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Massey Has Big Night At Big Go

Info Manager | , RacinToday.com Sunday, September 2 2012

Spencer Massey takes qualifying lead, big check, at Mac Tools U.S. Nationals. (Photo courtesy of the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series)

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Top Fuel driver Spencer Massey earned the qualifying lead and won the inaugural $100,000 NHRA Traxxas Nitro Shootout during Saturday’s action at the 58th annual Mac Tools U.S. Nationals presented by Auto-Plus at Lucas Oil Raceway.

Courtney Force (Funny Car), Erica Enders (Pro Stock) and Andrew Hines (Pro Stock Motorcycle) also were qualifying leaders at the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series event in Clermont, Ind., near Indianapolis.

Massey set low E.T. of the weekend during the third qualifying session of the weekend, which also happened to be the second round of the NHRA Traxxas Nitro Shootout, a special $100,000 bonus race within a race.

“For Traxxas to come into our sport and put up this much money and add these two bonus races is awesome,” said Massey, driver of the FRAM/Prestone dragster fielded by Don Schumacher Racing. “I can’t believe that we won it. We’ve wanted to win it since we qualified when we won the season-opener. It’s been a lot of pressure this week but it’s been awesome to be able to say we won the first Traxxas Nitro Shootout.”

Massey’s 3.762-second 1,000-foot pass at 324.51 mph wasn’t only good enough to advance to the final round of the shootout, it also gave him the provisional Top Fuel lead heading into Sunday. Massey outran fellow Texas-native Steve Torrence in the final round of the shootout to earn the win.

“Torrence’s car has been running on a string all year long and I know he wanted to win this thing just as much as I did,” Massey said. “When I hit the throttle the car started moving and I knew I was on a good ride. Then I crossed the finish line and saw the win light and I couldn’t believe it. I’m so proud of my guys _ they deserve this win.”

If Massey holds onto the No. 1 position through Sunday’s qualifying action it will be his fourth of the season and seventh of his career.

Meanwhile, the Funny Car NHRA Traxxas Nitro Shootout is scheduled for Sunday with first round set for 12:30 p.m.

Force posted a career-best ET of 4.049-seconds for 1,000-feet at 317.27 mph to earn the first provisional qualifying lead of her career during Saturday’s final qualifying session.

“I have all the faith in the world in my guys,” said Force, driver of the Traxxas Ford Mustang fielded by John Force Racing. “They’ve been working hard all season and to get a career-best at Indy, it’s huge. This is the one track that you want to say it at, and it’s pretty cool that it’s ‘The Big Go’ and it’s my career- best, an awesome time. So we’re excited.”

If Force holds onto the top spot through Sunday’s qualifying, it will be the first pro pole of her career.

Pro Stock qualifying was called early due to weather, so Enders held onto the qualifying lead thanks to her 6.624-second quarter-mile pass at 208.84 mph from Friday evening.

“It has been a really long day,” said Enders, driver of the KLR Group Chevrolet Cobalt fielded by Victor Cagnazzi. “We had been changing our setup back-and-forth. We thought we were going to run once, and then it started with the rain. And every time the weather comes in and things change, we have to re-assess our setup and go back and change everything. It’s a tough time, but we went out and made a pretty good run early in the day and were able to keep the No. 1 spot, and that’s exciting.”

Pro Stock Motorcycle qualifying also was cut short, and Hines held onto the top spot with his Friday pass of 6.928-seconds at 194.21 mph over the full quarter-mile.

“Given the weather, I don’t think we could have run any quicker, but it would have been nice to get the data,” said Hines, rider of the Screamin’ Eagle Harley-Davidson V-Rod fielded by Vance & Hines Racing. “I don’t know what’s going to happen (Sunday) but I think we can keep the top spot. If it’s slow, we’re safe and if the conditions get better, we should be able to pick up. Our last run could have been better so we know there’s more left.”

Qualifying continues Sunday at 11 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. Eliminations are scheduled for Monday at 11 a.m.

Saturday’s results after the first three of five rounds of qualifying for the 58th annual Mac Tools U.S. Nationals presented by Auto-Plus at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis, 17th of 23 events in the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series. Qualifying will continue Sunday for Monday’s final eliminations.

Top Fuel _ 1. Spencer Massey, 3.762-seconds, 324.51 mph; 2. Tony Schumacher, 3.772, 326.79; 3. Shawn Langdon, 3.773, 326.48; 4. Morgan Lucas, 3.792, 311.63; 5. Antron Brown, 3.807, 322.34; 6. Khalid alBalooshi, 3.817, 320.97; 7. Doug Kalitta, 3.823, 322.58; 8. Bob Vandergriff Jr., 3.830, 322.73; 9. Steve Torrence, 3.834, 295.34; 10. Brandon Bernstein, 3.835, 321.19; 11. J.R. Todd, 3.836, 320.05; 12. David Grubnic, 3.844, 317.79.

