BROWNSBURG, Ind. (Aug. 1, 2012) - Spencer Massey continued his torrid season in the FRAM/Prestone Top Fuel Dragster for Don Schumacher Racing.
The Texas native seemed to reset the track record each run last weekend in the NHRA Sonoma Nationals in Northern California's Napa Valley, finally settling for a top speed of 328.62 mph in Sunday's first-round victory.
But gunning for his fifth NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series event title of the season, Massey was edged out by DSR teammate Antron Brown in the championship round. The win by Brown tied him with Massey for the points lead and series-best four titles through 14 events of the 23-race Full Throttle schedule.
Brown's winning time of 3.814 seconds at 318.02 mph enabled him to win by 0.0056 of a second over Massey's 3.826 at 323.50.
"We knew racing Antron it was going to be for the points lead, and we really want to have that going into Seattle," Massey said of this weekend's NHRA Northwest Nationals at Pacific Raceways in Kent, Wash., that begin on Friday.
"We didn't want to go out there and beat ourselves; that's been our motto all year. Antron and that Matco team just pulled out a great number."
Massey, who was first to leave the starting line, and Brown were using new, dragsters built by DSR and unveiled the week before in the high-altitude and thin air at Bandimere Speedway near Denver on the first of three successive races in the Western Swing.
"We were eager to see what our new car would do at sea level, and it showed it can run at Sonoma," Massey said of the car tuned by crew chiefs Todd Okuhara and Phil Shuler. "With all the data we've been getting we know the car likes the good air so we're giving it more power. I can't wait to go to Seattle."
"Sometime we're on the good end, (Sunday) we got the short end of the stick. I did my job on the (starting line Christmas) tree, but I always say I could have done better."
t was the second consecutive event title by Brown, who could sweep the three-race Swing for the second time in four years with a win at Seattle.
"Antron and his team are doing awesome; that's two in a row," Massey said. "They're going to go to Seattle to try to get the sweep, and we're going to do everything we can to stop them."
It was a stellar weekend for DSR when it put four of its drivers in Sunday's championship rounds of NHRA's two premier categories - Top Fuel and Funny Car - marking the second time that has happened. (The first time was Aug. 21, 2011, at Brainerd, Minn.).
NHRA FULL THROTTLE STANDINGS
(* clinched spots in Countdown)
1. *ANTRON BROWN, 1174
1. *SPENCER MASSEY, 1174
3. *TONY SCHUMACHER, 1048
4. Steve Torrence, 984
5. Doug Kalitta, 828
6. Morgan Lucas, 796
7. Shawn Langdon, 741
8. Brandon Bernstein, 734
9. David Grubnic, 684
10. Bob Vandergriff, 601
NORTHWEST NATIONALS NITRO SCHEDULE
At Pacific Raceways, Kent, Wash.
Friday: qualifying, 2:30 p.m., 5 p.m. (PT)
Saturday: qualifying, 12:30, 3:30 p.m. (PT)
Sunday: championship eliminations, 11 a.m. (PT)
Saturday: 10:30 p.m.-midnight, delay (ET)
Sunday: 6-9 p.m., delay (ET)
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