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Jun 30, 2014 - 07:03 AM
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2014 NHRA: Spencer Massey Route 66 NHRA Nationals Event Recap: First Round
Posted by: newsla on Jun 30, 2014 - 07:01 AM
2014 NHRA: Spencer Massey Route 66 NHRA Nationals Event Recap: First Round

Sunday's Route 66 NHRA Nationals ended far too soon for Spencer Massey and the Battery Extender Powered by Schumacher team.


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After qualifying in the No. 7 position and making a great 3.853-second lap in the heat on Saturday afternoon at Route 66 Raceway, Massey and company were prepared for a long, grueling day in the Chicagoland summer heat that began with a first-round pairing with veteran Bob Vandergriff Jr.

But Spencer's 10,000-horsepower dragster overpowered the track at 330 feet and Vandergriff went on to upset Massey and deny him the 180th round win of his NHRA career.

"We just got a little too aggressive, a little too greedy like Phil (Shuler) said," Spencer said. "We'd much rather take our first-round losses in this part of the season and go rounds when the Countdown starts."

Spencer tried to pedal his Battery Extender dragster but it wouldn't stay hooked up to the tricky Joliet track on Sunday morning as the fifth pair of dragsters to battle during the championship eliminations.

"It hazed the tires and I got a little sideways and let it calm down then tried to hit it again because I didn't wait too long. It wasn't completely calmed down yet and I had to get off of it and saw Vandergriff go around me."

It was the second opening-round loss in the first 12 events of the 24-race NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season for the Battery Extender team led by crew chiefs Shuler and Todd Okuhara.

"It's just a letdown because we're here in (Don Schumacher's) hometown and we wanted to get all of his Schumacher Electric employees in the winner's circle and share the win with him.

"We'll go on to Norwalk next week and try to pick up the trophy there like we did a few years ao."

Event Winner: Antron Brown (DSR)
No. 1 Qualifier: Doug Kalitta (Kalitta Racing) 3.767 sec, 327.43 mph

SPENCER MASSEY, Battery Extender Powered by Schumacher Top Fuel Dragster
Qualifying Position: No. 7
FIRST ROUND: Bob Vandergriff (4.349 sec., 236.17 mph) def. MASSEY (6.133, 102.28)
FRIDAY: 3.995 sec., 302.62 mph, (Session 1); 3.804, 324.83, (Session 2)
SATURDAY: 3.853, 317.64 mph, (Session 3); 3.793, 302.28, (Session 4)

(Unofficial after 12 of 24 events; DSR drivers in CAPS)

driver (wins) points behind
1. Doug Kalitta (1) 1,065 ----
2. ANTRON BROWN (4) 963 -102
3. Shawn Langdon (1) 835 -230
4. SPENCER MASSEY (2) 747 -318
5. TONY SCHUMACHER (2) 711 -354
6. Steve Torrence 688 -387
8. Brittany Force 638 -427
7. Khalid alBalooshi (1) 620 -445
9. Richie Crampton (1) 600 -465
10. J.R. Todd 557 -508

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