2014 NHRA: Spencer Massey NHRA Sonoma Nationals Event Preview
Spencer Massey has seen the win light shine bright 179 times in his 109-event NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Top Fuel career.
But the Battery Extender Powered by Schumacher team has struggled lately and Spencer wants nothing more than to see some lights on Sunday at the NHRA Sonoma Nationals at Sonoma Raceway.
For the past three NHRA events (Chicago, Norwalk and Denver), the team led by crew chiefs Phil Shuler and Todd Okuhara, hasn't advanced past the first round during championship eliminations.
"It's unusual for us to be in a streak like this," Spencer said. "But I'm not that concerned. Our car is running fine, we've just ran into little problems and a bit of bad luck here and there.
"I have all the confidence in the world in Phil, Todd and these Battery Extender guys. We've won two races already this year and I feel like the next one is going to happen before this Western Swing is over."
The annual "Western Swing" began last week near Denver and the series races in Sonoma, Calif., this weekend before its final stop near Seattle on Aug. 1-3.
The Battery Extender team was runner-up to Don Schumacher Racing teammate Antron Brown at Sonoma in 2012 and the team has never won at Pacific Raceways near Seattle.
Only four races remain until the NHRA Mello Yello Top Fuel points standings are reset for the six-race Countdown to the Championship playoff that begins after the U.S. Nationals near Indianapolis. The Battery Extender team sits sixth in points after Denver but is less than one round behind DSR teammate Tony Schumacher in fourth.
"Fourth through seventh in points is kind of bunched up so if we could have a couple good races and get in that top-5 I feel like that's where we need to be when they reset the points after Indy.
"We need to get some momentum going heading into the Countdown for sure. I'll take a mid-season slump over an end of the season slump. We want to win rounds, win races and that's how you put yourself in position at the end of the year for the championship."
SPENCER MASSEY: Battery Extender Powered by Schumacher dragster
Last event Denver (July 20): Qualified No. 13; lost in first round to Bob Vandergriff
A year ago at Sonoma: Qualified No. 5; lost in semifinals to Morgan Lucas
Career at Sonoma: Wins 0; Runner-ups 1 (2012); Poles 0
Pts Events Titles Rup Semi Qtr 1st rd Poles DNQ Win/Loss
2014 6th 14 2 0 1 7 4 0 0 17-12
CAREER 109 16 14 25 25 27 7 2 179-91
Best Time, Speed: 3.728 sec. (5-31-12, Englishtown, N.J.); 332.18 mph
NHRA MELLO YELLO STANDINGS
(Official after 14 of 24 events; DSR drivers in CAPS)
driver (wins) pts behind
1. Doug Kalitta (1) 1,162 ----
2. ANTRON BROWN (5) 1,137 -25
3. Shawn Langdon (1) 973 -189
4. TONY SCHUMACHER (2) 830 -332
5. Steve Torrence 814 -348
6. SPENCER MASSEY (2) 811 -351
7. Brittany Force 783 -379
8. J.R. Todd (1) 705 -457
9. Khalid alBalooshi (1) 685 -477
10. Richie Crampton (1) 678 -484
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