Atlanta: Jack Beckman Saturday report

BECKMAN QUALIFIES NO. 6 IN ATLANTA COMMERCE, Ga. (May 15, 2010) - Jack Beckman drove the Valvoline/Mail Terminal Services Dodge Charger Funny Car into No. 6 during qualifying for the 30th annual NHRA Southern Nationals at Atlanta ...

BECKMAN QUALIFIES NO. 6 IN ATLANTA

COMMERCE, Ga. (May 15, 2010) - Jack Beckman drove the Valvoline/Mail Terminal Services Dodge Charger Funny Car into No. 6 during qualifying for the 30th annual NHRA Southern Nationals at Atlanta Dragway.

Following a DNS (did not start) in the opening qualifying session because of a broken throttle cable at the starting line, Beckman was the first qualifier to take to the 1000-foot drag strip in the Friday evening session, just as the temperatures were beginning to cool down. He drove the Valvoline/MTS Dodge straight down the track to record a solid 4.168-second pass at 297.35, which placed him No. 1 every so briefly. As temperatures continued to drop, he was relegated to No. 6 by the end of that day.

He held on to that spot through two more rounds of qualifying today, posting a 4.255/293.22 in the heat of the day, then a tire-smoking 6.696/100.97. Ambient temperatures were hovering close to the 90-degree-mark both days and the track temperatures were inching close to 130 degrees.

"We had a throttle cable break on the first run," he said, "and there's two ways to look at that: a bad break or, the way we're choosing to look at it, good luck that it didn't happen Sunday in eliminations.

"We do preventive maintenance on those, and we have no idea why that one broke. The Valvoline/MTS crew is blaming my big right foot for it," he said with a laugh.

"So, we actually made two pretty good runs that we're really happy with. We tried to pick it up a hundredth (of a second) on that last run and the track was worse. We wanted to see what we could get away with on race day and now we know what's too much."

Beckman will race his Don Schumacher Racing teammate Matt Hagan in the opening round of Sunday's eliminations. "We're pretty confident," he said. "The only downside is we hate racing teammates first round. We can't control what happens, but we at DSR all want to end up in favorable qualifying spots so we can't meet first round.

"I love Matt Hagan, just not for about five minutes tomorrow."

-source: dsr

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Series NHRA
Drivers Jack Beckman , Don Schumacher , Matt Hagan