ENGLISHTOWN, N.J. – Spencer Massey and his Prestone Top Fuel dragster team took a shot Saturday at backing up his monster 3.728-second pass run in Friday's optimal conditions.
But Massey will have to settle for simply having the quickest run in Top Fuel history and the No. 1 qualifier for the Toyota NHRA SuperNationals at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park instead of the national record.
"We were pushing for it the last session," Massey said Saturday. "We knew that it was going to be borderline with the cloud cover and the sun going back and forth. We knew it was going to be a close shot at it. It got out there and spun the tires.
"It's OK. We didn't get it. We want to go into race day now and put our race-day tuneup back in the car and focus on going rounds. I want to focus on winning first round, not focusing on getting to the final round. It's one round at a time."
Massey smoked the tires in both sessions Saturday, meaning he still needs a lap of 3.765-second lap to claim the national elapsed time record from Del Worsham, who holds the mark with a 3.735-second pass last year in Reading, Pa.
But Massey said that provided he gets to the finals and the weather conditions are right, his Don Schumacher Racing team will go for it again.
"I guarantee we'll be pushing for it in the finals," Massey said. "But not in the first or second round."
Massey leads the Top Fuel points standings and has three victories this season. He's coming off a final-round loss to David Grubnic in Topeka, but that put him atop the points standings.
"You're going to have highs and lows in life, just like you are in drag racing. We're doing pretty well now," Massey said. "Hopefully, it carries a high through the year so we can compete for a championship. You've got to take it one race at a time.
"But obviously, it's a huge confidence-builder whenever you run the numbers like we've run here. It just makes my job that much easier to get in the car and drive it and have fun like I love to do."
Massey faces No. 16 qualifier T.J. Zizzo in the first round of eliminations. Zizzo's best pass was 3.920 seconds at 300.60 mph.
Morgan Lucas (3.739 seconds at 324.51 mph) remained No. 2, with Shawn Langdon (3.742 at 324.36 mph) No. 3.
Massey's Funny Car teammate, Ron Capps, couldn't grab the national record either, but his team didn't even try.
Capps' NAPA Auto Parts Dodge was only the second Funny Car ever to run under four seconds, as Capps eclipsed Matt Hagan's 3.995-second record. Capps went 3.964 seconds at 320.89 mph on Friday night for the fastest ET ever, but the national record still belongs to Hagan because Capps didn't run an ET within one percent of the quick run.
"I can tell you, we didn't even want to back it up, to be honest," Capps said. "Those 20 points (for the record) could be huge. If you have to 3.95 to break the record in the Countdown, that's a pretty tough task. It leaves it there that somebody could snag it later in the year.
"Not that we wouldn't have. (Crew chief Rahn Tobler) backed it down a little bit, but I really don't think we could've run a 4-flat anyway. He didn't want to try. He just wanted to make sure we went down the track the last run. It's not a fun Saturday night if you don't go down the track the last qualifying run because there's a lot going on in your head."
Robert Hight qualified No. 2 with a pass of 4.013 at 318.02 mph, with Johnny Gray third at 4.022 at 318.84 mph.
None of the four professional classes changed No. 1 qualifiers from Friday, though Allen Johnson came close to taking Jason Line's Pro Stock pole. Johnson ran a lap of 6.518 seconds, matching Line's ET from Friday. But Line held on to the No. 1 qualifier because his speed of 212.76 was one mph faster than Johnson's.
"Barely stuck. AJ matched us, but we got him on speed," Line said. "It feels good. Anytime you can be No. 1, how can that be a bad thing? We feel like it still should've gone faster today, but we just didn't. It's just one of those things. We'll try to figure it out."
Mike Edwards qualified third with a pass of 6.529 at 211.73 mph.
Eddie Krawiec hung on to his Pro Stock Motorcycle pole, the second of his career at his home track, with his pass of 6.782 seconds at 197.48 mph. And that makes him the favorite in Sunday's eliminations.
"I have an awesome motorcycle," Krawiec said. "There's probably three other motorcycles in the pits that come to my mind that were performing. Hector (Arana) Jr. hasn't really made a clean run, in my opinion, off the starting line and down the track. You know he's going to be able to pop up a number. (Hector Arana) Senior, he's always there. And you look at Michael Ray's performance; he's running well.
"To say I have that bike that should win, I do agree because it's running well, but I'm also making good laps. If one of those guys makes a really clean lap, at any given time they could knock you out."
The Aranas were second and third, with Arana Sr. (6.836 at 195.53 mph) second and Arana Jr. (6.856 at 195.11 mph) third.
