Schumacher poised to be No. 1 at Texas for U.S. Army while DSR teammate Beckman warms up for Shootout
Schumacher holds the provisional pole of the AAA Texas NHRA Fall Nationals at the Texas Motorplex near Dallas after posting Friday's best elapsed time of 3.829 seconds at 320.13 mph to be poised to earn the No. 1 qualifying spot for Don Schumacher Racing.
The team was runner-up last Sunday, a week after winning the prestigious U.S Nationals for the U.S. Army's second title of the year.
"That was a great run. I've always said we're a really good high-pressure team and how can you get any more high pressure than that," Schumacher said. "You know the run on Friday night is what's going to set the field. It was 90 (degrees) today supposed to be 90 tomorrow and 90 on Sunday. You're not going to go fast during the day. Tonight was the run, and that run happened.
"We want to go out and dominate and leave nothing on the table. (Basketball hall-of-famer) Larry Bird said it best, "In the closing seconds of the game, I always wanted the ball in my hands for the last shot. When it comes down to the moment where we have to win, I want to be surrounded by my guys, because we've proven that we can do it."
Schumacher started the Fall Nationals leading the Top Fuel standings in the Countdown to the Championship of the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series.
The seven-time Top Fuel world champion, who won the first of his 69 NHRA titles at the Motorplex in 1999, is poised to win his fourth pole of the year and 71st of his career. He has been the No. 1 qualifier at Dallas three times including last year.
In Funny Car, Jack Beckman leads DSR's Mopar Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car contingent with the No. 3 position after two qualifying sessions. Rookie Courtney Force is on the provisional pole with a time of 4.081 seconds at 308.21 mph.
Beckman's time of 4.109 (303.98) also provides his Schumacher Electric Battery Extender team with momentum for Saturday's Traxxas Nitro Shootout eight-car, all-star race in which the winner will earn $100,000 for his team. Three of the entries are DSR Dodges.
"Our next run will be eliminations on top of qualifying," Beckman said soon after his early evening blast.
"You'd prefer to have a race-day mentality starting the Shootout so you don't have to worry about qualifying. We're solidly qualified in the show, and we can put on our race-faces Saturday for the Shootout and try to beat the other car instead of also trying to beat the lane like we would have had not to do had we not had such a solid run on Friday.
Crew chief Todd Smith and assistant Terry Snyder surprised Beckman on the second run of the day that nearly made him speechless. Almost. "I'm so impressed. I thought Todd and Terry would give us a (4.14 or 4.15) and just be safe. They gave us a (4.10) and we were still safe. This car right now is the best of both worlds; it's smooth and it's predictable."
NAPA AUTO PARTS' Ron Capps, the Funny Car points leader in the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series, is the top seed in the Shootout and will race rookie Courtney Force in the opening round while Beckman meets John Force and teammate Johnny Gray in the NTB/Service Central Dodge races Mike Neff to open the Shootout.
The first two rounds of the Shootout will coincide with the day's two qualifying sessions with the two Shootout finalists meeting for the title.
Source: Don Schumacher Racing