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At the NHRA race at Gateway Motorsports Park in the Funny Car class, the only car that could beat a Mopar HEMI-powered Dodge Charger R/T was, in fact, another Mopar HEMI-powered Dodge. The four-man Don Schumacher Racing (DSR) Dodge Charger R/T squad basically duked it out for the Funny Car event title between themselves, with No. 1 Qualifier Jack Beckman emerging victorious.
“Congratulations to Jack Beckman from all of us at Mopar on his win at the Midwest Nationals,” said Pietro Gorlier, President and CEO of Mopar, Chrysler Group LLC’s service, parts and customer-care brand. “The Mopar-powered Funny Car package has been strong again this year, and we look forward to Jack and his Don Schumacher Racing teammates contending for more wins and the Championship in the final three races of the season.”
Beckman drove his Mopar HEMI-powered Don Schumacher Racing (DSR) Dodge Charger R/T to a first-round win over Alexis DeJoria with a 4.127/306.12 effort, then recorded a 4.093/306.95 in his quarterfinals defeat of Jeff Arend, who was unable to make the run.
Beckman also had an easy go of it in the semifinals, defeating Tony Pedregon (who went into tire shake) with a 4.093/302.35. That set up a Mopar vs. Mopar final-round match against Matt Hagan, who knocked off current Funny Car “Countdown to the Championship” leader and Mopar-powered Dodge Charger R/T teammate Ron Capps (who defeated fellow DSR Dodge driver Johnny Gray in the opening round) in the quarterfinals during his march to the money round.
In their final-round fight, Hagan left the starting line early, earning a red-light foul and giving Beckman, who also posted a 4.132/306.53 pass, the event win. Beckman now trails teammate Capps by just 30 points in the Funny Car title fight.
“For whatever reason, the car we had Friday night didn’t show up on Saturday," said Beckman. "We kept swapping stuff, kept swapping stuff, and finally we decided today we couldn’t make big changes to this Mopar. We had to lean on it a little bit at a time, and maybe that was the advantage of qualifying No. 1. So it looked relatively easy, but it’s because of those guys (his crew). Those nine guys make me look good standing up here holding a trophy.” [10/4/2012]