Norwalk: Jack Beckman final report

BECKMAN TAKES OUT FORCE, GOES TO QUARTERS IN NORWALK NORWALK, Ohio (July 1, 2007) - "Fast" Jack Beckman continues to win rounds as he aims to earn a place in the top eight for the upcoming Countdown to the Championship. In the last four races,...

BECKMAN TAKES OUT FORCE, GOES TO QUARTERS IN NORWALK

NORWALK, Ohio (July 1, 2007) - "Fast" Jack Beckman continues to win rounds as he aims to earn a place in the top eight for the upcoming Countdown to the Championship. In the last four races, including today's Inaugural Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals at Summit Motorsports Park, the driver of the Mail Terminal Services Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car has garnered six round victories and is in the middle of a gaggle of drivers also targeting the No. 8 spot for the Countdown.

Following today's results, Beckman did move into the No. 8 spot, and now has Tommy Johnson (10 points back), Cruz Pedregon (12), Jeff Arend (16), and Del Worsham (28) breathing down his neck.

One of the highlights of this weekend at a spectacular facility, besides his team's winning the Full Throttle Pit Challenge, was Beckman's triumph over 14-time NHRA Funny Car champion John Force in today's opening round of eliminations. Beckman's 4.855-second elapsed time at 315.27 mph to Force's 5.081/288.77 sent "the champ" packing.

The second round was less successful, as Beckman lost by 18 ft. to Cruz Pedregon, with a 4.918/305.08 pass to Pedregon's winning 4.890/310.41.

"I tell you, getting the MTS Dodge crew the Full Throttle Pit Crew Challenge award is the highlight of the year so far," said Beckman, No. 5 qualifier. "And we're doing what we need to do. We're qualifying well and we're winning rounds.

"As far as the Countdown goes, it looks like everybody from eighth to 12th keeps playing leapfrog. When the guy who is eighth goes out first round, the other guys go around him. So, we need to go to the semis and better at a couple of the next races to solidify that top-eight position. I think we're on the verge of that first win of the year, and I think over the last four races there really hasn't been any car better than ours on a consistent basis."

As for his triumph over Force, "That guy is the Lord of Funny Car," said Beckman. "You don't race the other lane. You really can't even see the other car. If you can see him you're losing anyway. So, you don't necessarily have a different philosophy because of whom you're racing. But, John Force has done more in this sport than probably anybody ever has, so to beat him is something that you want to be able to tell your grandkids, so that was a great way to start the day.

"Cruz made a good run against us. The track here in Norwalk was great today. There were a lot of 4.80s in that round, and that one was one of the closer races. It was one of those races where at the finish line you're looking for your win light and I saw his and the nose of his car shoot out front. And that is really disappointing. That would have been a big round for us, so we'll have to wait until next week for the big rounds."

Next up is the O'Reilly NHA Thunder Valley Nationals at Bristol (Tenn.) Dragway, July 6-8, 2007.

-credit: dsr

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Series NHRA
Drivers Del Worsham , John Force , Tommy Johnson , Cruz Pedregon , Jack Beckman , Jeff Arend