MORRISON, Colo. – As a past Top Fuel winner at Thunder Mountain, Spencer Massey knows what it takes to get the job done at what many refer to as the most extreme racing conditions that NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series teams face each season.
Massey, who is currently third in the season points standings, hopes to score another victory at the Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals, July 19-21 at Bandimere Speedway, located 10 miles west of downtown Denver.
Antron Brown (Top Fuel), Jack Beckman (Funny Car), Allen Johnson (Pro Stock) and Eddie Krawiec (Pro Stock Motorcycle) are the defending winners of the event.
Massey says that from a driving the car standpoint he approaches every race the same, however he admits the 5,860-foot altitude at Bandimere Speedway requires two sets of distinctive tune-ups: One for the driver and another for the car.
The driver: Get into town a few days early to let the body adjust to the altitude; stay fully hydrated at all times; pace yourself and get plenty of rest.
The car: Dust off the Bandimere Speedway notebook; install the drastic measures setup; change every component on the car; increase supercharger overdrive; try your best tricks to compensate for lack of oxygen and minimal downforce; cross your fingers and hope for the best.
Massey, who won at Denver in 2011 and led qualifying last season on Friday and ultimately finished with a semifinal effort, contends that despite his success there he’s certainly no expert, but he does enjoy racing in the unique environment.
“The only thing is for that race you have to prepare yourself physically to be able to manhandle the Mountain,” Massey said. “The crews also have to work harder there because it’s a totally different setup. Our guys have built 15 different sets of rods and pistons just for this race. If you are fortunate enough to make eight runs in the weekend, it’s always very demanding up there for the crew. But I think our team really embraces it well.”
Massey says the team that embraces the challenging conditions the best usually comes out on top at Bandimere. A victory there could provide a nice boost for his team at just the right time.
After finishing third in the championship last year, Massey has got off to another strong start in 2013 and has won races at Charlotte, N.C. and Epping, N.H. He was runner-up at Bristol. However, during the last two outings he’s posted exits in the first and second rounds, yet he is holding on to the third spot in the series standings at the controls of his Schumacher Electric dragster.