TOPEKA, Kan. (May 19, 2012) - Jack Beckman and crew chief Todd Smith are starting to gel and the results are showing for their Valvoline NextGen Funny Car in the Don Schumacher Racing camp.
Beckman is qualified sixth for Sunday's championship eliminations of the Dollar General NHRA SummerNationals at Heartland Park Topeka.
Not even a disappointing performance in Saturday's first qualifying session and third of the event dampened Beckman's optimism about the team's turnaround since failing to qualify for the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series event a month ago near Houston.
"I'm not upset at all about spinning the tires on our third qualifying run," Beckman said of Saturday's first attempt. "We learned something on that run that will help us Sunday.
"That's a luxury we had after making two solid runs Friday including that good lap at night at 4.105 (seconds) when we matched what our teammates Johnny Gray and Matt Hagan did.
"We have a good feeling for our race day setup Sunday and knowing our limit increases our confidence going into what should be a warm Sunday.
"I feel really good. This is our fourth race as a team and Todd has taken the keys to the car," Beckman said of Smith's leadership. "He still consults with some of the other DSR crew chiefs, but this is his baby and it's made great strides and we're back in the thick of it to win races."
Beckman opens the first round racing against rookie Alexis DeJoria, who he has defeated twice in seven events this season.
The following are final qualifying results and other notes:
Provisional No. 1 qualifier: Cruz Pedregon (4.046 sec., 315.56 mph)
Jack Beckman, Valvoline NextGen Dodge Charger R/T
Final qualifying position: No. 6
First round opponent: No. 11 Alexis DeJoria
Session 1: 4.202 sec., 297.55 mph
Session 2: 4.105, 308.43
Session 3: 4.895, 159.49
Session 4: 4.173, 299.00
Thank you for signing up to receive Shoe’s News.