ENNIS, Texas (Sept. 22, 2012) - You can't judge a book by its cover, and you certainly can't judge NHRA qualifying results sheets simply by reading the numbers. With Spencer Massey and the FRAM/Prestone dragster listed in the 10th qualifying spot, some might think the team is struggling.
But that's not the case.
Massey and the team were at their best in the three out of four qualifying runs held in the heat of the day on Friday and Saturday. The Don Schumacher Racing team will face similarly hot conditions on Sunday when eliminations begin at 11 a.m. in the AAA Texas Fall Nationals at the Texas Motorplex near Dallas.
With temperatures in the 90s and track temperatures exceeding 125 degrees, it's been a difficult weekend for the crew chiefs in the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series.
"We haven't been setting the world on fire this weekend but we have made it down the track on all three day-time runs," Massey said. "They were runs in the heat, which is going to be what it's like for eliminations.
"It seemed everyone put good numbers down on Friday night when we
didn't go down the track. We were pushing for it and it just didn't hold. I know I always say this but Todd (Okuhara) and Phil (Shuler) have a handle on this dragster," Massey said of his crew chiefs.
Massey will face fellow Texan Steve Torrence in the opening round.
"We wish we could've done better in qualifying so we didn't have to run someone like Steve in the first round, but it will be a great first round for the fans.
"It's the Countdown to the Championship. It's my home race and it's also Steve's home race. We both want it really bad. You have to get out of the first round so we can't go up there and beat ourselves. We've been saying that all year. If we go up there and do what we did during three rounds of qualifying and go A to B we have a good shot at going to the second round."
Massey has been under the watchful eyes of more than 40 friends and family members this weekend.
"It's pretty cool because they never get to come to any other races. To have my friends out and everyone hanging out is pretty cool."
That also means that Massey has been non-stop since the event began on Friday.
"You don't get a break," he said. "Between all of the great fans here, from the race car needing my time and attention, and my friends and family it's been busy but it's so nice to have them here.
"It would be even better if we can go out and get that win with them here."
No. 1 qualifier: Shawn Langdon, Al-Anabi Racing, 3.827, 322.34
Spencer Massey, FRAM/Prestone dragster
Qualifying position: No. 10
First round opponent: Steve Torrence
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
THIS WEEKEND'S EVENT SCHEDULE
Sunday: Championship eliminations, 11 a.m. CT
ON ESPN2 (times are ET)
SUNDAY: Qualifying with Traxxas Shootout, 1 p.m.
Eliminations, 8:30 p.m.
SUNDAY: High 94 degrees; 10 percent chance of rain
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 192 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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