By Joe Lindholm, Sports Writer
Brainerd, MN (August 18, 2013) - Spencer Massey can add the Lucas Oil Nationals at Brainerd International Raceway as a notch to his win 2013 win belt, while Clay Millican has to wonder when his time is going to come.
Massey picked up his fourth win of the season with an elapsed time of 3.811, and a speed of 322.11 mph. That was just enough to overcome Millican who ran a 3.856 at a speed of 320.66. Massey picked up his first career win in Top Fuel at BIR.
“Coming into the race we haven’t had any luck here,” Massey said. “I have won here in Alcohol Dragster, but that doesn’t matter when you are racing Top Fuel, it’s a different category. My goal today was to get out there and win a round. We wanted to succeed and get to the finals and we did that.”
Millican started off his weekend with a run of 3.773 in the second round of qualifying, which set a BIR track record. However, he was unable to break through in the finals for the third time this season after losing in the finals to Antron Brown in Gainesville, and to Tony Schumacher in Chicago. He also is now 0-5 against Massey in his career.
Millican earned lane choice in the finals, but Massey was able to make the correct adjustments.
“Getting up there it didn’t seem like the right lane was as good as the left so we were fighting where we were going to stage the car in the final round,” Massey said. “I had to start on the left, aim it against the wall and then come back at 330 and luckily it stuck.”
For Massey, he has wins at Brainerd, Charlotte, Epping and Denver this season and is now second in the points standings with a spot clinched in the Countdown with one regular-season race left at Indianapolis in two weeks.
Lincoln Electric is a proud partner of
Don Schumacher Racing.
The day started with a minor upset in the first round as Doug Kalitta was the only winner coming from the right lane as he defeated Brown. Massey ran the low ET of the first round with a 3.791, and gave the fans a great show at the end of the run.
“It started off pretty spectacular with a bit of a fire, which burned off everything from the driver’s compartment back,” Massey said. “We had to replace every line, and the parachutes got burned off. I even sliced my thumb open working on the car. You don’t want to break the car but it is a good show for the fans.”
The top four seeds advanced in the second round with Millican, the top qualifier, Massey, Khalid albalooshi, and Shawn Langdon all gaining spots in the semifinals.
Massey also can empathize with what Millican is going through.
“I know that he was wanting to win, and I was excited for him being in the final round,” Massey said of Millican. “He has won six championships in IHRA Top Fuel, and I won one championship in IHRA. Those are two former champions racing today, which is pretty spectacular.”
Massey now heads to Indianapolis with the No. 2 spot, but the stop in Brainerd was special.
“This is one of my favorite places to come to,” Massey said. “All the fans show up and they get ready for this race and have been looking forward to us coming all season long. We have more people come up and cheer you on, and just to feel the ground rumble under their feet.”