Don Schumacher Racing press release
JACK BECKMAN QUALIFIES EIGHTH FOR SUNDAY’S NHRA FINALS
POMONA, Calif., November 12, 2011 – Jack Beckman today qualified the Valvoline NextGen/Aaron’s Dream Machine Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car eighth for Sunday’s 47th-annual Automobile Club of ¬Southern California NHRA Finals here, trailing in the Countdown to the Championship battle by 12 points.
Beckman, who faces ninth-qualifier Tim Wilkerson in the first round of final eliminations which begin at 11 a.m. PT, needs to make up one round of racing to pass his Don Schumacher Racing Teammate Matt Hagan, while holding off Cruz Pedregon, Mike Neff, Robert Hight and fellow DSR driver Ron Capps.
“We’ve always wanted to control our own fate at this point,” explained the 45-year-old Californian who posted a 4.113-second pass at 313.58 miles per hour to gain his top-half-of-the-field starting spot. “And the way the ladder is set, we will. We would meet Matt in the second round if we both win our first-round races.
“This is what we asked for; what we’ve worked for the last 10 months. Now we just have to do the job.”
Getting out of the opening round is the first order of business, Beckman said.
“We can’t take Tim for granted, can’t look past the first round,” he explained. “You can’t take anything for granted in this sport. These are 8,000-horsepower race cars running on nitro and anything can happen on any run.
“You have to win each round – they are all do or die situations for everyone fighting for this championship.
“I’m just hoping to have a very long, productive day. I have tremendous confidence in Rahn and John (Tobler, crew chief, and Collins, assistant crew chief).”