NTK NHRA Carolina Nationals
Event 21 of 24 (Charlotte II)
Countdown Event 3 of 6
Oct. 11-13, 2019
DSR Charlotte II Elimination Highlights:
- Jack Beckman raced to a runner-up finish, marking his second final round appearance in the first three events of the Countdown, and moved into the No. 2 spot in the championship point standings
- Beckman powered his machine to the quickest Funny Car E.T. (3.864 seconds) of the NHRA Carolina Nationals
- Three DSR Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Cars advanced to the semifinals
- Semifinalist Ron Capps maintains his No. 4 ranking in the Countdown to the Championship standings
- Leah Pritchett moved from fifth up to fourth in the Top Fuel standings
Driver of the Infinite Hero Foundation Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat
Qualified: No. 1 (3.873 E.T. at 334.07 MPH)
E1: 3.864 E.T. at 329.99 MPH defeated Dale Creasy Jr. 4.863 E.T. at 164.03 MPH
E2: 3.932 E.T. at 323.27 MPH defeated Tommy Johnson Jr. 6.911 E.T. at 102.45 MPH
E3: 3.957 E.T. at 324.44 MPH defeated Ron Capps 4.025 E.T. at 293.41 MPH
E4: Foul (red light) defeated by Robert Hight 3.917 E.T. at 329.02 MPH
Jack Beckman was envisioning a second Funny Car triumph Monday afternoon at the NTK NHRA Carolina Nationals, and he was focused on gaining ground in his pursuit of a second Funny Car world championship as NHRA’s six-race Countdown to the Championship playoff reached the halfway point.
Beckman earned his 26th career No. 1 qualifier Saturday, but Mother Nature forced the 2012 Funny Car champion and his Infinite Hero Foundation crew to wait until Monday after rain washed out Sunday’s action at zMAX Dragway near Charlotte.
The delay didn’t seem to faze Beckman, who opened the day by putting up the best Funny Car run of the weekend (3.864 seconds) to defeat Dale Creasy Jr., and advance to round two. In the second round, he and fellow ‘giving car’ driver Tommy Johnson Jr. squared off. Beckman was smooth again turning on the win light with a pass of 3.932 seconds at 323.27 mph over a tire-smoking Johnson, and again found himself up against another DSR teammate in the semifinals. This time it was Ron Capps, and Beckman was able to use his reaction time coupled with a 3.957 E.T. to reach his sixth final of the season and second in three Countdown races.
Beckman had the opportunity he was hoping for by facing point leader Robert Hight in the final. Unfortunately, his chance at career win No. 30 turned up red when Beckman left the starting line early, giving Hight the win. It was Beckman’s first red light in a final in more than a decade, and he will resume his championship run Friday in Dallas trailing Hight by 44 points.
“That final round loss is bitterly disappointing. As a driver, you have to keep your head in that zone where you perform your best, and I was okay today, and I just lapsed in the final round. I found my focus going away, and my right foot started going down right about then. It’s important, locking your vision on an amber bulb (on the starting line tree) and staying on that, and I just wasn’t where I needed to be. I’m not sure how that race would have unfolded had we both been green, but we can’t afford to give those away. We gained points on every car this weekend except the one we most needed to gain points on, and that was due to a driver error. So, I’m going to shake it off. I’ve got four days to get my head straight. I’m going to come back in Dallas, and there’s going to be a lot of big smiles on this team because we’re going to put this thing in the winner’s circle there.”
NHRA Mello Yello Countdown to the Championship Starting Positions:
1. Steve Torrence – 2356
2. Doug Kalitta – 2326
3. Brittany Force – 2264
4. Leah Pritchett – 2231
5. Mike Salinas – 2227
6. Billy Torrence – 2206
7. Austin Prock – 2204
8. Richie Crampton – 2196
9. Antron Brown – 2194
10. Clay Millican – 2178
1. Robert Hight – 2358
2. Jack Beckman – 2314
3. John Force – 2279
4. Ron Capps – 2268
5. Bob Tasca III – 2215
6. J.R. Todd – 2214
7. Matt Hagan – 2211
8. Tommy Johnson Jr – 2191
9. Shawn Langdon – 2187
10. Tim Wilkerson – 2152
About Don Schumacher Racing:
Don Schumacher Racing (DSR) is the winningest team in NHRA Drag Racing history, having claimed more than 335 NHRA national event titles and 17 world championships since opening its doors in 1998.
Headquartered in Brownsburg, Indiana, DSR fields seven professional teams competing in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing series. In Top Fuel, the Matco Tools dragster driven by three-time world champion Antron Brown, the MOPAR/Pennzoil/Sparkling Ice dragster driven by Leah Pritchett and eight-time world champion Tony Schumacher’s machine. In Funny Car, the NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat driven by 2016 world champion Ron Capps, the Mopar Express Lane/Pennzoil/Sandvik Coromant Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat piloted by Matt Hagan, and in Terry and Doug Chandler’s ‘giving cars,’ 2012 NHRA world champion Jack Beckman in the Infinite Hero Foundation Dodge, and Tommy Johnson Jr. behind the wheel of the Make-A-Wish Dodge.
DSR also campaigns two Factory Stock Showdown entries. The duo is piloted by Pritchett, the 2018 Factory Stock Showdown Series champion, and former Pro Stock racer Mark Pawuk.