Don Schumacher Racing drivers set records in Reading qualifying

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Beckman's pending national E.T record, closes gap to points leader Capps; Schumacher's best good for third at Reading

READING, Pa. (Oct. 6, 2012) - On what was one of the most memorable days ever in the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series, Don Schumacher Racing's Jack Beckman set pending national records for elapsed time (3.989 seconds) and speed (320.58 mph) while teammate and points leader Ron Capps provided more drama Saturday than he would have preferred.

Jack Beckman
Jack Beckman

Photo by: Michael C. Johnson

Capps arrived at Maple Grove Raceway near Reading, Pa., with a 30-point lead over Beckman in the Countdown to the Championship but needed a stellar 4.055-second run in the fourth and final qualifying session to get into the 16-car field for Sunday's championship eliminations.

Beckman has narrowed the gap to 17 points after dominating qualifying and earning his fourth pole this year for the Schumacher Electric Battery Extender/Valvoline NextGen Dodger Charger R/T team led by crew chief Todd Smith and assistant Terry Snyder.

In Top Fuel, seven-time world champion Tony Schumacher and the U.S. Army team produced the best qualifying effort among the three DSR dragsters. Schumacher's first run of 3.736 seconds (324.20) on Saturday morning earned him the No. 3 qualifying position after he briefly held the top spot after the day's early session.

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.

Cool temperatures in the air and on the track enabled Cruz Pedregon to also dip below four seconds (3.997) and become the fourth driver and first who is not a member of DSR to reach the milestone.

Performances in Top Fuel also were stunning. Schumacher was knocked off the top spot when Kalitta Motorsports teammates David Grubnic and Doug Kalitta stole the show. They were paired in the fourth session and produced the quickest ever side-by-side pass.

Grubnic's 3.728 equals the quickest ever in Top Fuel and won the No. 1 qualifying position while Kalitta moved into the second spot with 3.739 at a speed of 331.45 mph, which is the second fastest ever.

Source: Don Schumacher Raciing

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About this article
Series NHRA
Article type Qualifying report
Tags beckman, dodge, funny car, grubnic, maple grove, schumacher, top fuel, toyota