There appears to have been a change of mind with Don Schumacher after having let Spencer Massey go following last season. Don Schumacher Racing (DSR) has re-signed Massey to drive their third Top Fuel car and the sponsorship will come from Don Schumacher’s own Schumacher Electric Corp. The car will brand the Battery Extender Powered by Schumacher banner.
DSR will continue to search for marketing partners but will keep last season’s team intact for the entire NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season, regardless of whether funding is found or not.
Said Schumacher, “I committed to run that car in 2013 and will do what I committed to doing. And I want to keep that team together because it has contended for the championship down to the last two races the past two years.”
Indeed, Massey was in the 2012 title hunt until the final few rounds on the last day of the season — he finished third overall.
Originally, Schumacher had ended his contractual relationship with Massey in a terse statement last November saying simply Massey “is no longer part of Don Schumacher Racing effective immediately. I appreciate what Spencer did for us the past two years, but I have decided to go in a different direction.” (Source – Racer)
Antron Brown, Massey’s teammate, won last year’s Top Fuel championship, making Brown the first Black American in history to ever win a major professional motorsports title. After the year ended, supposedly during NHRA’s celebratory dinner awards banquet, Massey made inappropriate remarks that in-turn got him released from his contract … or so it was rumored. Officially, Massey was released due to lack of funding. Brown has since said his relationship with Massey is fine and that Massey apologized for any offensive comments (source: RPM2Tonight).
The 30 year old Spencer Massey is one of the quickest leavers in the game and will again join a team that is arguably the most formidable in Top Fuel. Along with Massey and Brown, Tony Schumacher, the winningest driver in Top Fuel history, will be campaigning again in the U.S. Army dragster.
Crew chiefs Todd Okuhara and Phil Shuler will once more be calling the tuning shots on Massey’s fire-breathing Top Fueler starting with the Winternationals February 14-17 at Pomona, California.