Spencer Massey, 2009 NHRA Rookie of the Year, will join Don Schumacher Racing to drive the Prestone/Fram Top Fuel dragster for the 2011 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series. Team owner Don Schumacher says the addition of Massey gives his Top Fuel program three legitimate candidates for a championship in the coming season. Massey strengthens a potent DSR program which features Tony Schumacher, seven-time world champion in the U.S. Army dragster, and Antron Brown, who finished fourth in 2010 driving the Matco Tools dragster.
“Spencer is one of the most talented young Top Fuel drivers and a perfect addition to DSR," said Schumacher. "We expect him to battle Tony and Antron for the 2011 championship from the first race and to be a great representative for the Honeywell Team of Fram, Prestone and Autolite.”
In his rookie season, the Fort Worth native won two national events in 2009 (Joliet and the second Las Vegas race), on his way to a sixth-place Top Fuel finish and recipient of the Automobile Club of Southern California Road to the Future Award.
“This is a great opportunity,” said the 28-year-old. “I got hooked on nitro and tire smoke as a kid; growing up in Texas, Eddie Hill was my idol.”
His father worked on friends' dragsters as Massey hung around the shop, learning whatever he could about the cars. He eventually worked for his own friends, and moved up to crew for Scott Palmer's NHRA Top Fuel team (2001-'03), Ashley Force Hood's alcohol dragster (2004) and Morgan Lucas' alcohol dragster (2005).
Massey's driving career began as a 13-year-old in Junior Dragsters (1997 IHRA champion), progressed through local bracket racing into NHRA and IHRA alcohol dragsters (2006-2008) and then IHRA Top Fuel dragsters where he won the 2008 championship (including four wins in five final rounds, out of 10 overall races).
His 2009 team shuttered its operation following the season, leaving Massey without a ride, so he spent this past season competing in IHRA Top Fuel match races and looking for a NHRA nitro ride.
“This is a great opportunity,” he said. “I am driving for a drag-racing legend in Don Schumacher on a team with an incredible list of accomplishments. I know I can learn a lot from teammates like Tony and Antron and just being around them will make me better.
And I am representing legendary names in automotive products – Fram, Prestone and Autolite, names which I intend to put on display in the winner's circle on a regular basis.”