BECKMAN TO RUN NEW DSR1 CHASSIS IN E-TOWN NORTH HILLS, Calif. (June 18, 2008) - Following recent testing in Martin, Mich., Jack Beckman and the Valvoline/Mail Terminal Services Dodge Charger R/T team are prepared to debut the new DSR1 chassis ...
BECKMAN TO RUN NEW DSR1 CHASSIS IN E-TOWN
NORTH HILLS, Calif. (June 18, 2008) - Following recent testing in Martin, Mich., Jack Beckman and the Valvoline/Mail Terminal Services Dodge Charger R/T team are prepared to debut the new DSR1 chassis in Englishtown, N.J., this weekend directly out of the Don Schumacher Racing shops in Brownsburg, Ind.
With a new "safer" chassis mandatory by the NHRA for all the pro Funny Car teams beginning with the Denver event July 11-13, the Valvoline/MTS Dodge team finally put some laps on this new "in-house" chassis last week before heading to this weekend's NHRA SuperNationals at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park.
"We made five runs in the new car," said Beckman, who is 12th in the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series Funny Car point standings with one victory this season, the fourth of his career in six final rounds. "It went down the track. We never went past half -track because what we needed to know we would have known early.
"Our very first run in the new chassis was a planned 400-footer. It made it to 400 ft. and it was quick early, which has kind of been our 'Achille's Heel' lately. We needed to be quicker earlier in the run, and so this car showed us that it is definitely quicker earlier. That is exactly what we wanted.
"We're pretty excited. This is an in-house chassis, kind of a Murf McKinney clone. It was built in DSR's own chassis fabrication shop by chief fabricator and manager Norm Boutot and his staff members Keith Patterson and Joe Fitzpatrick.
"Any time that you can put a new car together and very first run out it does what it is supposed to, it brings a big sigh of relief to the crew," added Beckman, a cancer survivor, former Air Force sergeant and Frank Hawley Drag Racing School instructor. "I also think it's the shot in the arm that we need right now. If we can combine the consistency we've had lately with these potentially quicker elapsed times, I think we can get right back into this thing."
Beckman is 12 points out of the coveted top 10 in the Funny Car rankings. The top 10 will vie in the Countdown to the Championship following the U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis on Labor Day weekend.
Racing at an historic venue such as Old Bridge Township Raceway Park is a highlight for the driver who is only in his second full season of Funny Car competition. "I'm a big historian of the sport," Beckman said, "and Jungle Jim Liberman, one of the all-time icons in drag racing, was mainly a match racer, but he won his only NHRA national event in Englishtown in 1975. My Funny Car number is 711, his was 117, so I feel a connection here.
"Also, when you look at the history of this event, you see a Who's Who of Funny Car racing, including my boss Don Schumacher, who won E-town in 1972."
Mail Terminal Services continues its "Mail from Home" program in 2008. Fans at each NHRA national event have the opportunity to sign special cards at the DSR hospitality area and at the U.S. Army Racing Zone in the midway area, which MTS then ships, free of charge, to the troops in war zones overseas.