Solid start at NHRA Winternationals has Massey, Red Fuel team powered up for a season of NHRA Mello Yello series success

POMONA, Calif. (Feb. 8, 2015) - Not bringing home the NHRA Wally trophy from the season opening Circle K NHRA Winternationals is only a slight disappointment for Spencer Massey and the Red Fuel Powered by Schumacher/Sandvik Coromant dragster team.

The Red Fuel/Sandvik team strung together six runs ranging from 3.74 seconds to 3.81 seconds throughout three days at the 2015 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season-opener at Auto Club Raceway in Pomona, Calif.

"We can't be completely disappointed because we have an absolutely fantastic, fast race car and that makes us happy," Spencer said. "We really wanted to make it an all DSR final round in the nitro categories and give our team owner Don Schumacher the best medicine there is, so that's the only thing that we weren't able to do. But I know there is a Wally in our very near future because this car is just performing so well."

Schumacher is resting at home this weekend while undergoing treatments following a successful surgery to treat Stage 1 Squamous cell carcinoma in November.

The Red Fuel team led by crew chiefs Phil Shuler and Todd Okuhara qualified fourth and defeated Clay Millican and Steve Torrence before being ousted by No. 1 qualifier Shawn Langdon in a close semifinal round.

"It's great to come out here for the first race and put good, solid, consistent runs in the books," Spencer said. "We didn't smok the tires all weekend and that says a lot for this team. Our slowest run was a 3.81 and that's not slow. We're pleased. Could be happier, but we aren't going to hang our heads after this one."

But there is one more thing that Spencer isn't pleased about - the wait to crawl back into his 10,000-horsepower nitro machine at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park on Feb. 20-22.

"Another disappointing thing about this is I have sit through an off weekend before I can hop back in this Red Fuel dragster and I don't want to wait any longer. We're ready to continue our strong performance at Phoenix."

Event Winner: Shawn Langdon (Alan Johnson Racing)
No. 1 qualifier: Shawn Langdon (Alan Johnson Racing) 3.700, 328.30 mph

SPENCER MASSEY, Red Fuel Powered By Schumacher/Sandvik Coromant Top Fuel Dragster
Qualifying position: No. 4
First round: MASSEY (3.751, 323.74) def. Millican (6.941, 96.89)
Second round: MASSEY (3.808, 325.37) def. Torrence (3.821, 324.05)
Semifinal: Langdon (3.762, 326.48) def. MASSEY (3.778, 327.98)
FRIDAY: 3.818 sec., 326.87 mph, (Session 1); 3.761, 328.30, (Session 2)
SATURDAY: 3.745, 332.18 mph, (Session 3); final session called due to weather

2015 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Standings
(unofficial after Pomona)
1. Shawn Langdon, 124
2. Antron Brown, 92
3. Spencer Massey, 78
4. Larry Dixon, 73
5. Doug Kalitta, 61
6. Richie Crampton, 59
7. Steve Torrence, 54
8. Leah Pritchett, 52
9. Tony Schumacher, 36
10. Brittany Force, 33

Dusty Brandel

President of the American Auto Racing Writers and Broadcasters Association, Inc. Worked with Mike Hollander since Tapsis, Compuserve, etc. and has posted to the website since the beginning. First Female photo-journalist to be given a garage and pit pass for the NASCAR garage, 1972 at Ontario Motor Speedway. One of first seven female writers, photographers given access to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway garage and pits in 1971. Past President of Greater Los Angeles Press Club, 1992-96, and first female editor of the 8-Ball publication for the Press Club

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Volume 2015, Issue 2, Posted 12:51 AM, 02.09.2015