SONOMA, Calif. (July 29, 2012) - Spencer Massey and Don Schumacher Racing teammate Antron Brown had met three times this season in championship rounds before Sunday in the NHRA Sonoma Nationals in Northern California's Napa Valley.
But the fourth time proved to be the charm for Brown.
Crew chiefs Todd Okuhara and Phil Shuler had Massey's FRAM/Prestone Top Fuel Dragster at the top of the class after nearly each of its eight runs over the weekend when it seemed to set a new track speed record on every run.
But Brown and his Matco Tools dragster saved its best for last and edged past Massey for their second straight title.
Brown also moved into a first-place tie with Massey in the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series standings, and both have won a series-best four titles through 14 events this year.
Brown's winning time of 3.814 seconds at 318.02 mph enabled him to win by 0.0056 of-a-second over Massey's 3.826 at 323.50.
"We knew racing Antron and that Matco team was going to be for the points lead and we really wanted to have that going into Seattle this week," Massey said. "Sharing it isn't as bad as losing it.
"We would have thought that our FRAM dragster would have run a 3.80 or 3.81. We ran a 3.82 and it was a close race at the finish line, a great drag race.
"We want to win every race especially when we get to the final round. We were just a little bit short. It's OK."
Massey opened Sunday by resetting his track record on a run at 328.62 mph and followed with speeds of 326.40, 324.12 before slowing to 318.02 in the final round.
"We didn't want to go out there and beat ourselves. That's been our motto all year. We wanted to put on a great drag race for our team and all these great fans.
Antron and that Matco team just pulled out a great number."
Event winner: Antron Brown
No. 1 qualifier: Doug Kalitta 3.785 sec., 321.65 mph
Spencer Massey, FRAM/Prestone dragster
Qualified: No. 6
First round: MASSEY (3.777 sec., 328.62) def. Terry McMillen (3.991, 294.82)
Second round: MASSEY (3.804, 326.40) def. Shawn Langdon (4.414, 190.92)
Semifinals: MASSEY (3.802, 324.12) def. Doug Kalitta (4.161, 239.70)
Final: Antron Brown (3.814, 318.02) def. MASSEY (3.826, 323.50)
Session 1: 3.811 sec., 324.90 mph
Session 2: 7.747, 75.24
Session 3: 3.793, 327.43
Session 4: 3.833, 322.04
NHRA FULL THROTTLE TOP FUEL STANDINGS
(through Aug. 29, 2012; Sonoma, Calif.; * clinched spots in Countdown)
1. *ANTRON BROWN, 1174
1. *SPENCER MASSEY, 1174
3. *TONY SCHUMACHER, 1048
4. Steve Torrence, 984
5. Doug Kalitta, 828
6. Morgan Lucas, 796
7. Shawn Langdon, 741
8. Brandon Bernstein, 734
9. David Grubnic, 684
10. Bob Vandergriff, 601
NEXT FULL THROTTLE EVENT
Aug. 3-5, NHRA Northwest Nationals, Pacific Raceways, Kent, Wash.
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 189 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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