Mechanical Issues Cut Short Jack Beckman’s Day At Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals

Jack Beckman lost his first-round race here today in the 32nd-annual MOPAR Mile-High NHRA Nationals at Bandimere Speedway after his Aaron’s Dream Machine/Valvoline Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car dropped a cylinder and lost traction.

Jack Beckman
Jack Beckman

Photo by: Ted Rossino

The 45-year-old Californian took the setback in stride, believing it has little bearing on his season as a whole.

“The last time we had a first-round loss was in the first race of the season,” said the Don Schumacher Racing driver. “And since this is the first race of the second-half of the season, we hope to repeat the kind of success we followed Pomona with in the coming races (moving from 10th in the 2011 NHRA Full Throttle Funny Car standings after the first race to second prior to this one).

“More importantly, today’s loss was not a result of any issues with the car. Denver is a unique place, with conditions – a lot of heat and thin air – unlike anywhere else on the schedule. It’s one race a year like this; now we return to racing at tracks for which we have good, consistent data.”

Beckman qualified ninth on a 4.255-second lap at 294.43 miles per hour, earning an opening-round match with Jeff Arend. Arend posted a 4.399-second run, which eclipsed Beckman’s traction-starved 5.144-second pass at 157.03 mph.

The loss allowed Robert Hight to go around Beckman into second place in the standings, but the margin is just five points, less than a race-round win. John Force defeated DSR teammate Matt Hagan in the final round to win today’s race.

“Even though we are getting close to the Countdown (four races remain before the playoffs begin), I’m not overly concerned about points,” he said. “We are now heading to one of my favorite tracks and I’m sure this car will pick up where we left off before coming to Denver.”

The season moves to Sonoma, Calif. for next week’s 24th-annual FRAM/Autolite NHRA Nationals. Last year Beckman set the track’s elapsed-time, 4.063, and speed, 311.56 mph, records en route to a number-one qualifying position before finishing as the runner up in the race to DSR teammate Ron Capps (who had a .017-second margin of victory).

By: don schumacher racing