At Brainerd Beckman is happy and disappointed at same time

Brainerd, Minn. - Jack Beckman was disappointed and pleased at the same time on Sunday at Brainerd International Raceway.

Beckman was pleased with his crew chief Todd Smith, their crew and his Valvoline NextGen Funny Car. He was disappointed about the second-round loss to Don Schumacher Racing teammate Matt Hagan.

Beckman was over the moon on Saturday night after the final session of qualifying in the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series. The team led by Smith clocked their best run ever at 4.018-seconds on Saturday evening to take the No. 1 qualifying position.

Jack Beckman
Jack Beckman

Photo by: NHRA

"We've been top two (qualifying spots) the last four races and that is stellar," said Beckman. "We are absolutely clearly making fantastic calls in qualifying."

Beckman had high hopes on having a long day on Sunday during eliminations but the warm, tricky track pulled the Goodyear tires loose and the Valvoline NextGen team was denied a trip to the semifinal round.

"Against Hagan, the computer graph looked beautiful except the racetrack was 10 degrees warmer than our horsepower would tolerate," he said. "We just have to figure out where in our clutch application to make some changes to address these sort of runs.

"I said this a couple races ago, we just have those anomaly runs that come up once in a while."

They will begin addressing those runs next week during private testing at Raceway Park outside of Indianapolis.

"We're going to probably use two days of testing where a lot of the other teams are just going to use one day," Beckman explained. "Most of that gets back to we just have less notebook information than the other Schumacher cars."

The team is looking to gain precious data for the six-race Countdown to the Championship playoff when the top10 drivers through the first 17 events will battle for the world championship.

"It'll give us an opportunity to try a couple of things. I think if we run two days it will give us the opportunity to make eight runs and get good baselines and then start deviating from that a little bit and see if that's something that we can use in the Countdown."

Beckman sits solidly in third place in NHRA Funny Car standings. "It's hard to complain," he said. "It's frustrating to qualify number one and not make it to a final round. The other side of it is we're a solid third in the standings for the Countdown. We are gathering good data, we're making good calls and we're all pulling on the same side of the rope.

"We're going to Indy and we are going to do our best to win there and I think we're going to have a great car for the Countdown."

Source: Don Schumacher Racing

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Series NHRA
Article type Race report
Tags beckman, brainerd, funny car, nhra, valvoline