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DSR Gainesville Qualifying Recap

DSR Gainesville Qualifying Report

NHRA Gatornationals
Event 3 of 24 (Gainesville)
Gainesville Raceway
Gainesville, Fla.
March 16-18, 2018

DSR Gainesville Qualifying Highlights:

  • Jack Beckman claimed his first No. 1 qualifier of 2018
  • All DSR entries qualified in the top half of the field
  • Ron Capps ran low E.T. during Saturday's two qualifying sessions

Jack Beckman Starts Race Day
from the No. 1 Spot

GAINESVILLE, Florida (March 17, 2018) – No one was able to top Jack Beckman and the Infinite Hero Foundation Funny Car team during day two of the NHRA Gatornationals. The Dean Antonelli, John Medlen, Neal Strausbaugh-led team’s 3.911-second Q2 pass held up to be best of the weekend, earning Beckman his first No. 1 qualifier of the year, and 24th of his career. It is the 2012 Funny Car World Champion’s second pole at Gainesville Raceway.

After two class-best runs on Friday, Beckman made two more respectable runs during the third and fourth qualifying rounds on Saturday. While not low E.T. of the session, their 4.025-second pass was fourth best of the round, and their 4.007 from Q4 earned the team one bonus point for third quickest.

“Our two runs today we went 4.00,” said Beckman, a 26-time Funny Car winner. “The first one, we dropped a hole at 300-feet, and in the second one we just backed it up too much. We were still ‘top four’ in both sessions and made it down the track every run.”

With four solid runs in the books and conditions that promise to be similar to Friday, Beckman feels confident in his team’s abilities to put Terry and Doug Chandler’s Infinite Hero Foundation Dodge Charger R/T in the Winner’s Circle on Sunday.

“I love the fact that we did everything pretty darn good for four runs over the course of the two days here. I think it gives us a leg up going into tomorrow. We’ll have lane choice and we’ll get to pick when we’re going to run. We could make a poor decision, but I like that it’s our decision to make.

“I think by and large, you make your own luck. The team services the car perfectly, the crew chiefs put their heads together, go over data from past runs with similar conditions and make an educated tune-up there, and then you try and outdrive the person in the other lane. You race the race track. We have to do everything a little bit better than they do, but in our lane.

“It is a difficult track. The conditions for first round will be very similar to yesterday’s first qualifying session, and I think we will tune off of that one.”

Beckman’s campaign for his first Gatornationals Wally begins with a matchup versus No. 16 qualifier, Jim Campbell.

Qualified: No. 1 (Lane Choice)

The Competition: No. 16 Jim Campbell

The Results:
Q1: 3.958 E.T. at 325.61 MPH (Three bonus points for quickest run of the session)
Q2: 3.911 E.T. at 332.18 MPH (Three bonus points for quickest run of the session)
Q3: 4.025 E.T. at 316.15 MPH
Q4: 4.007 E.T. at (One bonus point for third quickest run of the session)

Bonus Points: Seven

Driver Information:

Top Fuel:

Driver of the Matco Tools/U.S. Army Top Fuel Dragster

Qualified: No. 3 (Lane Choice)

The Competition: No. 14 Audrey Worm

The Results:
Q1: 4.894 E.T. at 150.03 MPH
Q2: 3.751 E.T. at 327.74 MPH (One bonus point for third quickest of the session)
Q3: 5.355 E.T. at 129.43 MPH
Q4: 4.392 E.T. at 183.69 MPH

Bonus Points: One

"We’re always ready to get after it. The conditions we have today are what we expect to have tomorrow. We just have to hone in and get the combination right. We’re real close to making it. If we ease off just a little more, we should be right where we want to be.
"The track is a little tricky and we dropped a hole so we shut her down. We’d like to make that same run as we did in Q4 tomorrow, but we just need to keep all the holes lit. We’re starting in a good spot and we’re just going to see what we can do. We’re looking forward to getting off to a good race day tomorrow. That’s the name of the game right. Getting everything right and getting it tight. Just getting prepared for tomorrow, because that’s when everything starts happening. I’m looking forward to it. The Gainesville track is going to be hot. It’s actually going to be tricky out there. I’m just looking forward to the challenge and looking forward to having a lot of fun out there.

