2014 NHRA: Spencer Massey NHRA Four-Wide Nationals Event Report: Semifinals
A thousand decisions are made in a day and when they are made in a split-second it is sometimes easy to second guess if the right choice was made.
Spencer Massey was still debating if he made the right choice after being ousted in the semifinal round of Sunday's NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series eliminations at the 5th annual NHRA Four-Wide Nationals eliminations at zMAX Dragway near Charlotte.
His 10,000-horsepower Battery Extender Powered by Schumacher Top Fuel dragster spun the tires near the 1,000-ft finish line and Spencer made the decision to briefly take his foot off the throttle to allow the tires to get grip before hitting the throttle again.
When he hit the throttle the second time, the blower belt broke and he was left with a powerless dragster.
"I just wish the tires would've stayed hooked up," he said. "We got in the third lane and that was probably the weakest lane out here. It got out there to about the eighth-mile and it started spinning.
"It crossed my mind that maybe I should leg it through to the finish line but the motor was spinning so high and I was kind of thrown forward in my seat so I gave the throttle a slap to try and get it hooked back up and when I did the blower belt broke which means I was a sitting duck.
"It's a gut feeling," he said of his decision. "When the car starts spinning that far down track it's hard to say what you should do. The car has enough momentum you could just keep it going but the way it smoked the tires I felt like the motor might blow and I felt like I needed to get the tires hooked back up. It's a split-second decision. I'm kind of kicking myself but it is what it is and I learned from it."
It is the first Four-Wide zMAX Dragway final round without Spencer in three years but he is pleased with how his car tuned by Phil Shuler and Todd Okuhara is running.
"I feel good though," he said. "Our car is going down the track on race day, I'm having good lights and the car is getting back to what it used to be like. We just need to get out of this second round slump right now."
Event winner: Antron Brown (Don Schumacher Racing)
No. 1 Qualifier: Shawn Langdon (Al-Anabi Racing) 3.753 sec., 321.81 mph
SPENCER MASSEY, Battery Extender Powered by Schumacher Top Fuel Dragster
Qualified: No. 9
Shawn Langdon (3.791 sec., 321.27 mph), MASSEY (3.840, 322.65), Steve Torrence (3.860, 315.27), Terry McMillan (4.621, 170.27). Langdon, MASSEY advance.
Second round: Shawn Langdon (3.821, 315.86), Antron Brown 3.988, 280.84), MASSEY (4.066, 238.34), B. Force (5.802, 145.50). Langdon, BROWN advance.
FRIDAY: 4.210 sec., 207.50 mph, (Session 1); 3.827, 321.42, (Session 2)
SATURDAY: 7.656, 78.79, (Session 3); 7.463, 78.15, (Session 4)
NHRA MELLO YELLO DRAG RACING SERIES STANDINGS
(Unofficial after five of 24 events; through Four-Wide Nationals; DSR drivers in CAPS)
driver (wins), points
1. Doug Kalitta (1), 485
2. ANTRON BROWN (2), 460
3. Steve Torrence (0), 347
4. Shawn Langdon (0), 330
5. TONY SCHUMACHER (1), 316
6. Khalid alBalooshi (1), 290
7. SPENCER MASSEY (0), 288
8. Brittany Force (0), 246
9. Richie Crampton (0), 189
10. J.R. Todd (0), 183
April 25-27, Houston
May 16-18, Atlanta
May 23-25, Topeka, Kan.
May 29-June, Englishtown, N.J.