BECKMAN BUMPS OUT TEAMMATE IN VEGAS OPENING ROUND, FINISHES IN QUARTERS LAS VEGAS (April 18, 2010) - Jack Beckman bumped out his Don Schumacher Racing teammate Ron Capps in the opening round of Funny Car eliminations at the 11th annual NHRA ...
BECKMAN BUMPS OUT TEAMMATE IN VEGAS OPENING ROUND, FINISHES IN QUARTERS
LAS VEGAS (April 18, 2010) - Jack Beckman bumped out his Don Schumacher Racing teammate Ron Capps in the opening round of Funny Car eliminations at the 11th annual NHRA Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, but was then ousted by Tony Pedregon in the quarterfinal.
No. 5 qualifier Capps (in the left lane) struck the tires early, and Beckman, who qualified No. 12 in the Valvoline/Mail Terminal Services Dodge Charger, made it down the 1000-foot track to take the win with a 4.319-second elapsed time at 290.07 mph.
Track conditions continued to change as the ambient temperature rose steadily, and lane choice became a factor in the second stanza. The left lane was beginning to humble cars on its path and Beckman, without lane choice, was relegated there. He lost traction early in the run, allowing Pedregon to sail to the win with a 4.316/289.01 to Beckman's losing 4.987/194.58.
Not ready to blame the lane, Beckman said, "Let's not make this a politically correct, nicey nice interview. Let's just tell it like it is. We got behind the 8-ball in qualifying, we took a step back to try something that we think is going to be better for warm race tracks during this 10- or 12-race stretch of the season, and we struggled with it.
"And so did (Capps' crew chief) Ed McCulloch over with the NAPA car. Our original plan was to not do it until testing tomorrow, but now that Goodyear has ramped up the introduction of the new tire, we have to be able to test that tomorrow as well. So, we decided to implement our clutch changes for the race and attempt to get a handle on it. And we got a little bit behind.
"We were able to win first round without lane choice. It certainly wasn't in our favor not having lane choice, but right now we're having a problem with this car in that 60- to 100-foot range and we have to figure out how to fix that. When we fix that we'll be about as quick as anybody in the other splits in the race track.
"We're upset with ourselves. We're a team that's used to winning, but we also realize that we're going to start winning again pretty soon and we just have to pick away at this thing.
"These nitro cars are tough. You come back, you download the data recorder - there's 47 graphs to look at - and you make a small change to one and it affects 25 of the other parameters on the race car. So, everybody from our cylinder head guy, to the driver, to the crew chiefs, is going to stay positive, we're going to bounce ideas off each other and the other DSR teams, we're going to pick away at this thing, and we're going to make it work."
Next up is the 14th annual NHRA Midwest Nationals at Gateway International Raceway in Madison, Ill., just over the bridge from St. Louis.