"The fans and all the people that have come out this weekend have been incredible. The weather has been phenomenal this whole weekend. The sun has been out. It’s been nice and warm, high 70s, low 80s. With that being said, it’s got us stoked and super pumped and we just want to go out there and perform right now. The track is getting tricky. We just have to get a little more versatile on it and adapt to these situations and get ready for tomorrow, because they are giving out a Wally tomorrow and it’s the Gatornationals. This is one of those races where you have to show up and put up to bring it home and this is definitely one race that we want to win for sure."

Driver of the Papa John's Pizza/FireAde Top Fuel Dragster
Also Competing in the Factory Stock Showdown and
Papa John's Charity Challenge

Top Fuel:
Qualified: No. 6 (Lane Choice)

The Competition: No. 11 Terry Haddock

The Results:
Q1: 3.811 E.T. at 325.77 MPH (Two bonus points for second quickest run of the session)
Q2: No Time- Broke
Q3: 10.137 E.T. at 72.12 MPH
Q4: 3.864 E.T. at 313.95 MPH`(One bonus point for third quickest run of the session)

Bonus Points: Three

"We’ve been going wide open all weekend here in Gainesville. There is so much purpose on the line. A world championship in Top Fuel. Competing in a charity event for our veterans. And of course, Factory Stock with bolt-on parts that you can put on your SRT. All of it is for the win. Thanks for the patience from everyone at DSR and our fans. I’ve got an opportunity of a lifetime and I’m trying to win them all. It’s really an exciting weekend and we’re hoping to have a great tomorrow to cap it off."

Factory Stock Showdown:
Q1: 8.194 E.T. at 168.16 MPH
Q2: 8.109 E.T. at 168.22 MPH
Q3: 8.257 E.T. at 165.40 MPH

Qualified: No. 7

E1: 8.183 E.T. at 166.50 MPH defeated Daniel Condon 8.204 E.T. at 165.52 MPH

Papa John's Charity Challenge:
Leah Pritchett (12.924 E.T. at 107.56 MPH) defeated by 'Papa' John Schnatter (9.309 E.T. at 110.56 MPH)

$20,000.00 donated to Infinite Hero Foundation


Driver of the U.S. Army Top Fuel Dragster
Qualified: No. 4 (Lane Choice)

The Competition: No. 13 Brittany Force

The Results:
Q1: 3.785 E.T. at 329.67 MPH (Three bonus points for quickest run of the session)
Q2: 7.873 E.T. at 84.21 MPH
Q3: 4.841 E.T. at 146.59 MPH
Q4: 5.463 E.T. at 122.95 MPH

Bonus Points: Three

"I think the first round today was excellent, we just missed it slightly. The U.S. Army car is running really good. I’m comfortable in it. I’ve been slowly getting back to 100% after fighting a cold all week. I’m ready to race. I thought that thing would go right down the track in that last run. I have excellent confidence in Mike (Neff) and Phil (Shuler). I thought it was going to slide right through there, but it didn’t quite make it. Tomorrow is going to be a big day where it’s going to be important for us to put our minds together and get the U.S. Army car to right down the track.

"I love this race. It’s top three for me without a doubt. We just do so well here and that gives us a ton of confidence. The place was sold out and fans jammed in here to see us do battle. There’s just something about racing here. We’ve won this race more than anyone else and I’m excited to have another chance Sunday.

