Commerce: Jack Beckman final report

BECKMAN OUT IN ATLANTA FIRST ROUND COMMERCE, Ga. (April 27, 2008) - After qualifying No. 13 and without lane choice for first round of eliminations at the NHRA Southern Nationals at Atlanta Dragway, Jack Beckman, in the Valvoline/Mail Terminal...

BECKMAN OUT IN ATLANTA FIRST ROUND

COMMERCE, Ga. (April 27, 2008) - After qualifying No. 13 and without lane choice for first round of eliminations at the NHRA Southern Nationals at Atlanta Dragway, Jack Beckman, in the Valvoline/Mail Terminal Services Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car, was bumped out by Gary Densham.

The event was delayed two hours because of rain prior to the start of eliminations, then again after five pairs of Top Fuel cars completed their rounds. And, while track conditions were good when racing resumed and Beckman launched ahead of Densham at the starting lights, a loss of traction cost him the race as he coasted to a 5.716-second pass at 200.68 mph to Densham's winning 4.928/307.72.

"It hit the bump," explained Beckman. "You could see from the computer graph that right where it comes off the bump in the left lane it will spin the rear tires just a bit. The way to get around that is to slow the car down, but then you'll get outrun. Unless you can really make the thing fly earlier, you're always going to get affected by it, and we just hit it in the wrong spot.

"If you get it over towards the wall there's a little less bump, but you run the risk of spinning the tires that way. That’s why lane choice sometimes is a big deal. We didn't have it this time, but we'll work on it.

"There's no other way to look at it," said Beckman, "we're struggling. But we're not lost, and there's a big difference. We made a couple of good runs, we got some good data. We're getting to the point of the season where we're going to see a lot of similarities in the race tracks. And if we play this four-car DSR Funny Car team to the best of our ability, we should start catching up and then seeing an advantage by the end of the summer.

"We're qualifying, and that's good," said Beckman, who, with 21, owns the longest qualifying streak among active drivers. "We're OK. We're ready to go to the next race. We solved our parts problem in Vegas, we've got our Valvoline/MTS hot rod back under us, and we need to start winning rounds.

-credit: dsr

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Gary Densham , Jack Beckman