Not Qualified _ 13. Bruce Litton, 3.871, 312.57; 14. Clay Millican, 3.872, 316.30; 15. T.J. Zizzo, 3.908, 307.30; 16. Pat Dakin, 3.916, 312.35; 17. Tommy Johnson, 3.939, 302.21; 18. Cory McClenathan, 3.956, 295.08; 19. Luigi Novelli,3.959, 260.21; 20. Terry McMillen, 3.964, 311.49; 21. Troy Buff, 3.975, 301.74; 22. Chris Karamesines, 3.986, 289.32; 23. Scott Palmer, 4.050, 278.52; 24. Hillary Will, 4.052, 284.81; 25. Brady Kalivoda, 4.088, 238.68; 26. Ike Maier, 4.094, 264.75; 27. Keith Murt, 4.348, 193.43.

Funny Car _ 1. Courtney Force, Ford Mustang, 4.049, 317.27; 2. Jack Beckman, Dodge Charger, 4.051, 310.70; 3. Tim Wilkerson, Mustang, 4.060, 306.60; 4. Alexis DeJoria, Toyota Camry, 4.064, 314.39; 5. Ron Capps, Charger, 4.064, 312.13; 6. Tony Pedregon, Camry, 4.076, 308.78; 7. John Force, Mustang, 4.077, 314.83; 8. Johnny Gray, Charger, 4.079, 310.98; 9. Jeff Arend, Camry, 4.088, 311.20; 10. Mike Neff, Mustang, 4.089, 306.53; 11. Bob Tasca III, Mustang, 4.107, 308.21; 12. Matt Hagan, Charger, 4.119, 307.65.

Not Qualified _ 13. Jim Head, 4.151, 292.33; 14. Jon Capps, 4.170, 290.94; 15. Todd Lesenko, 4.209, 296.05; 16. Blake Alexander, 4.224, 280.25; 17. Bob Bode, 4.232, 292.58; 18. Robert Hight, 4.325, 284.81; 19. Cruz Pedregon, 4.731, 172.23; 20. Terry Haddock, 6.510, 104.54.

Pro Stock _ 1. Erica Enders, Chevy Cobalt, 6.624, 208.84; 2. Vincent Nobile, Dodge Avenger, 6.631, 208.78; 3. Allen Johnson, Avenger, 6.634, 208.42; 4. Jason Line, Chevy Camaro, 6.646, 208.52; 5. Greg Anderson, Camaro, 6.655, 208.17; 6. Mark Martino, Pontiac GXP, 6.659, 207.69; 7. Richie Stevens, Avenger, 6.666, 207.46; 8. Mike Edwards, GXP, 6.673, 207.30; 9. Shane Gray, Camaro, 6.674, 206.70; 10. Ron Krisher, GXP, 6.677, 206.64; 11. V. Gaines, Avenger, 6.678, 207.66; 12. Jeg Coughlin Jr., Avenger, 6.678, 207.27.

Not Qualified _ 13. Dave Connolly, 6.684, 206.61; 14. Warren Johnson, 6.689, 207.11; 15. Rodger Brogdon, 6.692, 206.13; 16. Ronnie Humphrey, 6.693, 206.83; 17. Larry Morgan, 6.696, 206.80; 18. Kurt Johnson, 6.703, 205.98; 19. Chris McGaha, 6.716, 206.16; 20. Jerry Eckman, 6.727, 205.29; 21. Greg Stanfield, 6.735, 205.16; 22. Richard Freeman, 6.745, 205.79; 23. Kevin Lawrence, 6.745, 204.17; 24. Steve Spiess, 6.767, 203.86; 25. Steve Schmidt, 6.769, 203.49; 26. Lewis Worden, 6.769, 203.43; 27. Dave River, 6.879, 201.13; 28. John Gaydosh Jr., 6.919, 199.82; 29. Mark Hogan, 26.083, 28.60.

Pro Stock Motorcycle _ 1. Andrew Hines, Harley-Davidson, 6.928, 194.21; 2. Hector Arana Jr., Buell, 6.932, 193.05; 3. Hector Arana, Buell, 6.950, 192.11; 4. Eddie Krawiec, Harley-Davidson, 6.953, 192.93; 5. Scotty Pollacheck, Buell, 6.978, 188.67; 6. Karen Stoffer, Suzuki, 6.993, 191.38; 7. Chip Ellis, Buell, 7.010, 190.43; 8. Matt Smith, Buell, 7.019, 190.22; 9. Shawn Gann, Buell, 7.023, 192.28; 10. Mike Berry, Buell, 7.024, 189.52; 11. Jim Underdahl, Suzuki, 7.042, 192.06; 12. LE Tonglet, Suzuki, 7.054, 185.31.

Not Qualified _ 13. Kieth Burley, 7.059, 189.73; 14. Dawn Minturn, 7.063, 187.47; 15. Michael Ray, 7.084, 189.50; 16. John Hall, 7.118, 187.63; 17. Redell Harris, 7.127, 189.87; 18. Steve Johnson, 7.135, 175.50; 19. Michael Phillips, 7.213, 186.07; 20. Katie Sullivan, 7.247, 183.00; 21. James Surber, 7.364, 185.51.

Info Manager | , RacinToday.com Sunday, September 2 2012
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