ALL SYSTEMS GO AS TEAM MOPARÂ® FUNNY CAR DRIVERS PREPARE FOR POMONA, CALIF. Center Line, Mich. -- With the kickoff of the new NHRA POWERade season only days away, one thing is clear: the Team Mopar and Don Schumacher Racing NHRA POWERade Funny...
ALL SYSTEMS GO AS TEAM MOPAR® FUNNY CAR DRIVERS PREPARE FOR POMONA, CALIF.
Center Line, Mich. -- With the kickoff of the new NHRA POWERade season only days away, one thing is clear: the Team Mopar and Don Schumacher Racing NHRA POWERade Funny Car trio of Gary Scelzi, Ron Capps and Jack Beckman appear ready to make another run at the championship in 2007. The season opens this weekend at the NHRA Winternationals in Pomona, Calif.
The trio, who combined for seven Funny Car wins last year, utilized HEMI® power to take three of the top four quickest elapsed times at the Jan. 26--28 Phoenix test session. They clocked the top speed as well. The performance has left the three Team Mopar drivers chomping at the bit to hit the Pomona strip.
CAPPS, SCELZI AND BECKMAN ON 2007
"It's great, what's going on in this whole DSR team," said Ron Capps, driver of the Brut Revolution Dodge Charger R/T. Capps had five Funny Car wins last year, the most on the circuit, and finished third in the points standings after leading the race for most of the year. "We were trying different injectors off of [Beckman's] car, we were swapping things with [Scelzi's] car and trying things for them, and they were trying things for us. With the three Funny Cars working so well together, it's going to be a fun season."
That positive outlook is echoed by Gary Scelzi, driver of the Mopar/Oakley Dodge Charger R/T. The Team Mopar veteran captured the NHRA Funny Car championship in 2005, becoming only the second driver in NHRA history to notch titles in both Funny Car and Top Fuel competition.
"One word sums it up: exciting," said Scelzi of the coming season. The veteran driver took home one win in 2006, at Mopar's marquee event, the Mopar Mile-High Nationals. "We made eight runs [at the Phoenix test session], and in only two runs [the car] smoked the tires. We're very pleased and we're very excited about going to Pomona."
Standout newcomer Jack Beckman set the quickest and fastest national records in 2006, and he powered to one win in only five Funny Car starts for Team Mopar and DSR last year. The test session at Phoenix offered valuable seat time in his Mail Terminal Services Dodge Charger R/T, in preparation for Pomona.
"Being that I think I only had 38 or 40 runs coming into [Phoenix], every time I get to launch is more practice for me, even the runs where something shakes or breaks," said Beckman. "Everything that I get to do in the car will help me be a better driver eventually, so I'm ecstatic about every run. The great thing is, after we tried some stuff [at Phoenix], Todd [Okuhara, Beckman's crew chief] said, 'OK, let's just go back to our baseline and make sure everything is OK,' and boom, [we run] 4.73, 327 mph. We could load up and go to Pomona and qualify in the top four right now."