Phoenix: Jack Beckman Saturday notes

BECKMAN SQUEAKS INTO PHOENIX FIELD IN NO. 15 CHANDLER, Ariz. (Feb. 23, 2008) - Jack Beckman squeaked into the 16-car field for the NHRA Nationals at Firebird Raceway, the second event of the 2008 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series. After Friday's...

BECKMAN SQUEAKS INTO PHOENIX FIELD IN NO. 15

CHANDLER, Ariz. (Feb. 23, 2008) - Jack Beckman squeaked into the 16-car field for the NHRA Nationals at Firebird Raceway, the second event of the 2008 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series. After Friday's two Funny Car qualifying sessions were rained out, Beckman made it into No. 15 today with a pedaling pass in the final round of 5.031 seconds at 314.61 mph.

The Valvoline/Mail Terminal Services Dodge Charger R/T lost traction in the first pass, posting a 6.039/153.61, which was good for No. 13 at the time. When he pulled up to the starting line in the sixth pairing for his final attempt, he was out of the top 16 and was left with that one run to assure that he would race on Sunday. It wasn't perfect, but it was straight and strong enough to move him into the 15th spot.

"At some point I think every big team is going to DNQ like they did last year," said Beckman. "It's 24 races, and too many good cars. Getting cut down to two sessions here made it so critical. We went in not qualified when we pulled to the line. The bump wasn't too stout, but it's relative to only getting two qualifying sessions.

"And the car goes out there and starts shaking the tires. I thought, We're done. And I gave it one pedal, and, knock on wood, it hooked back up, but it started moving over to the right. I yanked the wheel and it stayed hooked. I didn't know when I got out at the top end if I was in or not. The bump was so close to what a pedal run would get you, and nobody gave me any signal when I got out. I asked the NHRA guys, and they wouldn't say a thing. I finally walked over to (announcer) Alan Reinhart and he said, 'You're in.' That's when I crumbled to my knees."

Beckman will meet Mike Neff in first round of eliminations on Sunday.

-credit: dsr

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Jack Beckman , Mike Neff