FORMER CHEVROLET PERFORMANCE U.S. NATIONALS WINNER BECKMAN LEADS FUNNY CAR TESTING AT LUCAS OIL RACEWAY AT INDIANAPOLIS
(BROWNSBURG, Ind.) Jack Beckman led the Funny Car category during the second and final day of testing for the Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis. Tony Schumacher improved upon his time from Wednesday to lead Top Fuel.
Beckman, the 2015 event winner, ran a time of 3.827 seconds at 337.07 mph in his first run of the day. Beckman has two wins, two runner-up finishes on the season, and is using the test to prepare his Infinite Hero Foundation Charger R/T for the coming event.
“I think if you go to a test session and your car goes to the finish line under power on every run, you’re not pushing the envelope enough,” Beckman said. The whole point of a test session isn’t to just go and make laps, it’s not practice. It’s trying things you think might work and they don’t all work.”
Robert Hight in his Auto Club of Southern California Chevy Camaro had the second best lap during the session with a run of 3.842 at 330.88. He has three wins at ‘The Big Go’, his last coming in 2013. His win total ties him for fourth on the all-time Funny Car event win list and one more would put him into a tie with his boss John Force and legendary racer Don Prudhomme. Hight and his team had consistent runs during the day and will bring favorable tune-up into the race.
“We’ve made about seven runs and all of them have been in the 3.80’s,” Hight stated. “We failed to go one time but we were trying some crazy stuff. I wish Indy started tomorrow. It’s a big week and I can’t wait.”
In Top Fuel Tony Schumacher again led the field with his time of 3.702 at 332.34 in his U.S. Army dragster. Antron Brown was in second at 3.722 at 330.72.
The NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series teams that participated in the test were all preparing for the world’s biggest drag race, the 63rd annual Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals, Aug. 30-Sept. 4, unleashing the thrilling, 10,000-horsepower action of the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series.
Drag racing’s grandest event marks the end of the NHRA regular season and is the 18th of 24 races in the 2017 season. With teams battling for top 10 spots in the six-race Mello Yello Countdown to the Championship and with an increased amount of points in play via the point-and-a-half system for this event (150 points to the winner), the stakes will be high at the event know as the Big Go.
In all, during the course of six days, nearly 1,000 drivers competing across 12 categories have the goal of holding the Wally trophy on Labor Day Monday and expanded prize money, the prestigious Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals the most-coveted victory in drag racing. Winning the event has become a necessity for drivers, who say that no career is truly complete without a win at drag racing’s biggest race.
The top drivers in Top Fuel, Funny Car, Pro Stock and Pro Stock Motorcycle will compete for their place in Indy history. Tony Schumacher (Top Fuel), Matt Hagan (Funny Car), Chris McGaha (Pro Stock) and Andrew Hines (Pro Stock Motorcycle) were last year’s winners of a race that will be broadcasted on the FOX national broadcast network and Fox Sports 1 (FS1), including a live broadcast of Monday’s finals on both FOX and FS1 on Monday, Sept. 4.
The first of five Mello Yello Series qualifying sessions is scheduled for 7:15 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 1. Two more sessions will take to the track on Saturday, Sept. 2 at 2:30 p.m. and 6:15 p.m., and the final two qualifying sessions will take place on Sunday, Sept. 3 at 11:30 a.m. and 3:15 p.m. Final eliminations begin at 11 a.m. on Monday, Sept. 4. The Traxxas Nitro Shootout for Top Fuel will be contested Saturday, Sept. 2 with rounds at 3:45 p.m., 5:45 p.m. and 7:40 p.m. The Traxxas Nitro Shootout for Funny Car takes place on Sunday, Sept. 3 for the eight qualified drivers, with rounds at 12:45 p.m., 2:45 p.m. and 4:40 p.m.
FOX national broadcast and FS1 will televise coverage of the Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals, starting with qualifying on Sunday, Sept. 3 on FS1 at 12 p.m. and 5 p.m. EST. The broadcasts continue on FS1 with two hours of live coverage of eliminations on Monday, Sept. 4 starting at 11 a.m. EST, continuing live on FOX at 1 p.m. EST.
Tickets for the world’s most prestigious drag race can be purchased by calling the NHRA Ticket Sales Center at (800) 884-NHRA (6472), or online at www.NHRA.com/tickets. Kids 12 and under are free in general admission areas with a paid adult. To honor the Salute to First Responders, military and first responders can save 20 percent on general admission tickets at the gate. For more information about the NHRA visit www.NHRA.com.
1. Tony Schumacher: 3.702, 332.34
2. Antron Brown: 3.722, 330.72
3. Billy Torrence: 3.775, 292.08
4. Shawn Langdon: 3.817, 259.41
5. Wayne Newby: 3.840, 306309.91
6. Ashley Sanford: 3.848, 302.48
7. Troy Coughlin Jr.: 3.882, 258.07
8. Brittany Force: 4.599, 163.12
1. Jack Beckman: 3.827, 337.07
2. Robert Hight: 3.842, 330.88
3. Ron Capps: 3.863, 330.72
4. Tommy Johnson Jr.: 3.864, 311.63
5. Courtney Force: 3.868, 332.18
6. John Force: 3.868, 292.14
7. J.R. Todd: 3.899, 308.71
8. Johnnie Lindberg: 3.935, 296.63
9. Alexis DeJoria: 3.946, 286.13
10. Cruz Pedregon: 4.761, 167.18