TOPEKA, Kan. (May 19, 2012) - When championship eliminations begin Sunday in the Dollar General NHRA SummerNationals, Spencer Massey will be in a position opposite from where he was a year ago.
Last year at Heartland Park Topeka, Massey and the FRAM/Prestone Top Fuel Dragster team qualified fourth and defeated the No. 13 qualifier in the first round en route to winning the event title.
On Sunday, however, Massey will be ranked No. 13 when he faces Shawn Langdon, the No. 4 qualifier, and the resident of Fort Worth, Texas, hopes the ending is a repeat of 2011 though he must take a different route to get there.
"This is nothing our FRAM team can't handle," Massey said. "We'll get in gear and be ready for race day as we have another monster first-round matchup, this time with Shawn Langdon."
It was the FRAM/Prestone team's lowest qualifying effort through eight events this season; it's previous worst had been No. 8 at Gainesville, Fla.
But the last time the team qualified as low as 13th, it rallied to advance to the final round of the 2011 Four-Wide Nationals near Charlotte, N.C.
"We'd have liked to have qualified better this weekend, but we found a few things and we're working the bugs out," he said of crew chiefs Todd Okuhara and Phil Shuler.
"Sure, we'd like to be in the top half of the field, but these are race cars and they can be temperamental. I'm certain Todd and Phil will put a good tune-up in the car Sunday and we'll start off with a solid run."
The following are final qualifying results and other notes:
Spencer Massey, FRAM/Prestone dragster
Final qualifying position: No. 13
First round opponent: No. 4 Shawn Langdon
Session 1: 3.916 sec., 313.95 mph
Session 2: 7.765, 74.95
Session 3: 3.888, 313.15
Session 4: 3.902, 308.99
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