BROWNSBURG, Ind. (April 24, 2012) – Everything was new for Funny Car driver Jack Beckman when he arrived at Concord, N.C., on April 12 to prepare for the Four-Wide NHRA Nationals.
New crew chief, new car, new crew and even a new firesuit.
Not even team owner Don Schumacher could have anticipated for the new elements to meld so seamless into a championship contending team its first day at the track together.
On the team’s second run as a unit, Beckman ripped off a time of 4.113 seconds at 308.28 mph to become the quickest Funny Car of the session and the provisional No. 2 qualifier behind DSR teammate Ron Capps, with whom Beckman switched teams after Capps didn’t qualify at Las Vegas and his crew chief quit.
Beckman ended up as the No. 5 qualifier at Charlotte Motor Speedway’s zMAX Dragway at Concord and advanced to the semifinals of the unique four-lane event.
“I just wish we had to start the race near Houston on the Tuesday after Charlotte,” Beckman said after spending Monday testing and further adapting the car to suit him.
“We go to Charlotte for the only four-wide race of the year. Then when we start the car I’m looking at all new faces looking back at me. It was Todd Smith’s first race with us as crew chief and seven of our eight crew guys had never worked with me before.”
But the team, which was sponsored by Freightliner, never missed a beat.
“We clicked pretty good, and we clicked pretty fast,” Beckman said. “The transition was pretty easy, and there weren’t any awkward moments.
“I can’t wait to get back in that car.”
Beckman will get his chance 3:30 p.m. Friday in the first of four qualifying sessions leading to Sunday’s championship eliminations.
BECKMAN AT HOUSTON
2011: qualified ninth; lost in semifinals
Career: Wins (0); runner-ups (1), 2009; poles (0).
NHRA FULL THROTTLE STANDINGS
(through April 15; wins in parenthesis; DSR drivers in BOLD)
1. Robert Hight, 520 (4)
2. Mike Neff, 375
3. Jack Beckman, 333
4. Johnny Gray, 301
5. John Force, 292 (1)
6. Cruz Pedregon, 278
7. Ron Capps, 274
8. Bob Tasca III, 262
9. Courtney Force, 213
10. Bob Bode, 198
12. Matt Hagan, 171
FULL THROTTLE EVENT SCHEDULE
FRIDAY: 3:30 p.m., 6 p.m., Qualifying
SATURDAY: 12:30 p.m., 3 p.m., Qualifying
SUNDAY: 11 a.m., Championship Eliminations
SATURDAY: 5-7 p.m. (EDT), Qualifying coverage (delayed)
SUNDAY: 7-10 p.m. (EDT), Championship Eliminations (delayed)
Thank you for signing up to receive Shoe’s News.