2014 NHRA: Spencer Massey NHRA Natioanls At Brainerd Event Recap: Second Round
Spencer Massey deserved a better fate than what the racing Gods dealt the Battery Extender Powered by Schumacher Top Fuel team on Sunday afternoon at Brainerd International Raceway.
After earning five bonus points in qualifying and starting in the top half of the field, Massey, the defending event champion of the Brainerd race, was piloting maybe the strongest Battery Extender ride he has had all season long. Crew chiefs Phil Shuler and Todd Okuhara tuned Massey's hard-launching bright red DSR rail to the No. 7 spot at 3.838-seconds on Saturday afternoon.
On race day, the Battery Extender car edged another two-time 2014 Mello Yello Series winner Khalid alBalooshi in the opening round 3.781 to 3.798. That set up a monster match-up with points-leader Doug Kalitta in round two. Massey used a starting line advantage and Shuler and Okuhara horsepower to blister the B.I.R. track in 3.758, 327.51, but it wasn't enough to overcome the quickest lap of the day as Kalitta posted a jaw-dropping 3.722, 326.16.
"We had a really good weekend," Massey said of the team's consistently quick effort. "We made six good, clean runs. I think we could have been the No. 1 qualifier. We're making good power. Phil (Shuler) and Todd (Okuhara) have confidence in the race car. Racing can be up and down and this is a great time of year for us to come out of our shell, and I can't wait to go to Indianapolis for a few weeks and see how the car responds at both testing and the Indy race."
The sport of NHRA racing can be, at times, very cruel, but fortunes seem to even out over the course of the 24-race season. After testing for two days at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis on Aug. 20-21, the Battery Extender Powered by Schumacher team will gear up for NHRA's marquee event, the 60th annual U.S. Nationals.
Massey, who won the $100,000 bonus in the inaugural Traxxas Top Fuel Shootout at Indianapolis two years ago, looks for another Traxxas Shootout title en route to a strong performance on Labor Day (Sept. 1) as he aims to hold the most coveted trophy in all of NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing, a U.S. Nationals Wally.
Event Winner: Morgan Lucas (Morgan Lucas Racing)
No. 1 Qualifier: Antron Brown (Don Schumacher Racing) 3.810 sec., 318.77 mph
SPENCER MASSEY, Battery Extender Powered by Schumacher Top Fuel Dragster
Qualifying Position: No. 7
FIRST ROUND: MASSEY .061 3.781 sec., 316.97 mph def. alBalooshi .097 3.798, 315.56
SECOND ROUND: D. Kalitta .074 3.722, 326.14 def. MASSEY .051 3.758, 327.51
FRIDAY: 3.882 sec., 316.15 mph (Session 1), 3.875, 260.91 (Session 2)
SATURDAY: 3.847, 319.97 (Session 3), 3.838, 320.28 (Session 4)
NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Standings
(following the 17th of 24 races)
driver (wins) points behind
1. Doug Kalitta (2) 1,446 ---
2. ANTRON BROWN (5) 1,353 -92
3. Shawn Langdon (1) 1,204 -242
4. TONY SCHUMACHER (2) 1,075 -317
5. Steve Torrence 971 -475
6. SPENCER MASSEY (2) 953 -493
7. Khalid alBalooshi (2) 888 -558
7t. Brittany Force 888 -558
9. Richie Crampton (1) 841 -605
10. J.R. Todd (1) 805 -641