"It’s been a long time since we’ve won a race. I’m hungry. This U.S. Army Racing team is really hungry. I’d like to get Mike Neff his first Top Fuel win here tomorrow. He’s won here before in Funny Car, actually last year with John Force. A year is too long for us to go between wins. We are going to do everything we can tomorrow to make it a long day and put ourselves in position to win this thing. It’s going to take an incredible effort and I’m fortunate to be surrounded by a group of guys capable of the moment. It’s going to be fun. I’m ready.”

Funny Car:

Driver of the NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge Charger R/T

Qualified: No. 7 (Lane Choice)

The Competition: No. 10 Bob Tasca III

The Results:
Q1: 4.700 E.T. at 174.96 MPH
Q2: 3.972 E.T. at 322.73 MPH
Q3: 3.944 E.T. at 325.06 MPH (Three bonus points for quickest run of the session)
Q4: 3.967 E.T. at 324.20 MPH (Three bonus points for quickest run of the session)

Bonus Points: Six

"It's a new six-disc for us so we're learning but [Rahn Tobler] was very happy. Friday night when we got done, he said 'we're going to use tomorrow for Sunday; it's going to be the same conditions.' It's so nice to see Tobler with a smile on his face. To get those three points. The NAPA AutoCare guys have done a great job. This is tricky, and on Sunday, you're going to have to really earn it."

Driver of the Mopar Express Lane Dodge Charger R/T

Qualified: No. 6 (Lane Choice)

The Competition: No. 11 Tim Wilkerson

The Results:
Q1: 4.142 E.T. at 251.77 MPH
Q2: 3.941 E.T. at 328.22 MPH
Q3: 5.064 E.T. at 149.51 MPH
Q4: 5.775 E.T. at 123.06 MPH

“Gainesville, I mean, I just can’t get it to show me any love. It’s one of those places that no matter how great your combo is, this place steps on my toes all the time. We’re trying to work through it. We’ve got a good car. Obviously, Dickie (Venables, Hagan’s crew chief) has the skills and the know-how to navigate a hot racetrack. We just have to get it dialed in tomorrow.

“(Tim) Wilkerson (Hagan’s first round opponent) has had some issues, having to bring out a new car. And I wanted to say my respects to him on his dad passing away this weekend, obviously he’s got that on his mind, and we’ll be thinking about him.

“We’ve got to figure out what we’ve got going on, and lay it down. We’ve had four shots at it, and hopefully we have four shots at it tomorrow.”

Driver of the Make-A-Wish Foundation Dodge Charger R/T
Qualified: No. 5 (Lane Choice)

The Competition: No. 12 Cruz Pedregon

The Results:
Q1: 10.788 E.T. at 78.82 MPH
Q2: 3.933 E.T. at 327.27 MPH
Q3: 5.494 E.T. at 127.07 MPH
Q4: 10.082 E.T. at 79.97 MPH

"We're struggling with the changes. The six-disc clutch is still new to us. This is the first hot track conditions we've seen with it so we're making ground. We made a nice run in the best conditions of the weekend so tomorrow will be more like we've seen today. So we're have to learn from what we did during these two runs and put that together to make a nice solid day."

About Don Schumacher Racing
Don Schumacher Racing, headquartered in Brownsburg, Ind., fields seven professional NHRA teams. In Top Fuel, the U.S. Army dragster driven by eight-time world champion Tony Schumacher, the Matco Tools/U.S. Army dragster driven by three-time world champion Antron Brown and the Mopar/Papa John's Pizza/Pennzoil/FireAde/U.S. Army dragster driven by Leah Pritchett; and in Funny Car, 2016 world champion Ron Capps in the NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge Charger R/T; two-time world champion Matt Hagan in the Mopar Express Lane Dodge Charger/Sandvik Coromant R/T, and 2012 NHRA world champion Jack Beckman in Terry and Doug Chandler's Infinite Hero Foundation Dodge and the Chandlers' Make-A-Wish Dodge driven by Tommy Johnson Jr.

DSR has won 319 NHRA national event titles and 16 world championships.



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