Hometown race gets double the excitement for Texas-based Massey this weekend during NHRA FallNationals at Texas Motorplex

September 16, 2014 by  
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Hometown race gets double the excitement for Texas-based Massey this weekend during NHRA FallNationals at Texas Motorplex

BROWNSBURG, Ind. (Sept. 16, 2014) - Going home is always exciting for Red Fuel Powered by Schumacher driver Spencer Massey. But the excitement is now doubled for the Fort Worth native.

Spencer, a two-time runner-up at the Texas Motorplex near Dallas, will have two opportunities to win at his home track where he first witnessed the excitement of NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing.

After NHRA officials postponed the Charlotte event Sunday after one round of nitro competition, Spencer and the Red Fuel team will be competing on Saturday for the Charlotte event win before racing for a Texas trophy on Sunday.

“I’ve never won a Top Fuel race at home in Dallas, but now I have two chances,” Spencer said. “It’s unfortunate we couldn’t get the event in at Charlotte. Now we have double the pressure at the Motorplex.

“It’s the Countdown. Every run counts. It’s tough. We’ve been struggling but our performance in Charlotte gives us confidence. We qualified well, made a good lap in the first round and now we have to try to continue that this weekend. We’ll be ready.”

A year ago at the Texas facility, Spencer was ousted in the semifinals but has two runner-up finishes (2011-12).

“We’ve had some success at Dallas, but we’ve never won it. It’s a big race for everyone because it’s a Countdown trace. But it’s extra special for me. In my mind, it’s the biggest race of the year.”

“Hopefully on Sunday we’ll have a chance to celebrate with everyone.”

TOP FUEL FROM CHARLOTTE
Event winner: The event was postponed by afternoon rain before second round of eliminations.
No. 1 Qualifier: J.R. Todd (Kalitta Motorsports) 3.804 sec., 317.64 mph

SPENCER MASSEY, Red Fuel Powered by Schumacher Top Fuel Dragster
Qualifying Position: No. 8
SUNDAY CHAMPIONSHIP ELIMINATIONS
FIRST ROUND: MASSEY (3.786 sec., 322.38 mph) def. Antron Brown (3.808, 318.62); QUARTERFINALS: MASSEY vs. J.R. Todd
QUALIFYING
FRIDAY: 3.858 sec., 317.42 mph, (Session 1); 3.851, 319.37, (Session 2)
SATURDAY: 3.865, 306.81, (Session 3); 3.870, 309.70, (Session 4)

BY THE NUMBERS
Last weekend at Charlotte (completion postponed to this Saturday near Dallas): Qualified No. 8; faces J.R. Todd in quarterfinals
A year ago at Dallas: Qualified No. 6; lost in semifinals to Doug Kalitta
Career fall at Dallas: Wins 0; Runner-ups 2 (2012, 2011); Poles 0

           Pts    Events   Titles          Rup      Semi      Qtr     1st rd     Poles     DNQ   Win/Loss   

2014   6th         18          2                 0            1           9          6             0            0         19-16

CAREER          113       16               14           25        27        29            7             2       181-95

Best Time, Speed: 3.728 sec. (5-31-12, Englishtown, N.J.); 332.18 mph                

NHRA COUNTDOWN TO THE CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS

(Points updated through first round from Sept. 14 at Charlotte that will be completed at Dallas; DSR drivers in CAPS)

TOP FUEL 
driver (wins)                           points   behind
1. Doug Kalitta (2)                  2,149      ——
2. TONY SCHUMACHER (2) 2,116      -33
3. Steve Torrence                   2,113      -36
4. ANTRON BROWN (5)        2,112       37
5. Shawn Langdon (1)            2,106      -43
6. SPENCER MASSEY (2)     2,094      -55
7. Khalid alBalooshi (2)           2,082      -67
8. JR Todd (1)                         2,064      -85
9. Richie Crampton (2)            2,051     -98
10. Brittany Force                    2,043    -106

 

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Beckman ready extend solid performances for Infinite Hero/Valvoline team from qualifying to eliminations beginning at Texas Motorplex

September 16, 2014 by  
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Beckman ready extend solid performances for Infinite Hero/Valvoline team from qualifying to eliminations beginning at Texas Motorplex

BROWNSBURG, Ind. (Sept. 16, 2014) - Jack Beckman and the Infinite Hero Foundation/Valvoline team have a pretty good handle on qualifying for NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series events but are still trying to master championship eliminations.

