By Don Schumacher Racing
Jack Beckman Qualifies 10Th For Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals
Aboard the Valvoline/Aaron’s Dream Machine Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car, Jack Beckman today motored into the 10th starting position for Sunday’s fifth annual Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals.
The Don Schumacher Racing driver will be one of the first on the track here at Summit Racing Equipment Motorsports Park for final eliminations, scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. ET, when he takes on seventh-qualifier Bob Tasca III.
Beckman, one of the few Funny Car drivers to improve on his time during today’s second, warmer session, qualified on a 4.167-second pass at 286.74 miles per hour. His first run resulted in a 4.188-second pass at 244.16 mph.
“With 21 cars trying to grab 16 spots for Sunday’s race and – thanks to Friday’s rain out – only two qualifying rounds each, it was a recipe for excitement and anxiety,” said the Southern California native. “We wanted to get into the field in the first round, which we did, and then do something in the second to move up.
“We achieved the first goal and, even though we improved our time, could not improve our position in the second. This really doesn’t matter because what matters is how we perform tomorrow during eliminations.”
Holding second place in the NHRA Full Throttle Funny Car championship coming into this race, Beckman looks to get back into the winner’s circle, a place he has visited twice this season (Charlotte and Atlanta), and here as the winner of the 2009 race.
“My birthday is Tuesday (he will be 45) and a Wally would be a great two-day-early birthday present,” said “Fast Jack” Beckman. “And I would give my dad, “Slow Bob,” the winner’s jacket as a late Father’s Day present – the least I can do since I promised it to him with a win last week in Bristol. Unfortunately, Robert (Hight) spoiled the present by beating me in the final round.”