JACK BECKMAN GRABS NINTH-QUALIFYING SPOT FOR LUCAS OIL NHRA NATIONALS
BRAINERD, Minn., August 20, 2011 – Jack Beckman, at the controls of the Valvoline NextGen/Aaron’s Dream Machine Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car, will start Sunday’s 30th-annual Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals from the ninth position on the ladder here at Brainerd International Raceway.
He brings a 3-0 record against eighth-qualifier Melanie Troxel, the 45-year-old Don Schumacher Racing driver’s first round opponent in final eliminations, which are scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. CDT.
Beckman posted a best time of 4.186 seconds at 292.77 mph during Friday’s second round to earn his starting spot. The number-one qualifier was his DSR teammate Matt Hagan.
“Today’s runs were good ones for tomorrow,” said the native Californian. “We ran 4.18s in both sessions (4.189 seconds at 298.54 miles per hour in the first and 4.188 at 298.54 in the second) under conditions which should be similar to those we’ll see on race day.
“Naturally, we’d rather have been in the top half of the field with lane choice, but we’ve had good success from this position; we’re okay.”
A trip to the winner’s circle is Beckman’s goal, something he has never accomplished at this track.
“We’re locked into a position in the Countdown (a solid third in the Funny Car standings, less than one race-round win behind second-place Robert Hight), so we have the luxury of trying out some new things with our setup,” he said. “We’ve made some changes, but we still want to win that trophy.
“And I’ll sleep great tonight because Rahn Tobler (crew chief) and John Collins (assistant crew chief) have great data to work with and the ability to handle this track, which gives me a ton of confidence going into Sunday.”