Sunday turned out to be a great day for Schumacher Racing at zMax Dragway.
The long-time National Hot Rod Association operation claimed two of the four professional division titles during the final day of the fourth-annual NHRA Four-Wide Nationals.
Spencer Massey claimed his second straight Four-Wide Nationals top fuel title, while teammate Matt Hagan won his first Funny Car title under the unique side-by-side-by-side-by-side format at zMax Dragway.
Other NHRA professional division winners Sunday were Mike Edwards in pro stock and Hector Arana Jr. in pro stock motorcycle.
Massey’s and Hagan’s wins now give former drag racer-turned-owner Don Schumacher’s team five Four-Wide Nationals titles over the past four years – three in top fuel and two in Funny Cars. It was also the third fop fuel-Funny Car title sweep this season for Schumacher Racing, and the 35th overall.
“Whenever you see your teammate winning right in front of you, it definitely puts the pressure on,” said Massey, whose winning top fuel run came right after Hagan won the Funny Car title. “You think, ‘Y’know, we definitely need to be joining him in the winner’s circle.’ ”
Massey, of Fort Worth, Texas, won his 11th career top fuel title with a final-round pass of 3.771 seconds at 325.45 mph. That beat out Schumacher Racing teammate and seven-time NHRA champion Tony Schumacher by just 0.007 seconds (3.778 seconds at 320.81 mph). Top qualifier Shawn Langdon was third, with Brandon Bernstein fourth.
“It was nerve wracking going into that final,” Massey said. “Tony had outrun us in the semifinals, and Shawn had made stellar runs all day long. So we knew we had to step it up. It’s unbelievable that we made it.”
Hagan, of Christiansburg, Va., ended a 17-month winless streak with his victory. The 2011 NHRA Funny Car champ made a final-round pass of 4.071 seconds at 315.34 mph, easily beating Blake Alexander (4.156 seconds at 294.56 mph). Tim Wilkerson was third, with top qualifier Chad Head fourth.
“We finally put some gremlins to rest,” Hagan said after his sixth career Funny Car win. “Our car just ran phenomenal in Lane 2 all day long. It’s been too long since we’ve won, and that feeling is great to have back.”
Breakthrough: Edwards finally broke into the win column this season in the pro stock division after taking the No. 1 qualifier spot in five consecutive events, including this weekend at zMax Dragway.
Edwards, of Coweta, Okla., added to his 2010 Four-Wide Nationals title with a final-round pass of 6.495 seconds at 213.67 mph, beating 2012 runner-up Erica Enders-Stevens (6.521 seconds at 211.76 mph).
Mooresville’s Greg Anderson, who had won the past two Four-Wide titles, was third, with Shane Gray of Denver, N.C., fourth.
“It was a phenomenal weekend,” Edwards said after winning his 35th career pro stock title. “It does feel satisfying to finally close the deal and get that first win.”
Two-for-two: Arana continued to dominate the pro stock motorcycle division, with Sunday’s title his second win in as many events this season.
Arana, of Milltown, Ind., picked up his fifth career NHRA win with a final-round pass of 6.896 seconds at 190.73 mph, edging three-time NHRA division champ Eddie Krawiec (6.924 seconds at 190.65 mph). Scotty Pollacheck was third, with Jim Underdahl fourth.
“We’re making up for lost time,” said Arana, who went winless in 2012 after taking three titles the year before. “It just shows that we want to get some wins this year.”
More winners: In addition to the four professional divisions, eliminations and finals were held in eight other lower-level NHRA divisions.
Division champions were Troy Coughlin of Jupiter, Fla. (pro mod), Bill Reichert of Owosso, Mich. (alcohol dragster), Dan Pomponio of Berlin, N.J. (alcohol Funny Car), Chuck Gallagher of Lexington, N.C. (super stock), Brian Rowe of New Bern, N.C. (stock eliminator), Ken Moses of Colonia, N.J. (top dragster), Alan Kenny of Kutztown, Pa. (super comp) and Mike Sawyer of Leominster, Mass. (super gas).