And no time would be better than this weekend in the NHRA FallNationals at the Texas Motorplex near Dallas where his father and avid fan, Bob Beckman, resides.

Jack knows he won’t be celebrating in the winner’s circle until his team led by Don Schumacher Racing director of racing Todd Okuhara with assistance from Chris Cunningham and Terry Snyder are able to take his Dodge Charger R/T a couple steps further on the day of championship eliminations.

Last weekend the team qualified sixth but lost in the opening round on Sunday when their Funny Car lost traction off the starting line. At the previous event, Jack qualified second for the U.S. Nationals near Indianapolis with a time of 4.004 seconds – his best run of the year – but also lost traction early in the first round and lost its chance to compete in the ongoing NHRA Countdown to the Championship.

“It’s easy to get frustrated but it won’t help us perform any better,” said Jack, the 2012 Funny Car world champion. “These cars are really tough to tune and there were significant changes to the (weather and track) conditions between qualifying and race day. We qualified solidly but we didn’t put it to the track efficiently on race day.”

Jack is hoping to enjoy his first title at Texas where he was runner-up in 2009.

“There’s a lot of reasons to be optimistic,” he said. “We’re not racing for points, but I’m disappointed that we haven’t gotten a trophy yet. Our only objective the rest of the year is to get four win lights on a race day.”

FUNNY CAR FROM CHARLOTTE
Event winner: The event was postponed by afternoon rain before second round of eliminations.
No. 1 Qualifier: Alexis DeJoria (Kalitta Motorsports), 4.090 sec., 300.53 mph

JACK BECKMAN, Infinite Hero Foundation/Valvoline Dodge Charger R/T
Qualifying Position: No. 6
SUNDAY CHAMPIONSHIP ELIMINATIONS
FIRST ROUND: Tim Wilkerson (4.067 sec., 311.49) def. BECKMAN (4.377, 282.90)
QUALIFYING
FRIDAY: 4.207 sec., 253.95 mph, (Session 1); 4.124, 305.22, (Session 2)
SATURDAY: 5.285, 137.90, (Session 3); 4.154, 302.55, (Session 4)

Jack Beckman, Infinite Hero Foundation/Valvoline Dodge Charger R/T Stats and Standings
Last weekend at Charlotte (completion postponed to this Saturday near Dallas): Qualified No. 6; lost in first round to Tim Wilkerson
A year ago at Dallas: Qualified No. 6; lost in semifinals to Cruz Pedregon
Career fall at Dallas: Wins 0; Runner-ups 1 (2009); Poles 0

          Pts Events Titles Rup Semi Qtr 1st rd Poles DNQ Win/Loss 
2014 11th    19         0        1       2      6     10        0       0        13-19
CAREER    199       15      20      37    57    64      10      6      250-178
Best Time, Speed: 3.986 sec. (10-6-12, Reading, Pa.); 320.30 mph (4-15-12, Charlotte 1)

NHRA COUNTDOWN TO THE CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS
(Points updated through first round from Sept. 14 at Charlotte that will be completed at Dallas; DSR drivers in CAPS)
FUNNY CAR
driver (wins)                              points     behind
1. John Force (3)                       2,162      ——–
2. Robert Hight (5)                     2,141        -21
3. RON CAPPS (2)                    2,126        -36
4. Alexis DeJoria (3)                   2,104       -58
5. MATT HAGAN (1)                  2,090        -72
6. TOMMY JOHNSON JR. (1)   2,084        -78
7. Courtney Force (2)                 2,076        -86
8. Cruz Pedregon (1)                  2,057      -105
9. Tim Wilkerson                         2,052      -110
10. Del Worsham                        2,043      -119

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Disappointing Countdown opener won’t slow Brown’s charge in Texas with Matco Tools team when Mello Yello playoff resumes this weekend

September 16, 2014 by  
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Disappointing Countdown opener won’t slow Brown’s charge in Texas with Matco Tools team when Mello Yello playoff resumes this weekend

BROWNSBURG, Ind. (Sept. 16, 2014) - Antron Brown and the Matco Tools Top Fuel dragster team at Don Schumacher Racing, unfortunately, will only have one NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series event title to worry about when the series arrives at the Texas Motorplex near Dallas this week.

