Rain delays NHRA at Maple Grove conclusion to Monday after Brown runs quickest ever; Beckman to face Capps
READING, Pa. (Oct. 7, 2012) - The only element capable of slowing down the racecars Sunday at Maple Grove Raceway was the rain, and the precipitation late in the afternoon actually brought the racing in the NHRA Nationals to a stop.
The event, which started 2 hours late, endured one long delay after the first round of eliminations before a persistent rain wiped out the day midway through the second round.
The last pair of Top Fuel Dragsters to run before the final delay worked out well for Antron Brown and the Matco Tools "Tools for a Cause" team.
Brown recorded the quickest run in NHRA history by producing an elapsed time of 3.722 seconds at 325.69 mph to eliminate Countdown for the Championship contender Morgan Lucas of Morgan Lucas Racing, who had set the record on Saturday at 3.733 seconds.
Brown's closest pursuer for the points lead, DSR teammate Spencer Massey and the Prestone/FRAM team, dropped further behind when it was upset in the first round despite an impressive time of 3.772 by rookie Khalid alBalooshi.
Third-place driver Tony Schumacher, who drives DSR's U.S. Army dragster, lost in the second round to Brandon Bernstein for the second straight race.
In Funny Car, what could be the biggest race of the year, will pit Jack Beckman's Battery eXtender by Schumacher Electric Dodge Charger R/T against points leader and teammate Ron Capps and the NAPA AUTO PARTS team.
Capps arrived at Maple Grove with a 30-point lead over second-place Beckman but Beckman's stellar run through qualifying earned enough bonus points to cut the margin to 17.
Beckman, with crew chief Todd Smith and assistant Terry Snyder, earned a national record with the No. 1 qualifying time of 3.989 seconds. But in the first round, Beckman was even quicker with a time of 3.986 (318.54 mph). It was the second quickest Funny Car time ever.
The result of the Capps-Beckman race will set the stage for the last two events of the season.
Another pair of DSR teammates will meet in the second round when Johnny Gray and the Alex's Lemonade Stand/Service Central Dodge races Matt Hagan and the Aaron's Dream Machine/Mopar team in the second round.
At least one DSR flopper is assured of a spot in the final round.
Source: Don Schumacher Racing