Top Fuel dragster pilot Spencer Massey is riding a two-race winning streak heading to his home state of Texas for the 25th annual O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Spring Nationals presented by Super Start Batteries at Royal Purple Raceway, the first of two stops in the Lone Star State during the 2012 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series.
“It’s awesome to come off any race as the winner, much less two in a row,” Massey said. “Winning four-wide was great, and winning Vegas was fun, so obviously, we have lots of momentum heading into 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.”
Not only has the Texas native won two events in a row, but he’s also won three of the first five races this season and is the national speed record holder after his 332.18-mph performance during the final round at the circuit’s most recent event in Charlotte that held off his hard-charging teammates, Antron Brown and Tony Schumacher.
“We’re not trying to set the world on fire, but somehow, we managed to just set the national record and win the race,” Massey said. “It’s awesome to set the speed record. We’re the fastest team out there in NHRA Drag Racing thanks to [crew chiefs] Todd [Okuhara], Phil [Shuler], and my guys, and it should stick for quite a while. The No. 1 goal for us is to keep going rounds and winning races. We came so close last year, and we want to make sure we get it done this year.”
Massey and his Prestone/FRAM team came close to winning the Top Fuel world championship in 2011, taking their fight all the way to the final race of the season. The team lost the championship on the last day of the season, and Massey doesn’t want that same fate for his team this year. He has all the faith in his team to earn their first NHRA Full Throttle Top Fuel world championship.
“It's still early in the year, and we still have the Countdown to the Championship, so I don’t want to use up all of my luck in the beginning of the season, but there are ups and downs throughout the year, and right now, we’re on the upside,” Massey said. “We’re not going to win every race; even though we’d love to, it’s just not going to happen. I’m hoping we ride this for a while and then hit another stride toward the end of the season during the Countdown. I know we have everything we need to go one more step this season and win the championship.”
Massey isn’t the only Texas native in Top Fuel ready to race for the Wally at Royal Purple Raceway. Steve Torrence, who earned his first No. 1 qualifying position in Charlotte, is looking to ride his own wave of momentum into Houston. Torrence is working to earn his first NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series event win, seven-time world champ Schumacher is hoping to end his 28-race win drought, and Brown is looking to close the gap on points leader Massey.
Four-time world champ Greg Anderson leads the points standings in Pro Stock and is followed closely by his Summit Racing teammate Jason Line. Mike Edwards sits third, Allen Johnson is in fourth, Vincent Nobile is fifth, and Houston native Erica Enders is sixth; Greg Stanfield, Rodger Brogdon, Ronnie Humphrey, and Jeg Coughlin Jr. round out the top 10.
John Force Racing Funny Car driver Robert Hight, who is riding a four-race winning streak heading into Houston, has dominated all season and leads the points standings in the 7,000-horsepower class. His JFR teammate Mike Neff trails in second place, and Jack Beckman, Johnny Gray, and John Force round out the top five. Rookie Courtney Force is in ninth, and defending world champion Matt Hagan is outside of the top 10 after a DNQ in Charlotte.
* SCHEDULE: NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series qualifying sessions are scheduled for 2:30 and 5 p.m. on Friday, April 27, and 11:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 28. Final eliminations will begin at 11 a.m. on Sunday, April 29.
* TICKETS: For tickets for the O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Spring Nationals presented by Super Start Batteries, call Royal Purple Raceway, 281-383-7223, or log on to RoyalPurpleRaceway.com.
* ON TV: ESPN2 and ESPN2HD will televise two hours of qualifying coverage at 6 p.m. ET on Saturday, April 28. ESPN2 and ESPN2HD will televise three hours of eliminations coverage at 7 p.m. ET on Sunday, April 29.
* LUCAS OIL SERIES: The O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Spring Nationals presented by Super Start Batteries also will feature competition in seven categories in the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series, where some of the future stars of the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series are born. Lucas Oil Series qualifying begins at 8 a.m. on April 27. Lucas Oil Series eliminations begin at 8 a.m. on April 28 and continue through April 29.
* PRO MOD SERIES presented by ProCare Rx: NHRA’s popular Pro Mod touring series will be featured at the O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Spring Nationals presented by Super Start Batteries. The series features some of the world’s fastest and most unique doorslammer cars, with an eclectic mix of vintage and late-model body styles in quarter-mile competition. Two rounds of qualifying will be held on April 27, with one additional round of qualifying on April 28 followed by the first round of eliminations. Eliminations will continue on Sunday, April 29.