Gainesville: Jack Beckman final report

BECKMAN BOWS OUT IN GATORS OPENING ROUND GAINESVILLE, Fla. (March 15, 2009) - Jack Beckman's opening-round Funny Car contest against Tim Wilkerson was a photo-finish, as both drivers crossed the finish line nose-to-nose. It was Wilkerson,...

BECKMAN BOWS OUT IN GATORS OPENING ROUND

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (March 15, 2009) - Jack Beckman's opening-round Funny Car contest against Tim Wilkerson was a photo-finish, as both drivers crossed the finish line nose-to-nose. It was Wilkerson, however, who covered the 1000 feet first, posting a 4.153-second elapsed time at 294.37 mph to Beckman's solid yet losing 4.177/302.41. Margin of victory: barely 10 inches.

Driving the Valvoline/Mail Terminal Service Dodge, Beckman launched with a better reaction time of .080 of a second to Wilkerson's .103, but it wasn't enough to hold off his opponent.

"Yeah, that was close," said Beckman. "And I told Wilkerson he beat us in Phoenix and he owed us one. He obviously wasn't paying attention.

"You know, we did every single thing right in that race and we still lost," added Beckman, who is now 11th in the point standings. "And it's just as frustrating to lose when you run good because we came to win.

"But there's light at the end of the tunnel. The Valvoline/MTS Dodge responded to the changes we made and maybe for the first time this year we see some of that consistency that was our trademark the last part of last year. And we really need to get that back before we can step up the car and pick up the pace a little bit.

"It was a fantastic race. Those are the ones that are awesome for the fans and it's just aggravating for us because we need to put this car in the winner's circle soon. But I think this might be that one run that gets us that step closer.

"The good news is in two weeks in Houston they'll have our trophy," he said with a wry smile.

Next up is the 22nd annual NHRA Spring Nationals in Houston, Texas, March 27-29.

-credit: dsr

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Tim Wilkerson , Jack Beckman