Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Beckman, crew chief Smith producing plenty of Funny Car noise as Schumacher Electric/Valvoline team move to third in points

Jack Beckman continues to climb up the NHRA Funny Car standings.

Beckman and crew chief Todd Smith speak the same language, although Smith does so at a much slower pace.

"I enjoy working with Todd. Just look at how our team has done since he took over with a crew and driver he had never worked with before. That says a lot for him as a person.

"It's obvious he's a very smart, talented man. Just look what we've been able to do on the track."

The duo produced the strongest performing Funny Car for Don Schumacher Racing last weekend at Route 66 Raceway at Joliet, Ill.

The team, running a special Schumacher Electric Corp. paint scheme, advanced to the semifinals that enabled them to move up one spot to third in the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series standings heading to this weekend's event at Summit Motorsports Park in Norwalk, Ohio.

The track just south of Lake Erie and Sandusky has been good to Beckman. He won the Funny Car title there in 2009.

Smith joined as his crew chief after the third event this season and has progressed steadily. Other than the team's victory three events later at Topeka, Kan., the team might have had its most impressive showing at Joliet.

After qualifying third, Beckman and Smith produced the second quickest run in the first round of eliminations and then the quickest in the second round. In the semifinal, Beckman was edged by eventual event titlist Jeff Arend.

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