RAIN SHORTENS BECKMAN'S TEST RUNS IN VALVOLINE/MTS DODGE CHANDLER, Ariz. (Jan. 27, 2008) - Rain shortened the three-day NHRA National Time Trials at Firebird Raceway, the first shakedown tests before the 2008 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series...
RAIN SHORTENS BECKMAN'S TEST RUNS IN VALVOLINE/MTS DODGE
CHANDLER, Ariz. (Jan. 27, 2008) - Rain shortened the three-day NHRA National Time Trials at Firebird Raceway, the first shakedown tests before the 2008 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series opens in Pomona, Calif., Feb. 7-10.
Driving the Valvoline/Mail Terminal Services Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car as he begins his second full season with Don Schumacher Racing, Jack Beckman posted only three runs on Saturday before Sunday's sessions were cancelled because of rain. His best pass of the day was a 9.316-second run at 76.26 mph, good for No. 12 for the weekend. His other two laps produced a 12.711/57.33 and an 11.807/71.83.
Beckman will join his DSR teammates to continue testing at Firebird Raceway through Wednesday.
"We've got an all-new crew, new paint scheme, and we're running the chassis we ran the mid part of last season, so basically everything is changed," Beckman explained.
"The reason we're staying in Phoenix for six days is just for the purpose of getting everything working well together. NHRA has upped the nitromethane percentage, they upped the minimum weight, so, fortunately, we're not the only ones who have to adjust. Every team has to contend with the rules changes.
"Our DSR teammate Ron Capps (No. 1 for the weekend) definitely laid down the run of the day yesterday in Funny Car, so we know there's hope. But right now we're dealing with a really finicky race track that hasn't given up many good E.T.s. In addition to that, the teams are chasing these new combos around.
"That's exactly why we need to be here for six days. We're going to learn to jell as a team, and the crew is learning to work together. The new Valvoline/MTS Dodge looks awesome. The colors are outstanding. We've already gotten so many positive comments on it. And it's exciting.
"It's frustrating, though, not to unload the car, set low E.T. and then kind of just sit back with your arms crossed. But everybody is having trouble getting down the race track. It's clearly not that we're off on the tune-up, it's just that all these new variables need to be attended to before we can get down the race track. And I think this track is going to be totally different when we come here next month for the national event.
"Once the rain clears, we've got Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday to get after it. And not only will the car be getting faster, but all the guys on the team once they've worked together for a while will be getting faster. We're not where we need to be, but we've got the time to get there."