NHRA: Jack Beckman roars, Spencer Massey twice surpasses 332 mph in preseason test


While John Force Racing begins a two-day test Monday in suburban Phoenix, top rival Don Schumacher Racing is already thinking championships in Top Fuel and Funny Car after its own test this weekend.

And not surprisingly, Force kind of figured in Schumacher’s success, as Force’s former crew chiefs, Jimmy Prock and John Medlen, are now crew chief and assistant crew chief, respectively, for DSR Funny Car driver Jack Beckman.

Driver of the Infinite Hero Foundation Dodge Charger R/T, Beckman had an unusual problem of sorts during this past weekend’s test at the PRO Winter Warm-up at Palm Beach International Raceway in Jupiter, Fla.

Beckman’s “problem”? He had too much power – a problem that any driver would love to have.

“The car has been telling us that it’s too powerful,” Beckman said in a DSR media release. “We made a lot of changes this off-season and you think you found the ceiling for horsepower and Jimmy Prock took it to a different level and it was just too wicked up here.

“We kept backing it down a little bit and it needed to be backed down a bunch and we backed it down to a four flat at 321 (mph). I’m pretty jazzed about Pomona.”

The 2015 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season begins with the 55th annual Circle K NHRA Winternationals at Auto Club Raceway in Pomona, Calif., Feb. 6-8.

Beckman recorded the fastest elapsed times of any Funny Car driver in the test, with field-best runs of 4.003 and 4.031 seconds.

A former two-time NHRA world champ, Beckman has struggled the last two seasons. While Beckman has 15 career wins, he hasn’t won a NHRA national event since Sept. 2012 at Gateway Motorsports Park in suburban St. Louis, a winless streak of 51 national events.

With what he and his car showed this past weekend, Beckman’s long losing streak could quickly come to an end, perhaps as early as the upcoming Winternationals.

“Had we left here without making any representative runs, I’d still feel optimistic because I feel that we have good numbers from last year, we just apply the changes and go to Pomona,” Beckman added. “Now I feel wonderful about our chances. A few good laps makes us feel all the extra effort was well worth it.”

Beckman wasn’t the only member of the seven-team DSR empire who had a stout performance in Florida.

Teammate and Top Fuel driver Spencer Massey twice exceeded 332 mph in his test sessions on both Friday and Saturday. On Friday, Massey recorded a pass of 332.26 mph, followed up Saturday by a run of 332.02 mph (at 3.741 seconds).

Here’s a rundown of how the entire DSR organization did this weekend:


Spencer Massey, Red Fuel Powered by Schumacher dragster
First session: 3.851 secs., 257.38 mph
Second session: 3.723, 332.26
First session: 3.794, 288.27
Second session: 9.263, 77.29
Third session: 3.741, 332.02

Antron Brown, Matco Tools dragster
First session: 3.844 secs., 305.08 mph
Second session: 8.257, 80.52
First session: 3.772, 321.50
Second session: 8.305, 79.91
Third session: 8.928, 74.85

Tony Schumacher, U.S. Army dragster
First session: 7.592 secs., 83.36 mph
Second session: 3.793, 305.70
First session: 8.237, 81.73
Second session: 9.426, 74.94


Jack Beckman, Infinite Hero Foundation Dodge Charger R/T
First session: 15.206 secs., 40.72 mph
Second session: 8.887, 75.33
First session: 4.031, 321.04
Second session: 4.003, 321.58

Ron Capps, NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge Charger R/T
First session: 4.161 secs., 242.93 mph
Second session: 4.023, 321.42
First session: 8.556, 79.14
Second session: 8.451, 81.71
Third session: 8.636, 80.11

Matt Hagan, Mopar Express Lane/Rocky Boots Dodge Charger R/T
First session: 9.217 secs., 79.96 mph
Second session: 4.058, 320.05
First session: 11.385, 70.44
Second session: 12.067, 78.68

Tommy Johnson Jr., Make-A-Wish Dodge Charger R/T
First session: 9.421 secs., 71.73 mph
Second session: 10.115, 69.91
First session: 11.005, 78.23
Second session: 9.398, 77.12

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Kyle Larson wins third consecutive High Limit Sprint race at Eagle Raceway, Rico Abreu second again

Larson High Limit Eagle
High Limit Racing - Twitter

It took four attempts for Kyle Larson to win his first High Limit Sprint Car Series race in the series he co-owns with brother-in-law Brad Sweet, but once he found victory lane, he has been undefeated with his win at Eagle (Nebraska) Raceway. For the second week, Abreu led early only to fall prey to Larson.

