BECKMAN GETS SECOND WIN OF SEASON; SCHUMACHER, COUGHLIN, SMITH ALSO FIND WINNERS CIRCLE AT MAPLE GROVE MOHNTON, Pa. -- In a final round that matched teacher against student, Funny Car driver Jack Beckman raced to his second win of the season at...
BECKMAN GETS SECOND WIN OF SEASON; SCHUMACHER, COUGHLIN, SMITH ALSO FIND WINNERS CIRCLE AT MAPLE GROVE
MOHNTON, Pa. -- In a final round that matched teacher against student, Funny Car driver Jack Beckman raced to his second win of the season at the Toyo Tires NHRA Nationals.
Tony Schumacher, Jeg Coughlin, and Matt Smith also were winners at the 17th of 24 events on the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series.
Beckman drove his Dodge Charger R/T to a 4.183-second run at 291.57 mph past Frank Hawley for his first win at Maple Grove. Hawley, who owns a drag racing school, employs Beckman as a drag racing instructor.
"Racing Frank Hawley was huge," said Beckman. "It's like a little league pitcher that's just a huge fan of the sport and they bring up Mickey Mantle to play ball with you. Frank has meant so much to the sport and having him back in the sport is only going to make it better."
The weekend ended with all 10 spots in the Funny Car Countdown to the Championship playoffs claimed. By the end of the weekend, John and Ashley Force, Gary Densham, Beckman, Mike Neff and Ron Capps had all received their invitations.
In yet another dominant performance, Schumacher drove his dragster to a 3.845 at 313.88. It was Schumacher's 10th win of the season and fifth consecutive win. The win also moved Schumacher within one win of Top Fuel legend Joe Amato, who holds the all- time wins record at 52.
"This has simply been incredible," said Schumacher. "There really aren't any words to describe it. It has been a gift of a year. Of all the years, this has been the most dominant we've ever been. It's just an awesome car."
Doug Herbert clinched his spot in the Countdown to 1, while ninth and 10th place drivers Dave Grubnic and Doug Kalitta, Kalitta Motorsports teammates, sit in the final two open spots in the category. Those final invitations will be issued after the Mac Tools U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis in two weeks.
In Pro Stock, Cagnazzi teammates Jeg Coughlin and Dave Connolly met in the final round, but it was Coughlin who drove his Chevy Cobalt to an easy win at 6.650 at 206.39 after Connolly fouled out on the starting line. It was Coughlin's second win of the season and 40th of his career.
"We were pretty fortunate here today," said Coughlin. "To have Kurt Johnson and Dave Connolly both go red against you isn't something you expect and we'll take it, that's for sure."
Though Connolly finished second in the event, he clinched his spot in the Countdown to 1 playoffs along with Mike Edwards and V Gaines.
Smith grabbed his fourth win of the year in Pro Stock Motorcycle, riding his Buell to a 6.957 at 188.81 past runner-up Angelle Sampey.
"We had the fastest bike every round today," said Smith. "We got over the transmission problems that we had Saturday and we really got it done today."
Sampey, Matt Guidera, Eddie Krawiec, and Chris Rivas all clinched a spot in the Countdown to 1.