Beckman races to semifinals in just his fourth career start ENGLISHTOWN, N.J. (June 19) Jack Beckman has only been a professional drag racer for four national events, but the driving instructor from Frank Hawley's Drag Racing School is already...
Beckman races to semifinals in just his fourth career start
ENGLISHTOWN, N.J. (June 19) Jack Beckman has only been a professional drag racer for four national events, but the driving instructor from Frank Hawley's Drag Racing School is already a force in the Top Fuel ranks of the POWERade Drag Racing Series. Beckman had a career weekend in Englishtown, N.J., racing to the final four of the 36th annual K&N Filters Supernationals presented by Advance Auto Parts at historic Old Bridge Township Raceway Park.
The Menard's/Colorfast-sponsored pro was just a fraction of a second away from reaching the final round, losing to championship contender Dave Grubnic by a 4.548- to 4.663-second margin. Nevertheless, Beckman's elimination round wins over two-time series champion Scott Kalitta and four-time and reigning IHRA champion Clay Millican announced his team's intentions to the rest of the class.
"What a fantastic day for this Menards and Colorfast race team," Beckman said. "We might have a part-time crew but they're sure looking like a full-time pro team and I couldn't be more proud of their efforts. We didn't win rounds by mistake today; I think we earned every victory.
"Jimmy Walsh, my crew chief, is every bit as good as the top guys in the sport. He worked with Joe Amato's team through all their championships and he's a super smart guy. I give him all the credit for our performance today."
Beckman's skill behind the wheel was apparent in the opening round against Kalitta when both men lost traction and had to pedal their cars to regain control. Beckman was the most proficient of the two, getting his 7,000 horsepower ride to hook up and carry him to a 5.823 at 187.23 mph over Kalitta's 7.049 at 124.98 mph. He then posted a competitive 4.621 at 310.05 mph against Millican's 4.783 at 256.31 mph. Millican's motor exploded midway down the track.
"The race against Scott was a coin flip when we both smoked the tires," said Beckman, a former world champion in Super Comp. "I kept expecting him to go flying past me but he didn't. I did everything I could to get the car moving and we were fortunate to win the round. Beating Millican is a real big thing because that team is absolutely tearing it up on the other circuit. That's a great group over there, just like Kalitta's gang. We beat two tough customers today."