(DNQs listed below pairings)
Top Fuel -- 1. Spencer Massey, 3.728 seconds, 329.91 mph vs. 16. T.J. Zizzo, 3.920, 309.27; 2. Morgan Lucas, 3.739, 324.51 vs. 15. Bruce Litton, 3.903, 313.00; 3. Shawn Langdon, 3.742, 324.36 vs. 14. Dom Lagana, 3.894, 317.49; 4. Tony Schumacher, 3.746, 327.11 vs. 13. Terry McMillen, 3.834, 316.75; 5. Steve Torrence, 3.759, 324.20 vs. 12. Bob Vandergriff, 3.828, 321.96; 6. Brandon Bernstein, 3.764, 323.27 vs. 11. David Grubnic, 3.820, 318.84; 7. Khalid alBalooshi, 3.775, 322.81 vs. 10. Clay Millican, 3.805, 313.07; 8. Doug Kalitta, 3.794, 321.35 vs. 9. Antron Brown, 3.798, 322.73. Did Not Qualify: 17. Luigi Novelli, 4.103, 302.35; 18. Rit Pustari, 4.157, 279.38; 19. Cory McClenathan, 4.536, 309.49; 20. Ike Maier, 6.389, 262.49; 21. Brady Kalivoda, 7.104, 99.06.
Funny Car -- 1. Ron Capps, Dodge Charger, 3.964, 320.89 vs. 16. Bob Bode, Chevy Impala, 4.231, 296.11; 2. Robert Hight, Ford Mustang, 4.013, 318.02 vs. 15. Blake Alexander, Chevy Monte Carlo, 4.116, 302.96; 3. Johnny Gray, Charger, 4.022, 318.84 vs. 14. Jim Head, Toyota Solara, 4.113, 300.20; 4. Tim Wilkerson, Mustang, 4.028, 309.56 vs. 13. Courtney Force, Mustang, 4.098, 310.27; 5. Matt Hagan, Charger, 4.035, 306.05 vs. 12. Tony Pedregon, Toyota Camry, 4.079, 304.12; 6. Alexis DeJoria, Camry, 4.040, 313.66 vs. 11. John Force, Mustang, 4.066, 311.85; 7. Mike Neff, Mustang, 4.052, 312.71 vs. 10. Bob Tasca III, Mustang, 4.065, 307.93; 8. Jeff Arend, Camry, 4.060, 311.20 vs. 9. Jack Beckman, Charger, 4.065, 313.73. Did Not Qualify: 17. Todd Lesenko, 4.267, 292.58; 18. Terry Haddock, 4.452, 286.56; 19. Cruz Pedregon, 5.131, 148.76; 20. Mike Smith, 5.321, 164.49.
Pro Stock -- 1. Jason Line, Pontiac GXP, 6.518, 212.76 vs. 16. Grace Howell, Ford Mustang, 6.628, 208.39; 2. Allen Johnson, Dodge Avenger, 6.518, 211.76 vs. 15. Warren Johnson, GXP, 6.596, 210.37; 3. Mike Edwards, GXP, 6.529, 211.73 vs. 14. Larry Morgan, Mustang, 6.570, 209.98; 4. Erica Enders, Chevy Cobalt, 6.533, 211.63 vs. 13. Kurt Johnson, GXP, 6.564, 210.60; 5. Vincent Nobile, Avenger, 6.537, 212.09 vs. 12. Shane Gray, GXP, 6.564, 210.57; 6. Greg Anderson, Chevy Camaro, 6.538, 212.13 vs. 11. Ron Krisher, GXP, 6.559, 211.36; 7. Ronnie Humphrey, GXP, 6.546, 211.63 vs. 10. V. Gaines, Avenger, 6.555, 210.70; 8. Rodger Brogdon, GXP, 6.548, 211.39 vs. 9. Steve Kent, GXP, 6.552, 210.77. Did Not Qualify: 17. Bob Benza, 6.640, 209.43; 18. Jeg Coughlin, 6.663, 207.46.
Pro Stock Motorcycle -- 1. Eddie Krawiec, Harley-Davidson, 6.782, 197.48 vs. 16. Joe DeSantis, Suzuki, 7.152, 183.34; 2. Hector Arana, Buell, 6.836, 195.53 vs. 15. Steve Johnson, Suzuki, 6.979, 192.47; 3. Hector Arana Jr, Buell, 6.856, 195.11 vs. 14. Jerry Savoie, Buell, 6.954, 193.46; 4. LE Tonglet, Suzuki, 6.862, 194.30 vs. 13. Mike Berry, Buell, 6.935, 192.55; 5. Michael Ray, Buell, 6.865, 194.02 vs. 12. John Hall, Buell, 6.926, 192.85; 6. Andrew Hines, Harley-Davidson, 6.874, 196.53 vs. 11. Karen Stoffer, Suzuki, 6.918, 193.96; 7. Scotty Pollacheck, Buell, 6.906, 192.33 vs. 10. Shawn Gann, Buell, 6.912, 194.44; 8. Matt Smith, Buell, 6.910, 193.29 vs. 9. Michael Phillips, Suzuki, 6.912, 194.83. Did Not Qualify: 17. Stephen Terkowski, 7.268, 179.83; 18. Angie Smith, 12.863, 63.21; 19. Justin Finley, broke.