Career at zMAX: Wins 2; Runner-ups 2 (2013, 2011): Poles 0

TOP FUEL STANDINGS
driver (wins), points
1. Doug Kalitta (1), 412
2. ANTRON BROWN (1), 339
3. Steve Torrence (0), 314
4. TONY SCHUMACHER (1), 262
5. SPENCER MASSEY (0), 236
6. Khalid alBalooshi (1), 229
7. Shawn Langdon (0), 223
8. Brittany Force (0), 191
9. Richie Crampton (0), 157
10. Bob Vandergriff (0), 150


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