Perfection is every race team's goal but few achieve it.
But Jack Beckman's Battery eXtender powered by Schumacher team came pretty close over the extended weekend at Maple Grove Raceway during the NHRA Nationals in the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series
The Don Schumacher Racing team arrived at the track near Reading, Pa., trailing teammate Ron Capps by 30 points in the Countdown to the Championship playoff.
But after dominating qualifying, setting a national elapsed time record that earned 20 bonus points and advancing to the semifinals, Beckman with crew chief Todd Smith and assistant Terry Snyder, took over the points lead after four of six-events in the Countdown.
They also set a national speed record of 320.58 mph, but that does not pay bonus points in NHRA.
Beckman holds a 23-point lead over Capps, who lost in the second round, and is 54 points ahead of John Force Racing's Mike Neff, who won the Maple Grove title.
"We had a great weekend. The disappointment was that it could've been almost literally a perfect weekend," Beckman said.
"We came to Maple Grove in second place and we are leaving with the points lead. The problem is our car was so, so great this weekend that nothing but the trophy would've satisfied us.
Beckman and the Battery eXtender team controlled their destiny when they beat Capps in the second round delayed by rain to Monday. Their quest for perfection was ended by Johnny Gray, another DSR teammate, when Gray's quicker reaction at the starting line overcame Beckman's quicker elapsed time of 4.025. Gray ran 4.026.
Beckman's pit area was a flurry of activity before the semifinal match.
"Our air compressor (that powers some tools) died over here so that slowed us down. We hurt a motor in the second round because we had a regulator problem. We had to change engines for the semis, and then on the warm-up we had a timer that didn't work so we had to change that. We had our own issues here in the pits.
"Fortunately, now we have a couple weekends off and the guys can get everything freshened up for Vegas. It will be interesting. It's going to be a three-car showdown for the championship. All three cars seem to be running right at the right time. It will sure make the last two races interesting.
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