ENNIS, Texas (Sept. 23, 2012) - Rabbits living in the vicinity of Jack Beckman should be alarmed this week.
Especially after Beckman and the Schumacher Electric Battery Extender/Valvoline NextGen Funny Car team lost by four-thousandths of a second in the second round of eliminations Sunday in the AAA Texas NHRA Fall Nationals at the Texas Motorplex near Dallas.
Beckman threatened to show up at next weekend's race near St. Louis with a rabbit's foot for good luck after losing to Don Schumacher Racing teammate Ron Capps, who is the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series points leader while Beckman remains in third but fell 20 points further behind Capps.
Beckman was quicker off the starting line, but Capps had a faster car and was able to nip Beckman at the finish line by a few feet. Capps' run of 4.194 seconds at 299.06 mph edged Beckman's 4.235 (296.76). The margin of victory for Capps was 0.0036 seconds.
"I'd give a lot of money for four-thousandths of a second on the last run," Beckman said. "That's tough. That hurts. (Capps') team has been pulling away in points and we needed to stop them. We had a perfect opportunity but came up fourth-thousandths short."
Capps went on the semifinals before losing to DSR's Matt Hagan but extended his points lead by 20 to 97 over Beckman heading to next weekend's event in Madison, Ill.
"We're not throwing tools. It was a great drag race with Ron, but we ended up on the wrong side of it," said Beckman, who has won two event titles this year with crew chief Todd Smith and assistant Terry Snyder.
"The fact we leave here closer to second than when we came in isn't our goal," said Beckman, who finished second in last year's Countdown to the Championship.
"This isn't a team looking to finish second in the Countdown. With four Countdown races in four weeks things are going to shake down after the next two over the next two weeks. We have to gain some ground on that NAPA car.
"I can't put a spin on it," Beckman added. "That had huge implications in the championship battle. Anything can happen; it's drag racing. We can't re-run that race so we'll move on."
Beckman found little solace in gaining ground on Mike Neff of John Force Racing, who is second in points while Beckman's team now is one point behind Neff.
Beckman qualified third for eliminations marking the eighth time in the past nine events he's started Sunday seeded no lower than third.
"The last few races we haven't finished as well on Sunday as our qualifying position should have dictated, but from the fans' perspective what keeps it so incredibly exciting in Funny Car is that anybody in any qualifying position can win a race.
"We're not going to change our approach. We're making smart calls and qualifying great to get points that way.
"It might just be we have to bring a rabbit's foot to the races for a little more Sunday luck."
The following are Beckman's results and notes from the NHRA Fall Nationals near Dallas:
Winner: Bob Tasca III (Tasca Racing)
No. 1 Qualifier: Courtney Force (John Force Racing) 4.081 sec., 308.21 mph
Saturday's Traxxas Nitro Shootout champion: John Force
Jack Beckman, Schumacher Electric Battery Extender Dodge Charger R/T
Qualified: No. 3
Round 1: BECKMAN (4.143 sec., 298.54 mph) def. Jeff Arend (4.999, 203.74)
Round 2: Ron Capps (4.194, 299.06) def. BECKMAN (4.235, 296.76)
Session 1: 5.571 sec., 125.01 mph
Session 2: 4.109, 303.98
Session 3: 4.483, 274.94
Session 4: 4.177, 298.21
NHRA FULL THROTTLE STANDINGS
After second events in six-race Countdown to the Championship
(Unofficial through Sept. 23, 2012; DSR drivers in CAPS)
1. RON CAPPS, 2,307
2. Mike Neff, 2,211
3. JACK BECKMAN, 2,210
4. Cruz Pedregon, 2,167
5. Robert Hight, 2,144
6. Courtney Force, 2,140
7. Tim Wilkerson, 2,123
8. JOHNNY GRAY, 2,113
9. John Force, 2,104
10. Jeff Arend, 2,095
11. MATT HAGAN, 978
SATURDAY'S TRAXXAS NITRO SHOOTOUT
Ron Capps advanced to the championship round Saturday of the inaugural Traxxas Nitro Shootout for Funny Cars where he lost a close race to John Force. DSR's Johnny Gray advanced to the semifinals after Jack Beckman lost in the first round in the eight-car all-star event.
NEXT FULL THROTTLE EVENTS
Sept. 28-30, NHRA Midwest Nationals, Madison, Ill. (St. Louis area)
Oct. 4-7, NHRA Nationals, Reading, Pa.
Oct. 25-28, Big O Tires NHRA Nationals, Las Vegas
Nov. 8-11, Auto Club of Southern California Finals, Pomona, Calif. (finale)
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About Don Schumacher Racing
Don Schumacher Racing, headquartered in Brownsburg, Ind., consists of seven professional NHRA teams: in Top Fuel, the U.S. Army dragster driven by seven-time world champion Tony Schumacher, the FRAM/Prestone dragster of Spencer Massey and the Matco Tools dragster of Antron Brown; and in Funny Car, 2011 NHRA Funny Car champion Matt Hagan in the Aaron's Dream Machine/Mopar Dodge Charger R/T, Valvoline NextGen Dodge piloted by Jack Beckman, the NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge of Ron Capps and the Service Central Dodge of Johnny Gray. DSR has won 193 NHRA national event titles and nine world championships.
Follow Don Schumacher Racing at ShoeRacing.com, on Twitter at @shoeracing and Facebook.com/shoeracing.
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