Jack Beckman Captures Sixth Starting Spot For Fram/Autolite NHRA Nationals
Aboard the Valvoline NextGen/Aaron’s Dream Machine Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car, Jack Beckman grabbed the sixth spot on the ladder for Sunday’s 24th-annual FRAM/Autolite NHRA Nationals here at Infineon Raceway.
Qualifying in the top half of the field provides the 45-year-old Don Schumacher Racing driver with lane choice for the first round, which begins at 11 a.m. PT, although his opponent will be a familiar, but bittersweet rival.
“It’s always tough when you have to race a teammate,” he said about his meeting with 11th-qualifier and DSR stable-mate Johnny Gray in the opening frame. “It’s especially tough for us if it comes in the first round, but with four Funny Cars, unfortunately it’s going to happen from time to time.
“And I’m confident enough about tomorrow, I’d buy Johnny a drink tonight.”
According to the California native, the cooperation within the organization may be constant, with DSR’s four Funny Car and three Top Fuel teams working together before, between and after rounds, but they still compete to win when it counts.
“The thing I love about DSR is that we have proven we are racing to win so many times in both categories,” he said. “As our crews can earn bonus money for success on race day, they have an added incentive to race on the up and up.”
Beckman’s confidence comes from making four representative runs down the track in two days of qualifying.
“We went down the track all four times,” he recounted. “We’d have liked to have been better, so I will say we are satisfied, but not elated. Having said that, we did finish each round in the top half of the pack.”
A second round run Friday night of 4.115 seconds at 308.99 miles per hour earned Beckman his starting position. Earlier Friday he had opened with a 4.251, followed by 4.233 and 4.205-second efforts in today’s rounds under the heat of the Northern California sun.
By: don schumacher racing