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.
NHRA officials were forced to postpone completion of the event to Monday beginning at 11 a.m.
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 eliminated Countdown for the Championship contender Morgan Lucas of Morgan Lucas Racing.
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.
Third-place driver Tony Schumacher, who drives DSR’s U.S. Army dragster, lost in the second round.
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).
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 team in the second round.
The following are DSR partial event results from Maple Grove Raceway near Reading, Pa., heading to Sunday’s scheduled eliminations:
Event Winner: to be determined Monday
No. 1 qualifier: David Grubnic (Kalitta Motorsports) 3.728, 327.11 (quickest ever)
Antron Brown, Matco Tools “Tools for the Cause” dragster
Qualified: No. 7
1st round: BROWN (3.745 sec., 327.66 mph) def. Steve Torrence (3.775, 323.12)
2nd round: BROWN (3.722-quickest run ever, 325.69) def. Morgan Lucas (5.859, 115.84)
Semifinals: BROWN vs. Brandon Bernstein
Session 1: 3.844 sec., 317.87 mph
Session 2: 4.871, 147.91
Session 3: 3.793, 322.73
Session 4: 3.758, 325.14
Tony Schumacher, U.S. Army dragster
Qualified: No. 3
1st round: SCHUMACHER (3.744 sec., 326.71 mph) def. Terry McMillen (3.822, 314.35)
2nd round: Brandon Bernstein (3.736, 330.31) def. SCHUMACHER (3.821, 309.70)
Session 1: 3.792 sec., 325.14 mph
Session 2: 3.770, 323.12
Session 3: 3.736, 324.20 (career best)
Session 4: 6.793, 87.24
Spencer Massey, Prestone/FRAM dragster
Qualified: No. 8
1st round: Khalid alBalooshi (3.754 sec., 327.03 mph) def. MASSEY (3.772, 320.81)
Session 1: 3.807 sec., 324.90 mph
Session 2: 3.763, 321.12
Session 3: 4.497, 152.27
Session 4: 3.778, 326.08
Event winner: to be determined Monday
No. 1 qualifier: Jack Beckman (DSR) 3.989 sec., 320.58 mph (pending national record)
Jack Beckman, Schumacher Electric Battery Extender/Valvoline Dodge Charger R/T
Qualified: No. 1
1st round: BECKMAN (3.986 sec., 318.54 mph) def. Mike Smith (4.896, 174.64)
2nd round: BECKMAN vs. Ron Capps
Session 1: 4.121 sec., 308.28 mph
Session 2: 3.989, 320.58
Session 3: 4.001, 316.60
Session 4: 4.011, 317.79
Matt Hagan, Aaron’s Dream Machine Dodge Charger R/T
Qualified: No. 12
1st round: HAGAN (4.057 sec., 311.20 mph) def. Courtney Force (14.636, 30.03)
2nd round: HAGAN vs. Johnny Gray
Session 1: 4.098 sec., 297.35 mph (time disqualified; failed tech, too light )
Session 2: 4.074, 311.92
Session 3: 6.810, 101.51
Session 4: 4.861, 162.55
Johnny Gray, Alex’s Lemonade Stand/NTB/Service Central Dodge Charger R/T
Qualified: No. 4
1st round: GRAY (4.138 sec., 285.83 mph) xx Bob Tasca III (4.249, 247.75)
2nd round: GRAY VS. Matt Hagan
Session 1: 7.397 sec., 82.20 mph
Session 2: 4.090, 313.37
Session 3: 4.039, 315.05
Session 4: 4.028, 318.99
Ron Capps, NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge Charger R/T
Qualified: No. 8
1st round: CAPPS (4.249 sec., 310.48 mph) def. Jeff Arend (4.480, 233.24)
2nd round: CAPPS vs. Jack Beckman
Session 1: 7.485 sec., 88.37 mph
Session 2: 9.613, 87.52
Session 3: 5.964, 264.60
Session 4: 4.055, 317.64
NHRA NATIONAL RECORD CRITERIA
Under NHRA rules, a driver must run within 1 percent of his quickest time to claim the national record. However, only one driver can leave the event with 20 bonus points for setting a national record. (Several drivers in one category can be recognized for setting a national speed record at the same NHRA national event, but only the last one gets the bonus points.)
The top three drivers’ elapsed times earn bonus points in each of the four scheduled qualifying sessions with the lowest qualifier getting 3, next best 2 and third best 1.
Drivers tend to call them “little points” but acknowledge in the Countdown to the Championship there are no little points.
On Sunday during eliminations, each round win is worth 20.
After the field is set for the top-16 advancing to Sunday, additional points are awarded by where drivers qualify: first gets 8 points, second gets 7, third gets 6, fourth gets 5, fifth and sixth each get 4, seventh and eighth each get 3, ninth through 12th each get 2 and 13th through 16th each get 1.
All drivers entered in the event who make at least one qualifying run earn 10 points.
An NHRA elapsed time record is worth 20 points.
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 195 NHRA national event titles and nine world championships.
Follow Don Schumacher Racing at ShoeRacing.com, on Twitter at @shoeracing and Facebook.com/shoeracing.
- DSR -
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