BROWNSBURG, Ind. (April 24, 2012) – Some racers never get a chance to compete in their home state, but Spencer Massey gets the opportunity twice a year in the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series.
But he has yet to hoist the winner’s trophy in Texas since turning professional four years ago.
The Fort Worth native and 29-year-old resident from the Dallas area has a solid chance of keeping the Top Fuel title in the Lonestar state when he drives his Prestone/FRAM Dragster this weekend in the NHRA Spring Nationals at Royal Purple Raceway near Houston.
No Top Fuel team is hotter this year than Massey with crew chiefs Todd Okuhara and Phil Shuler, who run one of three Don Schumacher Racing entries in drag racing’s premier class.
The Prestone/FRAM team has won three of this season’s five national event titles: the year’s first event and the last two. The team ranks first in points heading to Baytown.
“It’s awesome to come off any race as the winner much less two in a row,” Massey said. “Winning (the Four-Wide Nationals) was great and winning Vegas was fun so obviously we have lots of momentum heading to a track that is kind of close to home. We’ll have lots of friends and family out so it’s going to be a great weekend.”
Massey won the unique Four-Wide NHRA Nationals on April 15 with a record speed of 332.18 mph at Charlotte Motor Speedway’s zMAX Dragway in Concord, N.C. It is the fastest ever in NHRA since the series shortened the racing distance by 320 feet to 1,000 in 2008.
His team also topped 330 in the opening round of eliminations on the world’s only four-lane dragstrip just moments after DSR teammate Tony Schumacher became the first to reach 330 over 1,000 feet.
“Trust me, it’s great that people are talking about that run; it means we have accomplished something very big if they’re oohing and ahhhing about it. That is huge. 332 miles an hour is huge.
“But we have to move on. I’m not going to sit here and think about what we just got done doing.
“We’re ready to move on to Baytown and get after it to keep this streak going. You have to look forward to the main objective, and that’s the championship.”
Other than winning the season championship, it’s hard for Massey to imagine a moment greater than winning before family and friends. Each of his previous nine titles were earned outside Texas.
“Baytown is my home track along with the (Texas) Motorplex near Dallas,” said Massey, who finished second in championship points last year.
“I have my family in Fort Worth and my second family – my racing family – in Baytown. I grew up more with my racing family. When I go to the Texas races and NHRA division races it’s like having a hundred family members come with me.
“I have to say hi to everybody because they’re my family and friends. I get pulled in different directions10 times more than at the other races.”
He’s not complaining. Last weekend he wasn’t racing with his Prestone/FRAM team so he spent it at an NHRA division race in Richmond, Va., working on a friend’s dragster.
MASSEY AT HOUSTON
2011: Qualified second; lost in second round.
Career: Wins (0); runner-ups (0); poles (0).
RACE WITH SPENCER
Massey and his Prestone/FRAM crew will be racing go-karts at J&J Speedway in Baytown Thursday evening and the public is welcome. The track is located at 6750 N. Highway 146. Call (281) 573-4506 for prices and details.
ALWAYS ON THE ROAD
NASCAR drivers stay in motorhomes at races, but Massey drives his to nearly all of the 23 NHRA national touring events across the country and tows along his pick-up truck.
2012 NHRA FULL THROTTLE DRAG RACING STANDINGS
(through April 15; wins in parenthesis; DSR drivers in BOLD)
1. Spencer Massey, 465 (3)
2. Tony Schumacher, 443
3. Antron Brown, 438 (1)
4. Morgan Lucas, 384 (1)
5. Shawn Langdon, 294
6. Doug Kalitta, 281
7. Steve Torrence, 262
8. Bob Vandergriff Jr., 228
9. Clay Millican, 227
10. Brandon Bernstein, 207
FULL THROTTLE EVENT SCHEDULE
FRIDAY: 3:30 p.m., 6 p.m., Qualifying
SATURDAY: 12:30 p.m., 3 p.m., Qualifying
SUNDAY: 11 a.m., Championship Eliminations
SATURDAY: 6-8 p.m. (EDT), Qualifying coverage (delayed)
SUNDAY: 7-10 p.m. (EDT), Championship Eliminations (delayed)
Thank you for signing up to receive Shoe’s News.