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Jun 16, 2014 - 06:31 AM
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2014 NHRA: Spencer Massey NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals Event Recap: Second Round
Posted by: newsla on Jun 16, 2014 - 06:29 AM
2014 NHRA: Spencer Massey NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals Event Recap: Second Round

Spencer Massey was able to find the silver lining in a tough weekend for the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing team.

With air temperatures pushing 90 degrees and track temperatures over 130 degrees, teams faced many challenges on and off the track.


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But the Battery Extender Powered by Schumacher team beat the heat to qualify fifth for Sunday's NHRA Thunder Valley eliminations, their best qualifying outing in the past five Mello Yello series events.

The team led by Phil Shuler and Todd Okuhara posted a 3.892-second lap in the opening round after opponent Clay Millican was unable to make the run when his dragster failed to start.

"We did better than we did last weekend, at least we didn't lose first round," Spencer said. "That's the first race in a while that we qualified in the top half of the field so that's a bonus for us.

"We got past first round then we had to run our teammate Antron Brown in the second round. He had lane choice, we got stuck in a lane that wasn't quite as good as the other and we only went about five feet. They had a great run."

Brown's Matco Tools team posted a 3.883-second lap to turn on the win light after Massey's Battery Extender dragster hazed the tires on the starting line.

"Just wrong place, wrong time, wrong opponent, I guess. We have a good car and it was just tough out there. We won Epping (N.H.) last year and that's where we're headed now. We have confidence, we know that racetrack so we look forward to it."

Massey sits fourth in Top Fuel standings as the series heads to Epping, N.H., where the Battery Extender dragster team scored the event win last season.

Event winner: Shawn Langdon (Al-Anabi Racing)
No. 1 Qualifier: Brittany Force (John Force Racing) 3.828 seconds, 317.94 mph

SPENCER MASSEY, Battery Extender Powered by Schumacher Top Fuel Dragster
Qualified: No. 5
First round: MASSEY (3.892 sec., 317.05 mph) def. Clay Millican (broke); Quarterfinals: Antron Brown (3.883, 315.19) def. MASSEY (10.460, 76.70).
FRIDAY: 3.876 sec., 312.93 mph, (Session 1); cancelled due to rain (Session 2)
SATURDAY: 6.834, 84.53, (Session 3); 3.920, 308.92, (Session 4)

(Unofficial through 10 of 24 events; DSR drivers in CAPS)

driver (wins) points behind
1. Doug Kalitta (1) 902 ----
2. ANTRON BROWN (3) 782 -120
3. Shawn Langdon 751 -151
4. SPENCER MASSEY (2) 652 -250
5. Steve Torrence 617 -285
6. TONY SCHUMACHER (1) 557 -345
7. Khalid alBalooshi (1) 535 -367
8. Brittany Force 502 -400
9. Richie Crampton (1) 464 -438
10. J.R. Todd 429 -473

DSR owner Don Schumacher honored at Bristol
Don Schumacher, who won many Funny Car titles at Bristol Dragway in the early 1970s, was honored Sunday as the 2014 Legend of Thunder Valley during pre-race ceremonies before the start of the Thunder Valley Nationals at the famed Tennessee track.

Schumacher, one of the early Funny Car drivers and a longtime safety innovator in drag racing, won several International Hot Rod Association titles at Bristol including three of five in 1971. He also owns five NHRA national event titles as a driver/owner and since starting Don Schumacher Racing in 1998 he has won 11 NHRA world championships and 220 NHRA event titles.

The Chicago native, who will be 70 in November, fielded seven professional teams this weekend at Bristol. He was inducted in May 2013 into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame at Talladega, Ala., with NASCAR stalwarts Rusty Wallace, Rick Hendrick and Dale Inman. He was enshrined in the Drag Racing Hall of Fame in 2007.

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