LAS VEGAS – For the third straight year, Top Fuel standout Spencer Massey is in the championship mix, currently sitting third in the points standings heading into the NHRA Toyota Nationals, which takes place Oct. 24-27 at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
The race is the penultimate event in the 2013 Mello Yello Drag Racing Series and is the fifth of six playoff races in the Mello Yello Countdown to the Championship, and Massey is ready to make another championship push.
He trails points leader Shawn Langdon by 85 points heading into the NHRA Toyota Nationals and Massey knows he must rise to the challenge if he’s going to accomplish his ultimate goal this season.
“After having a couple weeks off, I’m definitely recharged and motivated to get to Vegas,” Massey said. “I’m pumped up and ready to see how it goes. It’s going to be a dogfight to the end and to keep our hopes alive, it would be nice to win the race and gain some ground on Shawn.”
Massey, who is two points behind second place Doug Kalitta, is a two-time winner in Vegas, most recently during the spring race in 2012. He likes his chances in his 8,000-horsepower Battery Extender/Schumacher Electric dragster, in part because of the immense success crew chiefs Todd Okuhara and Phil Shuler have had at the spectacular facility.
Putting together another solid season in 2013, one that has included four victories and six final round appearances, doesn’t hurt matters, either.
“With this car and this team we’ve always had success at certain tracks like Charlotte and Vegas,” Massey said. “We’ve always done well there and I love having Todd and Phil on our side. This is what I’ve lived and breathed for my entire life. Every time I sit back and look at this situation, driving this car and for Don Schumacher Racing, I’m in awe of it. We have a shot to win a championship and hopefully we can come through and do it.”
It would be the first in Massey’s standout NHRA career, but it certainly won’t be easy. Langdon is coming off a win in Reading at the most recent event and has a class-best six victories in 2013 in his Al-Anabi Racing dragster, while Kalitta has been strong throughout the Countdown in his Mac Tools dragster.
Massey also can’t forget about those behind him the standings, including seven-time champ Tony Schumacher, defending world champion Antron Brown and Morgan Lucas, who won in Charlotte, went to the semis in Dallas and claimed No. 1 qualifying positions during the Countdown. Massey has been consistent in the Countdown, advancing to one final round and two semifinals, but he is hopeful the team starts a hot streak in Vegas.
“Obviously the best-case scenario is us winning the race and Shawn not getting a lot of points, but to sum it up we just want to win,” Massey said. “As long as we have a shot at Pomona I’ll be ecstatic. The last two years have come down to the final day and I’d love to have that shot again.”