The win was Larson’s third straight victory and the fifth consecutive top-five, giving him a perfect sweep of the season after finishing 10th in last year’s inaugural race at Lincoln Park Speedway in Putnamville, Indiana.

Larson started third behind Abreu and Brent Marks but was embroiled in a fierce battle with Anthony Macri for third during the first dozen laps. Larson slipped by Macri in traffic until a red flag waved for a flip by Lachlan McHugh.

Meanwhile at the front of the pack, Marks retook the lead from Abreu on Lap 18. Larson followed one lap later and then caution waved again. Tyler Courtney lost power and fell to 24th after starting eighth.

Marks scooted away on the restart but tragedy struck in Lap 26. Leading the race, Marks hit a pothole in Turn 1, bicycled and then flipped, handing the lead to Larson.

Abreu caught Larson again during the final laps and in a reprise of their battle at Tri-City Speedway, the two threw sliders at one another for several laps until Larson built some separation and ran away to the checkers.

“I didn’t feel like my pace in [Turns] 1 & 2 slowed down a ton,” Larson said from victory lane. “I missed it once there and then I saw his nose in 3 & 4. I didn’t know if he nailed the bottom that well behind me and I think he might have slid me in the next corner, so he was definitely on the top.

“I was nervous to move up there because my car was really pogoing up in the entry of 1. I got up just in time, made a few mistakes and he threw a couple more sliders at me but he was just a little too far back and I was able to squirt around him. Then I really had to commit to hitting my marks – back my effort down a bit to avoid mistakes.”

After leading early, Abreu fell back as far as sixth, but faith in his car kept hope alive.

“I just needed to do a few things a few laps before I did and fix some angles, then my car got a whole lot better,” Abreu said. “I’m thankful for this team; they do an amazing job. They don’t give up on me. I know my car is going to be there right at the end of these races, so it’s just the discipline of being patient.”

For Abreu, it was his third near-miss this season. He was leading at Lakeside in the 2023 opener until a tire went flat in the closing laps and he lost the lead to Larson late in the Tri-City Speedway race. Abreu has finished sixth or better in his last three High Limit races with each result being progressively better until his pair of runner-up results.

Third-place finisher Scelzi was the hard charger, advancing from 17th.

“I had a very specific plan; don’t go near [the hole in Turn 1],” Scelzi said. “It worked out. No one wanted to start on the top. I think I gained a couple of rows there on the choose cone and ran the middle, which seemed to be better than right around the bottom.”

Michael “Buddy” Kofoid in fourth and Macri rounded out the top five.

World of Outlaws star and former NASCAR driver Kasey Kahne was one of 41 entrants, but he was not among the 26 starters. He failed to advance to the Main after finishing eighth in the B Main and seventh in his heat.

Feature Results

A Feature (40 Laps): 1. 57-Kyle Larson[4]; 2. 24-Rico Abreu[1]; 3. 18-Giovanni Scelzi[17]; 4. 71-Michael Kofoid[5]; 5. 39M-Anthony Macri[3]; 6. 9-Chase Randall[9]; 7. 26-Zeb Wise[14]; 8. 1X-Jake Bubak[15]; 9. 8-Aaron Reutzel[10]; 10. 14D-Corey Day[18]; 11. 11-Cory Eliason[12]; 12. 5T-Ryan Timms[11]; 13. 88-Austin McCarl[13]; 14. 21H-Brady Bacon[22]; 15. 48-Danny Dietrich[16]; 16. 7S-Robbie Price[19]; 17. 21-Brian Brown[23]; 18. 22-Riley Goodno[26]; 19. 52-Blake Hahn[25]; 20. 15H-Sam Hafertepe Jr[21]; 21. 3J-Dusty Zomer[6]; 22. 14-Cole Macedo[7]; 23. 19-Brent Marks[2]; 24. 7BC-Tyler Courtney[8]; 25. 25-Lachlan McHugh[20]; 26. 53-Jack Dover[24]

2023 High Limit Sprint Car Series

Race 1: Giovanni Scelzi wins at Lakeside Speedway
Race2: Anthony Macri wins at 34 Raceway
Race 3: Kyle Larson wins at Wayne County Speedway
Race 4: Kyle Larson wins at Tri-City Speedway