One creative NHRA fan has won a VIP experience to zMAX Dragway for the NHRA Countdown to the Championship opener, the O'Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Nationals, Sept. 14-16. The task was to successfully nickname the 29-year old Top Fuel pilot, Spencer Massey.

Massey’s teammates, Antron Brown and Tony Schumacher teamed up with zMAX Dragway officials to ask the passionate NHRA fans to come up with an appropriate nickname for the fresh-faced, unassuming driver of the FRAM/Prestone dragster.

The fans responded with 200 entries through zMAX Dragway’s Facebook page, including Massey’s choice, “The Bullet,” submitted by Renee Grainger of Clarksville, Va.

“I’m picking the ‘Bullet’ to honor my friend Mark Niver who passed away in 2010,” said Massey. “His car nickname was the ‘Billet Bullet’ because he built his own motors and chassis. He was a great innovator in the sport. When I saw it I thought of Mark Niver and the Billet Bullet. I’ve known him since I was a little kid and when I grew up we enjoyed lots of silver bullets in the pits.

“Seeing the name ‘Bullet’ on the list just brought back some really good memories. I’ve never really had a nickname. This was just one of the great ones that the fans submitted. It can be taken as part of the phrase ‘faster than a speeding bullet’, and it means something to me because of Mark.”

Mark Niver, 60, was a veteran drag racer who died on July 11, 2010, when he crashed his Top Alcohol Dragster at Pacific Raceways near Seattle. The owner of a machine shop in Phoenix, Niver was known for building his own dragster.

Grainger, an amateur drag racer, has been a fan for 25 years and was delighted that Massey picked her entry.

“I’m absolutely thrilled to win,” she said. “I have been a fan of NHRA for the last 25 years and zMAX Dragway is the most beautiful, and most respectful drag strip we have ever been to. I am absolutely 100 percent thrilled to win Spencer Massey’s contest. He’s a wonderful driver and he’s wonderful with his fans and that’s what drag racing is all about.”

For her creativity, she won two suite tickets and two Don Schumacher Racing hospitality packages, along with free parking for Sunday, Sept. 16, during final eliminations at the O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Nationals.

Fans can purchase two tickets for $60 for any day and choose an upgrade of two hot dogs and two soft drinks or two beer vouchers. Children 13 and under are admitted for free every day of the O'Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Nationals, but they must have a ticket.

Gates open at 7:30 a.m. on Friday and Saturday, and at 9:30 a.m. on Sunday. Sportsman action starts at 8 a.m. Friday and Saturday. Nitro qualifying sessions are scheduled for 4 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. on Friday and 1 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. on Saturday. On Sunday, final eliminations are scheduled to begin with nitro at noon.

Tickets and camping are still available for the O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Nationals, Sept. 14-16 at zMAX Dragway, by calling the Charlotte Motor Speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS (3267).

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