BECKMAN NAILS DOWN NO. 9 IN FINAL GATORS QUALIFYING TRY GAINESVILLE, Fla. (March 14, 2009) - Jack Beckman made it into the Funny Car field in his final attempt to qualify for the NHRA Gatornationals at Gainesville (Fla.) Raceway today, ...
BECKMAN NAILS DOWN NO. 9 IN FINAL GATORS QUALIFYING TRY
GAINESVILLE, Fla. (March 14, 2009) - Jack Beckman made it into the Funny Car field in his final attempt to qualify for the NHRA Gatornationals at Gainesville (Fla.) Raceway today, establishing a 4.178-second pass at 294.50 mph to earn him No. 9.
It was a tough go for the driver of the Valvoline/Mail Terminal Services Dodge Funny Car, as Beckman struggled through the first three sessions, first posting a 6.369/101.81 (No. 12), a 4.688/177.51 (No. 15), and a 4.521/284.15, which actually shot him up a notch from a potential DNQ.
By the time he came up to the line for his final attempt, he had fallen back into DNQ territory. The solid 4.178/294.50 pass to end the day vaulted him up to ninth.
"They gave us four darts to throw and we missed with the first three," he said. "Thank God for that fourth one. Sometimes you're just off by a little and it seems like a mile.
"I don't envy the crew chiefs but I admire the hell out of them. It's an amazingly difficult job to balance 8000 horsepower with running quick without overpowering the race track. And it's almost counter-intuitive sometimes. Sometimes you're spinning the tires and you actually need more power to fix the problem.
"Typical Johnny West (crew chief). He kept picking away at it and picking away at it, and the advantage of the DSR team is having multiple crew chiefs to bounce ideas off of. We had Todd Okuhara over here from the FRAM Top Fuel dragster, and we keep exchanging ideas and questioning each other and offering input and advice and it really paid off. We were one of the quick cars that last session.
"It's so nice to have your old hot rod back for Sunday."
Beckman faces No. 9 qualifier Tim Wilkerson in first round of eliminations on Sunday.