It wasn't a banner day for Don Schumacher Racing Friday on the opening day of the 30th annual NHRA national event near Phoenix, but trophies aren't distributed until after championship eliminations on Sunday.
Jack Beckman and the Valvoline MaxLife Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car led by crew chief Rob Flynn produced DSR's best Funny Car effort with a second-session effort of 4.055 seconds at 314.09 mph to earn the No. 4 provisional qualifying position heading to Saturday's last two sessions at 2 and 4:30 p.m.
Antron also has been successful at Wild Horse. He won titles there in 2009 and 2012 with his Matco Tools team led by crew chiefs Brian Corradi and Mark Oswald. His time of 3.793 (316.75) ranks fifth behind provisional pole winner Doug Kalitta's 3.735 (327.74).
"It felt good going down the racetrack," Antron said. "I'm amped up, pumped up for tomorrow. Kalitta put a good run down out there and now we know what we have to shoot for. We'll get after it with our Matco Tools car.
"It wasn't the run we wanted right out of the gate, but we learned from it and improved on the last one."
DSR is trying to defend the nitro titles it won a year ago at Wild Horse. Ron Capps, who won the Funny Car title in his NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge, holds the No. 8 spot while teammate Tony Schumacher in the U.S. Army Top Fuel dragster was unable to get to the finish line under power on either try and ranks 11th for Sunday's 16-car field.
Ron, who lost his 4-year-old track elapsed time record Friday to provisional pole winner John Force, was pleased with the way crew chief Rahn Tobler improved the performance of his Dodge in the second session.
"This is the first time this year we've been able to run with the sun out like this and with it so warm (mid 70s) so Rahn and the NAPA Dodge boys got it dialed in," said Ron, who has owns three Funny Car titles at the track.
"The track was good. I heard some of the Pro Stock drivers felt some bumps when they tested here a few weeks ago, but they must have worked them out because I didn't feel any."
Don Schumacher Racing