Las Vegas: Jack Beckman final summary

BECKMAN IN CLOSE SEMIS MATCH-UP WITH TEAMMATE CAPPS IN VEGAS LAS VEGAS (April 15, 2007) - He's got his hot rod back, said "Fast" Jack Beckman today after reaching the semifinal round of the SummitRacing.com NHRA Nationals at The Strip at Las...

BECKMAN IN CLOSE SEMIS MATCH-UP WITH TEAMMATE CAPPS IN VEGAS

LAS VEGAS (April 15, 2007) - He's got his hot rod back, said "Fast" Jack Beckman today after reaching the semifinal round of the SummitRacing.com NHRA Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Beckman's record in this season's NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series hadn't matched up to his 2006 year-ending five-race rookie blitz, in which he reached two final rounds, won once, qualified No. 1 once and set national records in both elapsed time and top speed. So far this season, he's lost three first rounds and failed to qualify once.

So, if today's results are any indication, his Mail Terminal Services Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car hot rod has definitely found its way back. And, although he lost the semis by a margin of 23 inches on a holeshot advantage to his teammate Ron Capps, Beckman is more than encouraged by his and the car's performance.

On his path to the semifinals, No. 16 qualifier Beckman defeated low qualifier Mike Ashley with a stellar 4.775-second pass at 327.19 mph. He then disposed of Scott Kalitta with a 4.767/325.77 before he met up with his DSR teammate in the semis.

That round had the fans on their feet as the duo sped down the quarter-mile in tandem. It was Capps' .068 reaction time (.000 is perfect) to Beckman's .078 that made the difference, as Capps snatched the victory with a slower 4.788/322.11 pass to Beckman's quicker but losing 4.782/323.97.

"There isn't anybody who would hold their head down after that race," said Beckman, winner here last October. "We raced one of our cars. We still want to beat them. We were second lowest ET of the semifinals - of course, stage position has a little to do with that - and had a good reaction time. We just got outrun by four thousandths of a second.

"The fact is, we changed motors after the first round, and when we went to fire up for the semis we had a dead crank trigger, so we had to adjust that. We then had to re-fire the motor and, after all the dust got cleaned up in that mini dust storm, we did a clutch change. The MTS Dodge team was fantastic this weekend. Capps and his guys were just four thousandths better.

"It's a big sigh of relief to have our hot rod back and it's a huge confidence boost and that's what we need."

Beckman moved up into ninth in the Funny Car point standings.

-credit: dsr

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Series NHRA
Drivers Ron Capps , Scott Kalitta , Jack Beckman , Mike Ashley