Successful Indy test has Beckman ready to add win at U.S. Nationals

Jack Beckman
Jack Beckman

Photo by: Anne Proffit

BROWNSBURG, Ind. (Aug. 28, 2012) - Typically the cure to an ailing Achilles Heel is rest. But that's not the approach Jack Beckman and the Valvoline NextGen team led by crew chief Todd Smith took.

The team spent two days testing at Lucas Oil Raceway near Indianapolis last week in preparation for the U.S. Nationals and NHRA's six-race playoff format, the Countdown to the Championship.

Smith had the game plan set headed into testing, and they just needed to figure out one thing about their Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car.

"Our car has been running great," Beckman said. "In all conditions, it's been awesome. Our Achilles Heel has been these runs that crop up when it gets out there to 400 or 500 feet on the track and once in a while it will spin the tires."

Smith knew the steps he needed to take to cure the problem.

"The first thing we did at the test was to reconfigure our clutch application to try to fix that and we did," Beckman said. "Then we tested a lot of our spare parts to make sure that in the Countdown if we had to change something we had an equally good replacement for it.

"We were able to test a new clutch and clutch discs. Testing for the sake of practice just wears out parts. Testing is productive when you have things that you want to try or change and see what results you get so you can make a list and cross things off. I think we had a real successful test."

Now it's about turning that successful test into a successful U.S. Nationals, the biggest event of the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series.

"The interesting thing is Indy has bounced back and forth to being the last race of the regular season and the first race of the Countdown," Beckman said. "The reality is you can put Indy in December and it wouldn't matter because it's still going to be the biggest race of the year.

"Winning four rounds on Monday means everything to a team. You want that on your resume."

Source: Don Schumacher Racing

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Jack Beckman , Don Schumacher , Todd Smith
Article type Preview
Tags beckman, dodge, funny car, indianapolis, schumacher