COMMERCE, Ga. (May 6, 2012) - It was 2 o'clock Sunday afternoon and the last thing the Prestone/FRAM Top Fuel Dragster team in the Don Schumacher Racing camp wanted to be doing was dismantling the canopy over Spencer Massey's race car.
When the crew can do that it means you won't be racing for the trophy.
Massey eliminated Morgan Lucas in the first round Sunday of the NHRA Southern Nationals at Atlanta Dragway but lost his next race against Doug Kalitta when the Prestone/FRAM team overestimated how much power the track could handle on the hot and humid day.
"We watched (Steve) Torrence go out and run 3.84 (seconds) and we thought the track was there for us to go that quick," Massey said. "We tried pushing for our time to be that quick, and it bit us. Our motto is not to beat ourselves and we beat ourselves."
Kalitta's beatable 3.911-second run was enough to top Massey who slowed to a 4.887 (153.82) after his dragster overpowered the track and lost traction.
"It happens. It's still early in the season," Massey said.
"At least we got past the first round and that was the toughest one. We got down the track five times in a row including four in qualifying, but I guess the sixth one wasn't the charm.
"We're still 1-2-3 in the points. It's all good, it's all good."
The team heads to DSR headquarters in Brownsburg, Ind., Monday after being on the road for two weeks and before heading farther west for the May 18-20 NHRA SummerNationals in Topeka, Kan., where Massey won the Top Fuel title a year ago.
"We're learning the hot-weather tune-up, and that will help us in two weeks when we get to Topeka and for the rest of the summer. That's when we got hot last year."
Spencer Massey, Prestone/FRAM dragster
Qualified: No. 4
Round 1: MASSEY (3.823 sec., 322.11 mph) def. Morgan Lucas (5.871, 120.67)
Round 2: Doug Kalitta (3.911, 315.05) def. MASSEY (4.887, 153.82)
Full Throttle Points Standings
(Unofficial, updated after seven of 23 events)
1. Tony Schumacher, 604
2. Spencer Massey, 579
3. Antron Brown, 574
4. Morgan Lucas, 536
5. Steve Torrence, 467
6t. Doug Kalitta, 385
7t. Shawn Langdon, 385
8. Bob Vandergriff, 352
9. Brandon Bernstein, 316
10. Clay Millican, 299
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