Reigning Top Fuel champion Antron Brown improved to the No. 3 position with a run of 3.76 (328.14).
POMONA, Calif. - Don Schumacher Racing drivers hold the provisional nitro poles after two days of the 53rd annual NHRA Winternationals at Auto Club Raceway in Southern California.
Seven-time NHRA world champion Tony Schumacher is quickest in Top Fuel with his U.S. Army team while teammate and reigning Funny Car world champ Jack Beckman is quickest with two sessions remaining Saturday before championship eliminations on Sunday.
After completing the quickest run of the event at 3.758 seconds and 328.14 mph, his dragster's parachutes were slow to deploy past the finish line and the Army dragster raced beyond the pavement into the sand trap.
Tony said had he been in an old-style open cockpit dragster he would have been sandblasted but the canopy prevented any grains from invading his space before it stopped.
"Because of the canopy, there was no sand inside - the only sand inside was when we popped it open and dragged the car backward," said Tony, who is poised to win the 72nd pole of his career in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series.
"The only problem with the car is it's dirty. I'd drive it again right now. But the guys will look at it. We've got really smart people. And I know when we get back here in the morning, the car's going to be perfect."
DSR teammate and reigning Top Fuel champion Antron Brown improved to the No. 3 position with a run of 3.76 (328.14) in the Matco Tools dragster. Spencer Massey also improved to 11th in the DSR Battery Extender Powered by Schumacher dragster with a run of 3.827 (318.17).
In Funny Car, the four DSR Dodge Charger R/Ts are ranked in the top-eight after two qualifying sessions with Jack leading the charge at 4.045 (316.17).
"There's just no downside to my job," Jack said. "I get to drive the car, the car wins races and it won a championship."
Jack's Valvoline/MTS Mail for Wounded Warriors Dodge won four event titles last year en route to the championship. The team led by crew chief Todd Smith also earned four No. 1 qualifying spots last season but didn't win its first until the 13th event.
If Jack is able to hold the pole through Saturday it will be the ninth of his NHRA pro career.
"(Team owner Don Schumacher) came into our pit and gave us a little motivational pep talk last night and used a metaphor that our car is a 2-by-4 (piece of wood) smacking us up-side the head telling us there is something wrong with it. So we went and got a 2-by-4 and wrote 'obvious' on it and we're going to use it to keep our perspective."
It seemed to work on Friday.
The following are DSR qualifying results from Friday and Thursday sessions and other notes:
Provisional No. 1 qualifier: Tony Schumacher, 3.758 seconds, 328.14 mph (Friday)
Tony Schumacher, U.S. Army dragster
Provisional qualifying position: No. 1
Session 1: 3.777 sec., 326.08 mph
Session 2: 3.758. 328.14
Antron Brown, Matco Tools dragster
Provisional qualifying position: No. 3
Session 1: 3.834 sec., 322.19 mph
Session 2: 3.768, 328.14
Spencer Massey, Battery Extender Powered by Schumacher dragster
Provisional qualifying position: No. 11
Session 1: 6.160 sec., 103.54 mph
Session 2: 3.827, 318.17
Provisional No. 1 qualifier: Jack Beckman, 4.045 sec., 316.17 mph
Jack Beckman, Valvoline NextGen/MTS Mail for Wounded Warriors Dodge Charger R/T
Provisional qualifying position: No. 1
Session 1: 4.148 sec., 309.13 mph
Session 2: 4.045, 316.17
Johnny Gray, Pitch Energy Dodge Charger R/T
Provisional qualifying position: No. 4
Session 1: 4.081 sec., 308.78 mph
Session 2: 4.085, 308.28
Matt Hagan, Mopar/Rocky Boots Dodge Charger R/T
Provisional qualifying position: No. 6
Session 1: 4.097 sec., 304.46 mph
FRIDAY: Session 2: 8.309, 78.22
Ron Capps, NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge Charger R/T
Provisional qualifying position: No. 8
Session 1: 5.115 sec, 146.91 mph
Session 2: 4.102, 314.53
Don Schumacher Racing