BROWNSBURG, Ind. (Sept. 12, 2012) – For Spencer Massey, his approach to the opening event in the NHRA Countdown to the Championship is simple: return his FRAM/Prestone Top Fuel Dragster to where it was when he left zMAX Dragway in April.
The last time Massey and the team were at zMAX Dragway in Concord, N.C., they set the world speed record at 332.18 mph en route to the reaching the winner’s circle.
“Charlotte is usually good to the FRAM team,” said Massey, who has been in the final round at each event near Charlotte Motor Speedway since joining the Don Schumacher Racing organization to start the 2011 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series season.
“With us setting the record and getting the win there this spring I’m really excited to go back and get back out on that zMAX Dragway strip and see how fast this FRAM/Prestone dragster can go.”
Massey hopes to not only go fast, but to go as many rounds as possible, a crucial part of being a championship contender in the Countdown.
“I’m ready to get the Countdown started,” he said. “It’s pretty simple, we need to win the race to get back to the number one spot. With the points reset we are all pretty close to each other now so whoever wins the race will most likely leave as the points leader.”
Massey, who lost Sunday to DSR teammate Tony Schumacher in the final of the U.S. Nationals, starts the Countdown ranked No. 2 and is 30 points behind another teammate, Antron Brown.
“This race is really going to determine how the rest of the Countdown plays out,” Massey said. “After the next two events you’ll really start to see who’s pulling away and are going to be championship contenders.
“You’re going to see who’s on a hot streak and who’s not. Hopefully we’re on that hot streak.”
The NHRA Nationals at the “Bellagio of Drag Strips” marks the third event in a row for the team, with three more events consecutively to follow. Massey thinks the key to surviving this part of the season is a strong, stable team.
“It’s going to be grueling for these guys,” Massey said. “It’s a tough stretch after Indy being postponed and these guys will have had six races in a row by the time we’re done with Reading (Pa.)
“This is the most important part of the season, and they won’t get a break. I’m definitely glad I have such a strong group because that’s what it’s going to take to be on top after this stretch.”
Below are Massey’s statistics and other notes.
Spencer Massey, FRAM/Prestone dragster
Career at Charlotte Motor Speedway: Win 1 (2012, 4-Wide), Runner-up 1, Poles 0
April 2012 at CMS: Qualified No. 6, won Four-Wide title
September 2011 at CMS: Qualified No. 2, lost to Antron Brown in final round
NHRA FULL THROTTLE STANDINGS
Countdown to the Championship
Official thru Sept. 9, 2012
(Points reset for six-event Countdown; points leaders receive 20-point bonus; DSR drivers CAPS)
1. ANTRON BROWN, 2,110
2. SPENCER MASSEY, 2,080
3. TONY SCHUMACHER, 2,070
4. Steve Torrence, 2,060
5. Doug Kalitta, 2,050
6. Morgan Lucas, 2,040
7. Shawn Langdon, 2,030
8. Brandon Bernstein, 2,020
9. David Grubnic, 2,010
10. Bob Vandergriff, 2,000
Friday: 4 and 6:30 p.m., qualifying
Saturday: 1, 3:30 p.m., qualifying
Sunday: Noon, eliminations
COUNTDOWN TO THE CHAMPIONSHIP
The fields are set for each of the four Full Throttle professional categories heading to the six-event Countdown to the Championship.
The points will be reset at 10-point increments for the Countdown contestants and the points leaders after Indy, which was the 17th event of the year, getting 20-point bonus so they will start the Countdown with 30-point leads in Top Fuel (Antron Brown), Funny Car (Ron Capps), Pro Stock (Allen Johnson) and Pro Stock Motorcycle Eddie Krawiec).
Only the top-10 drivers can contend for season championships but all drivers entered in the last six events will contend with Countdown drivers for event points and titles. The best season finish for non-Countdown driver can be 11th.
FRAM Group LLC has its headquarters in Perrysburg, Ohio. Its leading automotive care products include FRAM® oil, air, transmission and fuel filters; Autolite® spark plugs and ignition wire sets; Prestone® antifreeze/coolant and car care products; and Holts® car care. It maintains R&D capabilities in the United States and Europe and has a manufacturing footprint in 10 countries worldwide.
About Don Schumacher Racing
Don Schumacher Racing, headquartered in Brownsburg, Ind., consists of seven professional NHRA teams: in Top Fuel, the U.S. Army dragster driven by seven-time world champion Tony Schumacher, the FRAM/Prestone dragster of Spencer Massey and the Matco Tools dragster of Antron Brown; and in Funny Car, 2011 NHRA Funny Car champion Matt Hagan in the Aaron's Dream Machine/Mopar Dodge Charger R/T, Valvoline NextGen Dodge piloted by Jack Beckman, the NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge of Ron Capps and the Service Central Dodge of Johnny Gray. DSR has won 191 NHRA national event titles and nine world championships.
Follow Don Schumacher Racing at ShoeRacing.com, on Twitter at @shoeracing and Facebook.com/shoeracing.
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