Dallas: Jack Beckman final report

BECKMAN HAS SOLID TEXAS RUN, ENDS IN SEMIS AND THIRD ENNIS, Texas (Sept. 21, 2008) - Jack Beckman is still riding on his Super Streak Express after nearly making it into his seventh final round (and fifth straight) of the season today at the...

BECKMAN HAS SOLID TEXAS RUN, ENDS IN SEMIS AND THIRD

ENNIS, Texas (Sept. 21, 2008) - Jack Beckman is still riding on his Super Streak Express after nearly making it into his seventh final round (and fifth straight) of the season today at the 23rd annual NHRA Fall Nationals. The Valvoline/Mail Terminal Services Dodge Charger R/T he drives for Don Schumacher Racing was the quickest car of the semifinal round, but a holeshot upset by his opponent Tony Pedregon prevented Beckman from reaching that all-important money round.

Beckman's .099-of-a-second reaction time (.000 is perfect) was respectable, but Pedregon's .043 was enough for him to capture the victory with a 4.276-second elapsed time at 287.53 mph to Beckman's quicker but losing 4.261/275.62. Margin of victory: less than a car length.

In this very close battle for the Funny Car crown this year, Beckman entered each round today as the points leader until that semifinal stanza, where he fell to third as Pedregon took over the lead and Tim Wilkerson second place.

It's still anybody's race, as the top six in the standings are separated by a mere 93 markers, with four events remaining in the Countdown to 1 playoffs.

En route to the semis, No. 5 qualifier Beckman defeated his DSR teammate Jerry Toliver with a 4.128/291.82, then dismissed Gary Densham with a 4.187/289.57.

"We played strategy this weekend," said Beckman. "We staged shallow the first two rounds to try to get lane choice and did. And, I'm telling you, the rollout here is significantly different than an average NHRA race. Everybody's 60-foot times were hugely quick and the reactions inordinately slow.

"I think I did average against Tony and I think Tony was just exceptional. He took a little chunk out there, but he still reacted before me. He did his job and he beat us with a slower car.

"But, we've got a great running race car in the Valvoline/Mail Terminal Services Dodge. We've won 21 rounds in the last eight races. We are legitimate contenders for the Funny Car championship this year. We don't even have to dust ourselves off. We're just going to service the race car and get right over there to Memphis and go get them next weekend."

Next up is the 21st annual NHRA Mid-South Nationals at Memphis (Tenn.) Motorsports Park, Sept. 26-28.

-credit: dsr

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Tony Pedregon , Gary Densham , Jack Beckman , Jerry Toliver , Don Schumacher