ENNIS, Texas (Sept. 23, 2012) - For the second year in a row, Spencer Massey will leave his home track, Texas Motorplex, as a runner-up.
Instead of hanging his head in disappointment Massey was recharged because he's leaving the track where he saw his first NHRA event and raced Jr. Dragsters tied for the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series Top Fuel points lead with Don Schumacher Racing teammate Antron Brown.
Since the Countdown to the Championship began last week near Charlotte, Massey has had his sights on one thing: Get the points lead.
Although he shares it with Brown, who defeated him in the final round Sunday, Massey is just happy he's still got a shot at a season championship after finishing second a year ago.
It wasn't an easy route to the final as Massey had to face fellow Texan and Countdown contender Steve Torrence in the opening round, DSR teammate and former points leader Tony Schumacher in the second round and Brandon Bernstein in the semifinals.
"Obviously I wanted to win but making it to the finals for the second year in a row here, that's not bad," Massey said. "Obviously my goal today was to not lose any points and get behind. We're tied for first place, so I think our goal here was accomplished."
Eliminations were run on the all-concrete dragstrip where temperatures exceeded 130 degrees and crew chiefs Todd Okuhara and Phil Shuler earned their paychecks.
"It was a hot, greasy racetrack," said Massey, who has won four titles this year. "It was a driver's day because you had to be ready for anything and it was a tuner's day because it was such a challenge. I got to the final round on a pedal fest."
Massey could've been considered an underdog on Sunday because the FRAM/Prestone dragster team started eliminations from the bottom half of the field, in the 10th spot.
"We just got behind on Friday in qualifying, and it put us behind the eight ball," he said. "It doesn't really matter though. As long as you're in the 16-car field, you can win and we almost did.
"It's just one of those deals where every once in a while you're going to have a weekend where you don't have a perfect run on Friday night and it puts you lower than you want to be going into race day. But as long as you're in, you can win."
Event winner: Antron Brown (DSR)
No. 1 qualifier: Shawn Langdon 3.827 sec., 322.34 mph
Spencer Massey, FRAM/Prestone dragster
Qualified: No. 10
Round 1: MASSEY (3.814 sec., 322.11 mph) def. Steve Torrence (3.852, 318.17)
Round 2: MASSEY (3.870, 317.79) def. Tony Schumacher (3.982, 295.85)
Semifinals: MASSEY (4.275, 270.54) def. Brandon Bernstein (4.824, 170.73)
Finals: Antron Brown (3.898, 311.49) def. MASSEY (3.945, 300.60)
Session 1: (3.911, 311.77 mph)
Session 2: 6.433, 91.74
Session 3: 3.886, 317.57
Session 4: 3.960, 300.73
NHRA FULL THROTTLE STANDINGS
After second event of six-race Countdown to the Championship
(Unofficial through Sept. 23, 2012; DSR drivers in CAPS)
1. ANTRON BROWN, 2,256
1. SPENCER MASSEY, 2,256
3. TONY SCHUMACHER, 2,232
4. Shawn Langdon, 2,215
5. Morgan Lucas, 2,173
6. Brandon Bernstein, 2,166
7. Doug Kalitta, 2,133
8. Steve Torrence, 2,126
9. Bob Vandergriff, 2,085
10. David Grubnic, 2,075
NEXT FULL THROTTLE EVENTS
Sept. 28-30, NHRA Midwest Nationals, Madison, Ill. (St. Louis area)
Oct. 4-7, NHRA Nationals, Reading, Pa. (Philadelphia area)
Oct. 25-28, Big O Tires NHRA Nationals, Las Vegas
Nov. 8-11, Auto Club of Southern California Finals, Pomona, Calif. (finale)
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 193 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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