BECKMAN LOSES PEDALING MATCH WITH MEDLEN IN PHOENIX FIRST ROUND CHANDLER, Ariz. (Feb. 25, 2007) - "Fast" Jack Beckman leaves the CSK NHRA Nationals today in good company, tied for 11th with 14-time champion John Force in the NHRA POWERade Drag...
BECKMAN LOSES PEDALING MATCH WITH MEDLEN IN PHOENIX FIRST ROUND
CHANDLER, Ariz. (Feb. 25, 2007) - "Fast" Jack Beckman leaves the CSK NHRA Nationals today in good company, tied for 11th with 14-time champion John Force in the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series Funny Car point standings.
He also leaves having gained more experience behind the wheel of a Funny Car in only his seventh race in that class. Today's lesson was pedaling a Funny Car on a hot and sticky race track. He came out of the classroom with an "A," but lost the opening round of Funny Car eliminations to John Force Racing teammate Eric Medlen.
Driving the Valvoline/MTS Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car for the first time, Beckman qualified No. 9 and was relegated to square off against the No. 8 qualifier Medlen in the opening round. Without lane choice for Beckman, the pair took off with near identical reaction times: .105 for Medlen, .110 for Beckman. The race quickly turned into a pedaling match, with Medlen recovering first to cross the finish line in 5.814 seconds at 207.05 mph to Beckman's 6.866/136.55. Margin of victory: 1.0575 seconds.
"The Valvoline/MTS Dodge went out there and shook the tires," said Beckman. "There's a zone in there when it goes into tire shake. Sometimes it will make it. And if you pedal it and it was going to make it, it will slow you down. if you don't pedal it, and it's not going to make it, it will really slow you down.
"The neat thing is that this was really the first time I ever got a chance to pedal the car, certainly in eliminations. I took a lot from that. What I felt in the car and what we saw on the computer matched up, which tells me I'm starting to catch up with the race car and get more experience. Hopefully I won't have to do that too much in eliminations.
"So, I pedaled the first time, lifted, and I saw him out my side window, but he was not driving away. Unfortunately, they had problems further down the race track, which gave them a lot more momentum than us. That's why we couldn't catch them. So, I pedaled it again. It was interesting. I don't want to say it was fun, but it was pretty exciting out there.
"We didn't come here to get beat first round," he added. "We've got a team, we've got a car that when we pass tech we're capable of winning the race. Now, I know there's 18 other cars that can legitimately say that in Funny Car; it's become an all-out war this year.
"We're going to test here tomorrow so we might have a chance to follow up on what we learned. And then when we go to Florida we're going to take the trophy home."
Beckman relinquished his elapsed-time national record to Tony Pedregon today, whose 4.659-second run was backed up by his 4.701-second pass in second round of eliminations. Beckman still holds the national record for speed, at 333.66 mph.