JACK BECKMAN FINISHES RUNNER UP IN CHAMPIONSHIP LOSES IN QUARTERFINALS OF NHRA FINALS
POMONA, Calif., November 13, 2011 – Valvoline NextGen/Aaron’s Dream Machine Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car driver Jack Beckman lost in the quarterfinals of Sunday’s 47th-annual Automobile Club of Southern California NHRA Finals here to finish the 2011 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series season second in the championship standings.
Beckman’s title hopes ended when his 4.142-second lap at 310.27 miles per hour was not quick enough to defeat Don Schumacher Racing teammate Matt Hagan (4.107 at 307.44 mph), who went on to win the Funny Car championship (as well as the race) when he defeated Cruz Pedregon in the semifinals, here at Auto Club Raceway Pomona.
“We got out run by a better car,” explained the Norco, Calif. resident. “They earned this win and I salute Matt and the entire DieHard team. I’m very glad the Valvoline/Aaron’s car was able to keep them honest.
“We can’t second guess ourselves. We were given the opportunity we wanted, to come into the last race of the season with a real shot at the title. We did everything right, again, but just got out run by the better car.”
Reflecting on the season, Beckman, who won three times in five final-round appearances, spoke in positive terms.
“We’ve had a fantastic season,” he said. “We’ll come back next year and make another run for the championship.”
Coming from the eighth-qualifying position (4.113 at 313.58 mph), Beckman ran a tire-smoking 4.522 pass at 280.84 mph in the opening round, but was able to dispatch ninth-qualifier Tim Wilkerson, whose problems resulted in a 7.012 lap.