Rob Flynn-tuned machine cruised to a 4.049-second pass at 312 mph
It was a roller coaster ride for Jack Beckman and the Valvoline MaxLife Funny Car team this weekend at the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season opener at Pomona, Calif.
Beckman had a front row seat to watch his Don Schumacher Racing teammate Ron Capps explode his Dodge Charger R/T body into pieces on Friday night at Auto Club Raceway. Debris was unavoidable for Beckman and his Valvoline body was damaged.
The team entered Saturday's two qualifying sessions not in the field and was unable to make a full pass in the third session leaving them outside the 16-car field for the fourth and final qualifying pass on Saturday.
But none of those things happened on their final qualifying pass and the Rob Flynn-tuned machine cruised to a 4.049-second pass at 312 mph that earned the No. 8 slot.
"It was wonderful. It's a new team working here at DSR and we had Todd Okuhara, we had Dickie Venables, Terry (Snyder) and Rob (Flynn) all putting their heads together before that last run.
"We put in it what we figured it needed. Q2 we were on a good run and something malfunctioned and shut the car off so at least we had a little bit of data in similar conditions. Now we really have to study this because now we are back in a position where we think we can win the race."
Beckman went winless during the 2013 season but finished the year third in points and is ready to get his hands back on a Wally trophy in 2014.
"It's been a long time since we've held a trophy on a Sunday. I want to do it."