Compiled by SEMA Editors
CRAMPTON, BECKMAN, ENDERS TAKE TOPEKA WINS: Funny Car racer Jack Beckman finished off a record-setting weekend of racing at Heartland Park Topeka last Sunday by claiming a victory over category icon John Force at the NHRA Kansas Nationals. Richie Crampton (Top Fuel) and Erica Enders (Pro Stock) also were winners of the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series event. Beckman used a pair of 3.9-second runs to outrun Courtney Force and John Hale in earlier rounds and then beat Del Worsham in a close semifinal before speeding to another three-second run to oust the 16-time world champ in the final round. Prior to that, Beckman clocked three-second runs in two of the three rounds of qualifying Friday and Saturday.
NHRA MELLO YELLO SERIES HEADS TO NEW JERSEY FOR TOYOTA NHRA SUMMERNATIONALS: The NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series continues its trek around the country, and as the calendar switches to June, the circuit will point its compass to the Northeast for the first time this season. The 46th annual Toyota NHRA Summernationals, June 4–7, will be contested at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park. At the venue known simply as Raceway Park to locals, the very best in Top Fuel, Funny Car, Pro Stock and Pro Stock Motorcycle will compete for the Wally at one of the premier events on the NHRA circuit. Richie Crampton (Top Fuel), Cruz Pedregon (Funny Car), Jeg Coughlin Jr. (Pro Stock) and Andrew Hines (Pro Stock Motorcycle) were last year’s winners of the event that will once again be televised nationally on ESPN2.
KRAWIEC NOT RESTING ON FAST START WITH TOYOTA NHRA SUMMERNATIONALS APPROACHING: As far as the points standings are concerned, the 2015 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season is going perfectly fine for Pro Stock Motorcycle standout Eddie Krawiec. Heading back to his home track for the 46th annual Toyota NHRA Summernationals at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park, the three-time world champion is the points leader after advancing to the final round at each of the first three events. With Screamin’ Eagle Vance and Hines Harley-Davidson teammate and reigning world champion Andrew Hines in second, things couldn’t be much better. The only thing Krawiec is looking for is his first victory of the season as the NHRA heads to the Northeast for the first time this season.
"We’re 1 and 2 in the points, and that’s definitely a good thing," Krawiec said. "But now we have to maintain it. The goal is to be consistent and go rounds, and for me, personally, we’ve done that at all three races. But I feel like I’ve lost a Wally twice due to parts failures. [In Atlanta], I was on my way and pulling away when just another miscellaneous piece broke. But it’s an endurance race now."
He Said, She Said
"I’m unbelievably grateful to have been able to drive a Funny Car and have a career with Don Schumacher Racing (DSR). When I was a kid I thought maybe one day I could make one run in a nitro Funny Car, wouldn’t that be cool? Or maybe run once in a while and qualify for a race and to win one round would be really cool. I have 17 of those Wallys and a Funny Car world championship. It’s more than I ever dreamed possible. I don’t know if I’d have been able to accomplish any of that without Don Schumacher. Since the day I stepped into one of his Funny Cars I’ve had the best equipment and crews surrounding me on every single run. It’s absolutely humbling to think that an ordinary guy like me would be able to achieve some extraordinary things like I have with DSR. That’s all because of Don."
—Jack Beckman on securing the 250th win for Don Schumacher Racing in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series with his victory in Topeka. Beckman recently gave DSR their 100th Funny Car win when he took home the Wally in Charlotte. His 17th win gave DSR their 102nd win in Funny Car. They have 127 victories in Top Fuel, 18 in Pro Stock Motorcycle and three in Pro Stock. Top Fuel racer Tony Schumacher has the most victories of any current or past DSR driver with 78 wins.
Inside the Numbers
15: Number of three-second runs by the Funny Car competitors this past weekend at the NHRA Kansas Nationals. Cruz Pedregon started the onslaught when he raced to a 3.979-second pass during the first round of qualifying last Friday night. In the second round of qualifying, Jack Beckman, Alexis DeJoria and Chad Head all dipped below four seconds. The time Head posted of 3.967 seconds held up to be his first No. 1 qualifying position of his career and is also a career best. John Force, Ron Caps, Del Worsham and Tim Wilkerson also went into the three-second range during the course of the event. Last Sunday in eliminations, the quick times continued as Beckman recorded three passes under four seconds, including in the finals when he defeated John Force. Also, Courtney Force set a national speed record of 325.06 mph.
Did You Know
AUTO CLUB DRAGWAY TO HOST JEGS NHRA PACIFIC SPORTSNATIONALS: The 10th Annual JEGS NHRA Pacific SPORTSnationals returns to Auto Club Dragway at Auto Club Speedway as the second of back to back NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series weekends at the Southern California facility. The event, which originated at Auto Club Dragway in 2006, is designed to showcase NHRA’s Sportsman racers. Slated for May 29–31, the event features drivers in six NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series categories who will vie for valuable points leading to divisional and national championships. The JEGS NHRA Pacific SPORTSnationals boasts a guaranteed purse of nearly $65,000 and competing classes include Comp Eliminator, Super Stock, Stock Eliminator, Super Comp, Super Gas and Super Street. The event will also include the division’s Top Sportsman and Top Dragster categories earning points toward an NHRA National Championship as well as the NHRA Sportsman Motorcycle Series presented by Harley-Davidson.
View the complete 2015 Mello Yello Drag Racing Series schedule.