Baytown: Jack Beckman final report

BECKMAN IS RUNNER-UP IN HOUSTON BAYTOWN, Texas (March 29, 2009) - "Fast" Jack Beckman reached his first final round of the season today at the NHRA Spring Nationals at Houston Raceway Park, the fourth event of the 2009 NHRA Full Throttle Drag ...

BECKMAN IS RUNNER-UP IN HOUSTON

BAYTOWN, Texas (March 29, 2009) - "Fast" Jack Beckman reached his first final round of the season today at the NHRA Spring Nationals at Houston Raceway Park, the fourth event of the 2009 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series, and ended up second to Ashley Force Hood.

Beckman, who had only two round wins under his belt in the Valvoline/Mail Terminal Services Dodge for the season entering this weekend's event, can now add three more to his tally after first defeating Robert Hight in the opening round with a 4.954-second elapsed time at 246.80 mph, then Tim Wilkerson in the second round with a 4.172/298.01.

He continued his slaying of giants by taking out Tony Pedregon in the semifinal with another consistently quick 4.171/298.34.

The California native's winning swath concluded in the final, when, despite a mechanical glitch he and crew chief Johnny West thought would be their demise before they even launched, he posted a decent 4.227/303.43 pass only to be beaten by Force Hood's 4.122/306.19. Margin of victory: .1101 of a second.

"We're not quite sure what happened, but at the starting line it started spraying raw fuel out of the right side from the No. 6 pipe and we all kind of looked at each other with that same thought in our mind at the same time," explained Beckman. "We're figuring it's going to puddle fuel under the tire and we're dead. As soon as the thing moves and the rear tire gets in that fuel the run's over.

"So, I thought our only shot is for me to deep stage and maybe it can get her to red light. It didn't work, and they did a great job. And then our car cleaned up. I can't believe it went down the drag strip on that run.

"This is just what Denver was for us last year. We got back into a final round and we were a tear from that point on. We've got a hot rod back underneath us. We'll fix this. That was a real small glitch, and the Valvoline/MTS Dodge still ran a good number. Had I not been deep that would have been a 4.16.

"Ashley and her crew did an awesome job, but we're right back in this deal again, and we're going to win, and we're going to do it next week," he said with a smile.

Next up is the NHRA Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway next weekend, April 3-5.

-credit: dsr

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Tony Pedregon , Jack Beckman , Ashley Force , Robert Hight