Spencer Massey says his favorite off-season activity is racing. Following a two-month hiatus from the seat of his Red Fuel Powered by Schumacher dragster, the former NHRA Road to the Future award winner didn't miss a beat leading the Top Fuel field in the opening day of the PRO Winter Warm-up at Palm Beach International Raceway.
Massey, who won three races last season with crew chiefs Todd Okuhara and Phil Shuler, powered his Red Fuel rail to the quickest lap of the PRO-backed event at 3.723-seconds at 332.26 mph. It was the fastest lap ever recorded at Palm Beach International Raceway. The Red Fuel dragster went 3.851 on Friday's opening PRO Winter Warm-up pass. The Red Fuel team also made test passes on Tuesday and Wednesday. Massey's DSR Top Fuel stable mates also made two laps in the PRO-backed event as Tony Schumacher, who is flying the No. 1 on his U.S. Army dragster for the eighth time, clocked a run of 3.793, while 2012 NHRA champion Antron Brown, who won a category-best six races last season, posted a 3.844. Both have made laps in the low 3.7-second range this week.
"That was an awesome lap," Massey said. "The conditions are awesome and Todd (Okuhara) said we'll give it everything we can and it went 3.72. I got to the finish line and hit the button for the parachutes and looked up and saw the scoreboard and saw the 332 mph come up and I was excited. "I had no idea what it ran for ET and the guys said it ran 3.72. That makes me so excited to have a good hot rod. This thing has wanted to run low 3.70s since we got here and it's like a bracket car. This is awesome and hopefully we can continue that on into Pomona." While most Funny Cars have struggled mightily to maneuver the PBIR strip, veteran tuner Rahn Tobler and assistant Eric Lane used data from a December test session here in South Florida to power Capps to the quickest pass of the week at 4.023-seconds at 321.42 mph.
Capps' teammate and defending NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Funny Car champion Matt Hagan raced his new 2015 Dodge Charger R/T to a 4.058 at 320.05, while teammates Jack Beckman and Tommy Johnson Jr. look to improve on Saturday afternoon at the Jupiter, Fla. track. All four DSR Funny Car teams are utilizing the 2015 Dodge Charger R/T body.
"(Rahn) Tobler learned a lot last month when they came down here with our car and Tommy (Johnson Jr.) drove it," Capps said after the 4.023-second pass on Friday evening at PBIR. "Tommy had some input on how the car steered and drove and the coolest thing with a teammate like Tommy is that we learned some things after he drove our car and it's great to have a teammate give his professional input to make our car better. "The new body is unbelievable," Capps added after making his first passes in the new 2015 Dodge Charger R/T body. "With the old body it probably would have gone 317 maybe 318 mph and with that 2015 Charger body, it went 321 mph pretty easily and drove really nice down there at the top end. I cannot stress how much easier it is to steer and drive this new Charger. It's really a dream and I'm looking forward to going to Pomona to start the season off with the new body."