Indy ORP: Jack Beckman final report

BECKMAN BOWS OUT IN PEDALFEST AT U.S. NATIONALS INDIANAPOLIS (Sept. 7, 2009) - Jack Beckman, the 2008 Funny Car runner-up at the U.S. Nationals, bowed out of this year's 55th annual running of the historic event after he and Mike Neff performed...

BECKMAN BOWS OUT IN PEDALFEST AT U.S. NATIONALS

INDIANAPOLIS (Sept. 7, 2009) - Jack Beckman, the 2008 Funny Car runner-up at the U.S. Nationals, bowed out of this year's 55th annual running of the historic event after he and Mike Neff performed a pedalfest for the fans in the opening round of eliminations.

Beckman, who had qualified 14th, came out on the losing end of the contest in the Valvoline/Mail Terminal Services Dodge against No. 3 qualifier Neff, who recovered first to reach the finish line in 4.897 seconds at 194.55 mph, while Beckman followed with a 5.725/138.87.

He slipped back to fifth place in the point standings, where he'll start the Countdown to 1 playoffs, which begin at the next event in Charlotte for the final six events of the year.

"All losses hurt, but there's some that just sting more than others. That one stung," said Beckman. "We had one strike against us not qualifying well. When you go in 14th and you're running against a good car like Mike Neff's, you know you've got to be perfect. We had to go up there aggressive and we smoked the tires and they smoked the tires.

"The problem is, you don't know in advance if you can back the car down and get down the track. When it turns into a throttle-pedaling race - which is exciting as a driver - and he's way out there and yours is smoking and heading towards the wall, getting sideways, there is just no way you are going to catch him.

"There's not a real good face we can put on it, but we've locked a spot in the Countdown and we're in fifth place coming out of here. We've still got all of the right people and parts. We'll go to Charlotte, where we won it last year. If we can go to Charlotte and win again, we will be right back up there as a top-three car and we'll go from there.

"It's just very frustrating right now and it's tough to let down companies like Mail Terminal Services and Valvoline, so we'll try to make it up in Charlotte."

Next up is the second annual NHRA Nationals in Charlotte, N.C., Sept. 18-20.

-credit: nhra

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Series NHRA
Drivers Jack Beckman , Mike Neff