DON SCHUMACHER RACING FUNNY CAR TEAM REPORTS, after three of five qualifying runs - U.S. NATIONALS - Saturday, Aug. 30 JACK BECKMAN, Valvoline/Mail Terminal Services Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car: Qualified No. 10: Beckman recorded a strong run in...
DON SCHUMACHER RACING FUNNY CAR TEAM REPORTS, after three of five qualifying runs - U.S. NATIONALS - Saturday, Aug. 30
JACK BECKMAN, Valvoline/Mail Terminal Services Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car: Qualified No. 10: Beckman recorded a strong run in the Valvoline/MTS Dodge in the opening session of qualifying on Friday evening, a 4.139/296.44, which placed him third in the field, then followed that with another strong pass of 4.181/292.39 in the second session today, which kept him in No. 3. His third attempt resulted in a tire-smoking 6.706/190.87, dropping him into No. 10 as other Funny Cars improved.
Two more round of qualifying on Saturday will determine the top 16 for Monday's eliminations.
"We ran really well right out of the trailer, so we had the luxury of trying to take a home-run swing up there," he said of his last pass. "To be realistic, I'd have rather done what we did than gone out there and run mediocre. We weren't going to learn anything from it. So, the hope is we look at the numbers and look at the computer and we'll be better on night sessions in the future."
RON CAPPS, NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge Charger R/T: Qualified No. 11: Capps posted three solid passes to qualify the NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge in the No. 11 spot: 4.179/293.03, 4.219/290.57, and 4.144/298.47, in his third pass.
"We started this weekend off great by making a strong run Friday night (first session)," said Capps, "and we really wanted to run a little quicker than a .14 tonight, but we're quite happy with it. Right now we need to focus on the Showdown."
On Saturday, Capps will have two more qualifying sessions before the final 16 positions are set for Monday's eliminations. He will also compete in the $100,000 Showdown bonus event, which he has won three times.
GARY SCELZI, MOPAR/OAKLEY Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car: Qualified No. 16 - DNQ (out of the top 12): Scelzi came out swinging in the Mopar/Oakley Dodge in the opening round on Friday evening, recording a 4.218/290.44, good for No. 8 at the time. Today's two runs produced a 4.527/206.99 (No. 8), and a 4.229/227.61. He wasn't able to improve because of a mechanical problem and stands in No. 16.
"We hopped it up to try to run a really good number," said Scelzi of the third pass, "and it broke a valve spring retainer, then put a cylinder out at the hit of the throttle and it banged the supercharger down track. Unfortunately, after all the changes we made we didn't learn anything, so we hope we can kick this thing up in the sunlight tomorrow."
JERRY TOLIVER, ROCKSTAR Energy Drink Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car: Qualified No. 20 - DNQ: Rockstar Energy Drink Dodge Funny Car driver Jerry Toliver will go into the final day of qualifying at the 54th annual U.S. Nationals still looking to earn a spot for Monday's eliminations. Toliver made three runs during the first two days of qualifying, resulting in runs of 5.499/126.88 mph (No. 19), 4.276/289.38 (No. 15) and 6.071/111.40 (No. 20).
"The upside is that tonight was the hero session when you can make a great run, but it's not the conditions that we will be racing in on Monday. It would have been nice to get in the top 12, because we probably would have been pretty much guaranteed to be in the show on Monday," said Toliver, "but those were not the conditions we're going to race in, and we went down the track today in the heat. So I think we'll be all right for tomorrow."