Gainesville: Jack Beckman Saturday summary

BECKMAN OUT OF 16-CAR FIELD IN GAINESVILLE GAINESVILLE, Fla. (March 17, 2007) - Jack Beckman joined other illustrious Funny Car names, such as Mike Ashley, Tim Wilkerson, Scott Kalitta and Gary Densham as non-qualifiers for the ACDelco NHRA ...

BECKMAN OUT OF 16-CAR FIELD IN GAINESVILLE

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (March 17, 2007) - Jack Beckman joined other illustrious Funny Car names, such as Mike Ashley, Tim Wilkerson, Scott Kalitta and Gary Densham as non-qualifiers for the ACDelco NHRA Gatornationals today.

In a field of 23 cars vying for 16 spots, it was tough on everyone today as cars bumped in and out as the final session wore on. Del Worsham squeaked in at the end into No. 16, while others made their best runs of the weekend under the cooler conditions.

Beckman's four attempts resulted in his best pass being a 4.962-second elapsed time at 316.08 mph. Not a bad pass under normal circumstances, but it didn't make a field led by Robert Hight's 4.686/331.94 pass.

"It doesn't make it sting any less," said Beckman, who DNQ'd for the first time since joining the Funny Car class after the U.S. Nationals in 2006. "I guess I never thought that we'd be the ones that didn't qualify.

"We brought out last year's backup chassis. We weren't sure if the other one got affected by the tire coming apart in Phoenix, so we just kind of wanted to answer that question. And we did some different stuff with the steering, and in the first two runs we shook and it was a combination of a track that got rain on it and a different chassis just wanting a little different tune-up.

"And then the third run we went a mid-4.90, but I pedaled it. It would have been a mid-4.80, which still wouldn't have got us into the show, but at least we figured out what the car needed.

"Then in that last run I got the right tire out of the groove and it smoked the tires.

"Gainesville always gets a bigger car count and it's always a narrow groove here. I wish it was like Indy and they gave us five qualifying runs, because I'm pretty sure we'd be in on the fifth one. You've got to be near perfect when conditions let you be near perfect. Like, Mike Ashley just went 4.85. My Gosh, that would have put him near the top of the pack in Friday's runs, and it wasn't even enough to hold him in the show on Saturday's runs."

Next up for Beckman is O'Reilly NHRA Spring Nationals in Houston, Texas, March 30-April 1.

-credit: dsr

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Del Worsham , Scott Kalitta , Tim Wilkerson , Jack Beckman , Mike Ashley , Robert Hight