Hot afternoon in Seattle foils Beckman

Beckman, Schumacher Battery Extender team lose in second round on a hot afternoon for eliminations at Pacific Raceways

Jack Beckman
Jack Beckman

Photo by: Michael C. Johnson

KENT, Wash. (Aug. 5, 2012) - Jack Beckman and crew chief Todd Smith were thrown a curveball Sunday at Pacific Raceways.

Like many of the nitro-fueled machines, Beckman's Schumacher Electric Battery Extender Funny Car hazed its Goodyear tires during the second round of eliminations during the heat of the day.

Temperatures in the mid-90s outside Seattle produced one of the area's hottest days of the year leaving crew chiefs scratching their heads on how to approach the tricky track conditions.

"We were faced with a hot race track but we thought we had a tune up for it," Beckman said. "We were really good in the heat (Saturday) and thought we could duplicate that and it just threw us a curveball and smoked the tires early."

Beckman and second-round opponent John Force both hazed the tires, but Force was able to get traction more quickly than Beckman and earned the win. It was the first time in 10 straight head-to-head matches that Force beat Beckman.

"We just have a couple of issues that seem to bite us from time to time," Smith said. "All we can do is keep working on it until we can isolate how to make the right adjustments and go from there."

The team will begin the trek back to the Brownsburg, Ind., on Monday and will face some work when they get there.

"We're going to go back to the shop and front-half this car in the fabrication shop at the DSR headquarters," Beckman said of replacing part of the chassis. "If we don't do it now, we'd have to do it sometime during the Countdown to the Championship and we don't want that variable. We'll front half it and run it at Brainerd and test it at Indy."

One of the most important missions for the team is collecting precious data.

"We got some more data this weekend," said Beckman. "Keep in mind that's 76 runs for this team. We have 76 runs worth of data and we run against teams that have a minimum of 150 runs and some of them have 400 runs.

"We're just going to keep picking away at this until the car does what we ask it to do after every run. We just have to minimize these outlier runs where the car does something we weren't predicting."

Overall, Beckman was pleased with their efforts on the grueling three-race Western Swing.

"We won seven rounds of racing on the Western Swing, so we averaged a little better than a semifinal finish. That's the stuff that will get the Championship. For the next two races the goal is to get the data and trophies."

Source: Don Schumacher Racing

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About this article
Series NHRA
Article type Race reports
Tags beckman, dodge, funny car, schumacher