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Jul 16, 2014 - 06:13 AM
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2014 NHRA: Massey Hopes Past Mile-High Success Gets Momentum Going For Battery Extender Team Throughout NHRA's Western Swing
Posted by: newsla on Jul 16, 2014 - 06:09 AM
NHRA
2014 NHRA: Massey Hopes Past Mile-High Success Gets Momentum Going For Battery Extender Team Throughout NHRA's Western Swing


Conquering the Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals is no easy feat for the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing teams but the Battery Extender Powered by Schumacher team with Spencer Massey have ruled the mountain twice before.

 

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One of the most challenging of 24 NHRA events on the tour is this weekend at Bandimere Speedway at Morrison, Colo., near Denver. The picturesque Colorado track sits a mile above sea-level and tests crew members and the 10,000-horsepower nitro-fueled machines.

The event is also the start of the three-race "Western Swing" that stops in Sonoma, Calif., and near Seattle in three consecutive weekends.

"The Western Swing is one of the toughest stretches of our schedule," Spencer said. "We have two four-in-a-row stretches during the year but the Western Swing is still pretty tough. In Denver, it's just really hard to get these cars down the track. These engines like a lot of oxygen and the track is a mile above sea level and there's not as much oxygen up there."

And then there's the physical difficulties the mountain presents.

"You have to prepare yourself," he said. "There's a physical side to this and you have to think of all the guys that are working on the car. It's a totally different set-up than what we run at the other 23 events. The air is thinner so endurance is important.

"We change a lot on these race cars just to go to Denver and that's demanding on the crew chiefs and the crew members."

Spencer is hoping the Western Swing sparks a wave of momentum for the Battery Extender Powered by Schumacher team that has struggled in the past five NHRA Mello Yello events.

The team hasn't advanced past the second round after winning the Topeka event in May.

"It's kind of odd to look at it on paper because, no, we haven't been going rounds like we want to but our car has actually been running better and more consistently, we just haven't got the results we want on race day.

"The Top Fuel competition is tough this year, no doubt. We have five races left until the points are reset for the Countdown (to the Championship) after Indy. I think it's important we go rounds on race day and stay in the top-5 in points."

MOPAR BLOCK PARTY
The 32nd Annual Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals kicks off on Thursday from 6-10 p.m. (MDT) with the free-admission 10th annual Mopar Block Party that transforms the quiet streets of downtown Golden, Colo., into a giant Mopar Nation celebration.

A highlight is a Team Mopar autograph session from 6:45 to 7:45 p.m. featuring NHRA stars Matt Hagan, Tony Schumacher, Jack Beckman, Tommy Johnson Jr., Spencer Massey, Allen Johnson and Jeg Coughlin Jr.

Displays of Mopar race cars and show cars will line the streets with food and souvenir vendors. Life music will be performed.

SPENCER MASSEY, Battery Extender Powered by Schumacher Top Fuel dragster
Last event Norwalk, Ohio (July 6): Qualified No. 8; lost in first round to Brittany Force
A year ago at Denver: Qualified No. 9; defeated Bob Vandergriff in championship round
Career at Denver: Wins 2 (2013, 2011); Runner-ups 0; Poles 1 (2012)

Pts Events Titles Rup Semi Qtr 1st rd Poles DNQ Win/Loss
2014 5th 13 2 0 1 7 3 0 0 17-11
CAREER 108 16 14 25 25 26 7 2 179-90
Best Time, Speed: 3.728 sec. (5-31-12, Englishtown, N.J.); 332.18 mph

TOP FUEL
driver (wins) pts behind
1. Doug Kalitta (1) 1,130 ----
2. ANTRON BROWN (5) 1,082 -48
3. Shawn Langdon (1) 938 -192
4. TONY SCHUMACHER (2) 785 -345
5. SPENCER MASSEY (2) 780 -340
6. Steve Torrence 747 -383
7. Brittany Force 690 -440
8. Khalid alBalooshi (1) 652 -478
9. Richie Crampton (1) 626 -504
10. J.R. Todd 593 -537

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