Experimenting with a 10,000-horsepower Funny Car sounds dangerous, but it is exactly what crew chief Rob Flynn did with Jack Beckman's Valvoline MaxLife Funny Car in the fourth and final qualifying session at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park.
The Dodge Charger R/T started the weekend with a respectable 4.107-second pass that earned them a bonus point for being the third quickest of the first qualifying session. They followed that effort with a 4.055-second lap in the second session late Friday afternoon, leading all DSR Funny Cars.
To start Saturday's qualifying, the Flynn-tuned machine posted a 4.057-second lap, the best of the session and worth three points. After three solid qualifying laps, the Valvoline MaxLife team decided to put it to the max for the fourth session and the Goodyear tires didn't hold traction.
"So we thought 'why not?' and we stood on it for the fourth qualifying pass. And that's OK, we went a little further. Sometimes the ones where you miss it, teach you more than the ones where it goes all the way down the racetrack."
Flynn and assistant Terry Snyder will take what they've learned throughout their four qualifying runs and apply it to their first-round pairing against Don Schumacher Racing teammate Matt Hagan on Sunday.
"I'm very optimistic about race day tomorrow," Jack said. "I'm very happy. I think we have a great, quick, consistent, predictable hot rod."