Bristol: Jack Beckman final report

BECKMAN LANDS IN QUARTERS IN BRISTOL BRISTOL, Tenn. (July 8, 2007) - Jack Beckman landed in the Funny Car quarterfinals today at the O'Reilly NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals at Bristol Dragway and maintained his No. 8 slot in the Countdown to the...

BECKMAN LANDS IN QUARTERS IN BRISTOL

BRISTOL, Tenn. (July 8, 2007) - Jack Beckman landed in the Funny Car quarterfinals today at the O'Reilly NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals at Bristol Dragway and maintained his No. 8 slot in the Countdown to the Championship.

Beckman drove the Mail Terminal Service Dodge Charger R/T past Gary Densham in the opening round of eliminations on a hot track (121 degrees) and temperatures that had risen into the 80s before noon. He bested Densham with a 4.891-second lap at 313.44 mph to Densham's losing 5.067/301.81.

As the heat and humidity continued to escalate for the second round, the track registered over 133 degrees and the air at above 90 degrees. It was a Tennessee scorcher as Beckman faced Jim Head in that contest. To no one's surprise, both cars lost traction after launch and struggled to get down the quarter-mile. Head recovered first, taking the win light with a 5.577/256.75 to Beckman's losing 7.012/127.59.

"I think that was the hottest race track that we've had all year," said Beckman, who continued to go rounds and rack up points. "I think it was 135 degrees at one point. Still, I didn't think the MTS Dodge was going to spin the tires. It went out there and it spun them, over-revved them, banged the burst panel. Head spun also, but obviously he was able to recover.

"You know, it's frustrating and it's exciting," he continued. "Had we won that round we might have moved into seventh, but Cruz Pedregon went past us by making it into the final round. We held on to eighth, though, because Ashley Force, Jeff Arend and Kenny Bernstein didn't qualify and Tommy Johnson Jr. went out in the first round. That's how close seventh through 12th is right now and that is what is so cool for the fans.

"Again, we qualified top half and we won first round," added Beckman, who has won seven rounds in the last five races. "If we keep to that game plan we're going to win a race, we're going to be solidly in the Countdown, and that really is our mission.

"You know, everybody is getting so worked up about this Countdown deal, I think we tend to forget that the reason we race is to win races. We want to win races. We don't want to go win one or two rounds per weekend. We want to win all four them. We were second in the Full Throttle Pit Challenge here (for consistency in qualifying), so I think the MTS Dodge is the most consistent Funny Car the last two months. Hopefully in Denver it will pay off with a win."

-credit: dsr

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Series NHRA
Drivers Jim Head , Kenny Bernstein , Gary Densham , Cruz Pedregon , Jack Beckman , Ashley Force , Jeff Arend