Ennis, TX – At the NHRA’s annual stop at Texas Motorplex outside of Dallas, Brandon Welch and the Beal Racing AutoAnything nitro funny car team qualified 16th and made their second race day start in 2016 against John Force Racing driver Robert Hight. Like their first match-up in Norwalk, OH, Welch was the lower qualified car and lost to a stellar performance by the AAA team. While a round loss always stings, the team leaves the AAA Texas FallNationals excited about the weekend’s progress.
NHRA’s qualifying rule that states only the top 12 performances from Friday will carry over into Saturday creates a Friday test and tune opportunity for the part time teams that don’t expect to be in the top 12 at the end of the day. Owner and crew chief Chuck Beal decided to use Friday’s qualifying sessions to work on improving the car’s 60 ft times to build a faster baseline tune up.
Beal’s tuning inputs resulted in the team’s best 60′ time of the season, a 0.886 second blast in session one, however the car became prone to tire shake shortly after. Session two saw a slightly slower .893 60 ft time and more tire shake. Clearly the setup had improved the car’s early numbers, so Beal shifted his focus to navigating the tricky tire shake zone between 60 and 200 feet.
Saturday’s qualifying performance was an improvement for Beal Racing. Beal made the necessary changes to get the car through the shake zone, and Welch lifted roughly half way down the 1000 ft. track after a dropped cylinder pushed the car dangerously close to the center line. The car coasted to a 5.04 at 158 mph, good enough for 16th qualifying position and a date with Robert Hight and the AAA team on Sunday.
“A nitro funny car tune up is built through careful analysis, but often comes down to trial and error,” said Beal. “This weekend was a perfect example of that principle. We solved the slower 60 foot times, then solved the tire shake, and then the car dropped a cylinder. The goal for race day was to keep all eight cylinders lit and give Robert Hight our best shot.”
Brandon Welch and Robert Hight were the first pair of funny cars in round 1. The fresh track was a bit of an unknown for both crew chiefs, but in this match up the more experienced AAA team got the win with a stellar 3.86 second pass in the left lane. Welch in the AutoAnything funny car left dead-even with Hight, but as the car powered down track it pushed toward the wall.
“The car left hard and I knew we were going to keep Hight honest,” said Welch. “The car started to drive me over to the wall and I was fighting it back with the steering wheel. After a couple hundred feet of the car continuing to fight my steering input I aborted the run.”
Beal Racing walks away with several points of pride – the volunteer crew performed their fastest between-round service of the season, the car showed its fastest early incremental times, and Beal made significant progress toward a much faster baseline tune up. 2016 NHRA Road to the Future award contender Brandon Welch and the entire Beal Racing AutoAnything team now turn their focus to Las Vegas, NV for the NHRA Toyota Nationals October 28-30, 2016.
ABOUT BEAL RACING
San Diego-based Beal Racing campaigns a 300+ mph nitro funny car on the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series. The team is owned by Chuck Beal and driven by 2016 rookie of the year contender and Chuck’s grandson, Brandon Welch. After 45 years in drag racing, veteran driver Beal handed over the reins of the family race car to grandson, Brandon in 2015. Beal Racing proudly showcases sponsorship from AutoAnything, aFe POWER, Coverking, Spyder Auto, Maxima Racing Oils, MSD, Autolite, and MAHLE Clevite. To learn more about Beal Racing visit www.bealracing.com or tune in to NHRA competition on Fox and Fox Sports 1.