Antron entered the six-race Countdown to the Championship ranked second a week ago when the playoff opened near Charlotte but lost in the opening round of the NHRA Carolina Nationals to DSR teammate Spencer Massey.

The only round completed was the opener before NHRA officials postponed the event due to rain and ordered it be completed during qualifying on Saturday at the Motorplex.

“We’d like to get to Dallas and have two chances to win a Wally (trophy), but we’re just going to focus on what we need to do to get our Matco dragster back to running the way we expect it to,” said Antron, who won five of this year’s first 18 event titles to lead Top Fuel but has lost in the first round of the past two events and fallen to at least fourth in the playoff standings.

As disappointing as Antron’s result was at Charlotte, it still is a better start to the Countdown than a year ago when he arrived in Texas on the heels of not qualifying for the playoff opener.

“We definitely can say we’re off to a better start in the Countdown than we were last year when we got to the Motorplex,” Antron said. “We’re going to Dallas with five races left in the Countdown and we’ll be ready.”

The Matco Tools team led by crew chiefs Brian Corradi and Mark Oswald made five passes during the Carolina Nationals and improved on each run. In its first-round loss to Massey, Antron recorded his best time of the weekend with a run of 3.808 seconds at 318.62 mph to Massey’s stellar 3.786 (322.88).

“We’ll look back at the whole weekend and see how we progressed,” Antron said. “We got quicker with every run. We didn’t qualify where we wanted and we sure didn’t expect to lose in first round. Our Matco team always strives to be better and we got better.

“We’re motivated and hungry right now – we’re starving right now. Trust me, it will be game-on when we get to Dallas.”

TOP FUEL FROM CHARLOTTE
Event winner: The event was postponed by afternoon rain before second round of eliminations.
No. 1 Qualifier: J.R. Todd (Kalitta Motorsports) 3.804 sec., 317.64 mph

ANTRON BROWN, Matco Tools Top Fuel Dragster
Qualifying Position: No. 9
SUNDAY CHAMPIONSHIP ELIMINATIONS
FIRST ROUND: Spencer Massey (3.786 sec., 322.38 mph) def. BROWN (3.808, 318.62)
QUALIFYING
FRIDAY: 3.880 sec., 311.27 mph, (Session 1); 3.869, 307.93, (Session 2)
SATURDAY: 3.856, 311.85, (Session 3); 3.853, 311.99, (Session 4)

Antron by the numbers
Last weekend at Charlotte (completion postponed to this Saturday near Dallas): Qualified No. 9; lost in first round to Spencer Massey
A year ago at Dallas: Qualified No. 14; lost in second round to Spencer Massey
Career fall at Dallas: Wins 2 (2012, 2009; Runner-ups 0; Poles 0

         Pts Events Titles Rup Semi Qtr 1st rd Poles DNQ Win/Loss 
2014 4th      19        5        2       4      2       6        3       0        35-14
CAREER    305       46     40     62    84      70     37      3      511-256
Best Time, Speed: 3.701*/** sec. (10- 8-12, Reading, Pa.); 328.78 mph (10-8-12, Reading)
* Quickest ever/** NHRA record

NHRA COUNTDOWN TO THE CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS
(Points updated through first round from Sept. 14 at Charlotte that will be completed at Dallas; DSR drivers in CAPS)
TOP FUEL 
driver (wins)                             points   behind
1. Doug Kalitta (2)                    2,149     ——
2. TONY SCHUMACHER (2)   2,116       -33
3. Steve Torrence                     2,113       -36
4. ANTRON BROWN (5)          2,112        -37
5. Shawn Langdon (1)              2,106        -43
6. SPENCER Massey (2)          2,094       -55
7. Khalid alBalooshi (2)              2,082      -67
8. JR Todd (1)                            2,064      -85
9. Richie Crampton (2)               2,051     -98
10. Brittany Force                      2,043    -106

