Beckman top funny car qualifier at Reading

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Schumacher/Valvoline Funny Car only 17 points from first after record-challenging effort in qualifying at Maple Grove

READING, Pa. (Oct. 6, 2012) - Peaking at the right time is the only way to describe Don Schumacher Racing's Battery eXtender by Schumacher Electric Funny Car driven by Jack Beckman.

Jack Beckman
Jack Beckman

Photo by: Michael C. Johnson

The team won its second consecutive No. 1 qualifying position Saturday at the NHRA Nationals at Maple Grove Raceway near Reading, Pa., and continued a remarkable streak of qualifying in the top-three for the eighth consecutive Full Throttle Drag Racing Series event.

It is the team's fourth pole of the season, but this time the team led by crew chief Todd Smith and assistant Terry Snyder, took their performance to a new level.

Beckman set pending national records for elapsed time (3.989 seconds) and speed (320.58 mph), and followed up on Saturday with runs of 4.001 and 4.011.

"It was stunning," Beckman said.

"Maybe the most telling thing was after the third session. We had to run a 4.02 to back up our Friday E.T. of 3.98 for the record and we ran 4-flat (4.001) and our guys were disappointed.

"I love that because it shows that our expectations are so high right now and they want this car to be flawless. With nitro it's tough to be flawless.

"We're still leaving some things on the table and we're running phenomenally.

Beckman arrived at Maple Grove trailing teammate and points leader Ron Capps by 30 with three elimination days left in the six-event Countdown to the Championship in the Full Throttle Drag Racing Series.

That margin has been trimmed to 17 points heading to Sunday.

"Everybody has remained so upbeat, so positive," Snyder said. "Our group has just jelled."

Under NHRA rules, Beckman had to run within 1 percent of his Friday time of 3.989 which he did on his first run Saturday to be in position to leave the event with the national ET record that is worth 20 bonus points. If no driver tops Beckman's effort on Sunday then the record will be his.

He also can claim the national speed record but that does not offer bonus points.

"We're really pleased with the results so far," Smith said. "We came in here with the thought process that if the weather and the track cooperated we needed to do well. It's business as usual for us to go for the throat every time.

"The E.T. record, quite honestly, doesn't surprise me because the Reading track is so good," Smith said. "The cars always run really good here. It's amazing to me that it was us who did it. That is amazing."

The current official E.T. record in Funny Car is held by Beckman's DSR teammate Matt Hagan at 3.995 set in in September 2011 near Charlotte. Beckman holds the national speed record of 318.99 mph set by Beckman at the same event.

Source: Don Schumacher Racing

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About this article
Series NHRA
Article type Qualifying report
Tags beckman, dodge, maple grove, schumacher