DSR TAKES NOS. 1, 3 AND 4 IN FUNNY CAR TIMES AT PHOENIX TESTS CHANDLER, Ariz. (Jan. 28, 2007) - Don Schumacher Racing Funny Car drivers nabbed three of the top four quickest elapsed times during National Time Trials at Firebird Raceway in ...
DSR TAKES NOS. 1, 3 AND 4 IN FUNNY CAR TIMES AT PHOENIX TESTS
CHANDLER, Ariz. (Jan. 28, 2007) - Don Schumacher Racing Funny Car drivers nabbed three of the top four quickest elapsed times during National Time Trials at Firebird Raceway in preparation for the 2007 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series season opener in Pomona, Calif., on Feb. 8-11, including Ron Capps' stellar No. 1 4.678-second pass at 325.92 mph. Gary Scelzi also established top speed of the three-day testing weekend with a 332.59 mph run.
Capps, driving the Brut Revolution Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car, posted a 4.762/318.54 pass on Friday, then scorched the quarter-mile with his 4.678/325.92 lap on Saturday.
Piloting the Mopar/Oakley Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car, Scelzi grabbed the No. 3 spot, behind John Force's 4.708/327.82, with his 4.735/330.80 pass, set on Sunday. His other quick runs included a 4.769/309.42 on Friday and a 4.751/328.22 on Saturday.
Jack Beckman, in the Mail Terminal Services Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car, completed the weekend's testing with a quick Saturday pass of 4.736/327.43. On Friday he posted a 4.946/240.64 (good for third behind Capps and Scelzi that day).
Needless to say, the drivers are pleased with the results.
RON CAPPS: "This weekend was great. Probably the most important thing that made the weekend go so well for so many teams was (track preparation specialist) Chad Head being brought in by the track or NHRA, and it was probably the best money ever spent for this test session. The track got a little weird today, Sunday, but Friday and Saturday it was like a national event and that's when we could learn things. We unloaded a brand-new Brut Revolution Dodge that was built over the wintertime, so the first check-out run I shut it off down there about 800 feet and it had numbers (incrementals) quicker than our 4.69 (-second pass) last year, so that got me pretty excited. In the next run we went out in hotter conditions and ran .76 shutting it off pretty early. The next day, Saturday, we rolled up there and tried to duplicate the first run, except to run it down there a little farther, and I shut it off at 1220 feet and it ran .67, at only 325 mph. So, that showed that the run we made Friday was what we wanted. It's just a great weekend. It's nice to work for a team that has such great plans, already has everything laid out as to what exactly we want to accomplish in testing and we did every bit that we wanted to.
"I always wanted to be on the National Dragster cover because the quickest guys at the Phoenix test got on the cover. I don't know if they still do it, but it was always something to shoot for when I first started driving.
"What is also great is what's going on in this whole DSR team. With the three Funny Cars working so well together: (crew chief on the MTS Dodge) Todd Okuhara, (MTS assistant crew chief Phil Shuler), (Scelzi's crew chief) 'Zippy' and Ace (Ed McCulloch, Capps' crew chief). We were trying different injectors off of the MTS car, we were swapping things with the Oakley car and trying things for them, and they were trying things for us. It's going to be a fun season."
GARY SCELZI: "One word sums it up: Exciting. We came here with the intent of going down the race track and not trying to set the world on fire. We had lost our consistency at going down the race track, and here the car reacted in the way Mike (Neff, crew chief) wants it to react. I talked to Mike for a long time last night. He told me his goal, and that's to get this thing to go down the race track and when we have to run the number, we will. But, we need to make it go down the race track all the time, so we know where our limitations are. And last year, no matter what we did, we couldn't make the car consistent. It might make two runs in a row, but it would never make three. We made eight runs here this weekend and in only two runs it smoked the tires. One of them it shouldn't have, we had a timing malfunction, and the other one was almost by design to see if we could do what we wanted to do, because this is a test. But I think we had the most consistent car this weekend. It never ran out of the .70s when it made the full runs. It ran big speed in the heat of the day (326.87 mph), and it ran .77. We're very pleased and we're very excited about going to Pomona, but we're going to stay one more day to get some of the new crew guys up to speed a little bit more because it's going to be hectic going rounds. And the Mopar/Oakley Dodge hopes to be going a a lot of rounds this year."
JACK BECKMAN: 'It's interesting from outside the cars a lot of people think, Wow, that team's struggling or the boards didn't show what they're supposed to, but all of our runs have basically been planned as half-track runs with the exception of the 4.73 where Todd (crew chief Okuhara) said, 'Let's take it to the finish line.' But the nice thing about the testing is the guys can try a couple of new things on the tune-up. We'll do half-track runs just to make sure it doesn't hurt anything in the motor, and then we can use that later in the year on subsequent testing. The great thing is after we tried some stuff, Todd said, 'OK, let's just go back to our baseline and make sure everything is OK,' and, boom, 4.73, 327 mph. We could load up and go to Pomona and qualify in the top four right now. But it's great practice for me. Being that I think I only had 38 or 40 runs coming into here, every time I get to launch is more practice for me, even the runs where something shakes or breaks. Everything that I get to do in the car will help me be a better driver eventually, so I'm ecstatic about every run we make here. And I think the guys also learned stuff. And, keep in mind, a lot of times in testing you'll go one direction and it might not seem like you get the results you want, but five months down the road you can go back to that data and it might help you win that next round or race, so I think it's been a huge success."