 

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The Harry M. Schmidt Foundation to hold 2014 Sparkles and Speed Fundraising Event at Texas Motorplex featuring Award Winning Country Artist Tracy Lawrence

September 16, 2014 by  
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COUNTDOWN TO THE CHAMPIONSHIP CONTINUES THIS WEEKEND AT TEXAS MOTORPLEX; TICKETS STILL AVAILABLE

September 15, 2014 by  
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ENNIS, Texas (Sept. 15, 2014) – Fans heading to Texas Motorplex this weekend for the 29th annual AAA Texas NHRA Fall Nationals will now get to see twice the excitement for the price of one race.

Rain forced postponement of last weekend’s finals at ZMax Dragway, the kickoff event in the Countdown to the Championship, causing it to be moved to Texas Motorplex.  The event will be completed during qualifying rounds as three rounds of racing remain for both Top Fuel and Funny Car and all rounds remain for Pro Stock Motorcycle. Four pairs of Pro Stock cars will also complete their first round runs.

Texas Motorplex general manager Gabrielle Stevenson said fans heading to Ennis will now have double the fun.

“Obviously, we hate that the fans didn’t get to see all the action in Charlotte, but hopefully they’ll just come on down to Texas Motorplex where they’ll get to see what amounts to two finals,” Stevenson said. “For our fans it’s a pretty nice little bonus to get to see all that extra racing.

“Typically, when they leave here, you’ve got a pretty good idea of who the top contenders are going to be for the championships. It’s always a really exciting weekend because of the playoffs but now with all the extra racing going on, it’s going to be even more of a drag racing fan’s dream weekend.”

Pro Stock and Pro Stock Motorcycle will begin Charlotte eliminations during the second round of qualifying on Friday. Saturday’s schedule is as follows:

Charlotte Round 2 will be during Ennis Q-3: PSM 11:15 a.m., PS 11:30 a.m., TF noon, FC 12:30 p.m.; Charlotte Semi-finals will be during Ennis Q-4: PSM 2:15 p.m., PS 2:30 p.m., TF 3:00 p.m., FC 3:30 p.m.; Charlotte Final will be an extra run: PSM 4:30 p.m., PS 4:32 p.m., TF 4:35 p.m., FC 4:40 p.m.

In Pro Stock action, Jason Line, Shane Gray, Jeg Coughlin and V. Gaines all won their opening rounds. Pairs yet to race include Erica Enders-Stevens vs. John Gaydosh; Jonathan Gray vs. Rodger Brogdon; Vincent Nobile vs. Larry Morgan; and Dave Connolly vs. Shane Tucker.

Top Fuel quarterfinal pairings are J.R. Todd vs. Spencer Massey; Billy Torrence vs. Tony Schumacher; Steve Torrence vs. Leah Pritchett; and Morgan Lucas vs. Khalid alBalooshi.  The quarterfinal pairings in Funny Car are Dave Richards vs. John Force; Bob Tasca vs. Ron Capps; Robert Hight vs. Jeff Arend; and Matt Hagan vs. Tim Wilkerson.

Tickets for the AAA Texas NHRA Fall Nationals are still available, ranging from just $10 to $380 for weekend packages. Youth tickets for children 12 and under start as low as $5.   For tickets or more information, please call the Texas Motorplex office at (800) MOTORPLEX or visit www.texasmotorplex.com.

Gates open for the 29th annual AAA Texas NHRA Fall Nationals at 10 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 18 with sportsman qualifying runs between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. Two rounds of professional qualifying, at 2:15 and 5:15 p.m., highlight the Friday, Sept. 19 schedule, along with sportsman qualifying throughout the day. Saturday, Sept. 20, is packed with sportsman eliminations and the final two rounds of professional qualifying at 11:15 a.m. and 2:15 p.m.

Gates open at 8 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 21, with pre-race ceremonies at 10 a.m. and final eliminations getting under way at 11 a.m.

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