BECKMAN SNAGS NO. 2 IN READING QUALIFYING MOHNTON, Pa. (Aug. 18, 2007) - As NHRA announcer Bob Frey has been known to say, "he is certifiably hot," a term that applies perfectly to "Fast" Jack Beckman, who almost snagged the No. 1 Funny Car ...
BECKMAN SNAGS NO. 2 IN READING QUALIFYING
MOHNTON, Pa. (Aug. 18, 2007) - As NHRA announcer Bob Frey has been known to say, "he is certifiably hot," a term that applies perfectly to "Fast" Jack Beckman, who almost snagged the No. 1 Funny Car qualifying position at the Toyo Tires NHRA Nationals.
He was No. 1 following the first qualifying session on Friday after posting a 4.908-second pass at 308.99 mph. In the cooler Friday evening session, he improved to another No. 1-worthy run of 4.800 seconds at 322.81 mph, but then had to relinquish it to Del Worsham, who recorded an identical elapsed time but at a quicker speed of 323.97 mph.
Piloting the Mail Terminal Services Dodge Charger R/T, Beckman's consistent and strong laps, including a 4.820/319.75 and a 4.875/316.45 today, again earned the MTS team the Full Throttle Pit Crew Championship Award this weekend for consistency and excellence in qualifying.
Beckman has qualified not only in the top half of the 16-car field for the last nine races, he's qualified in the top three in five of those. He has also locked in a spot in the Countdown to the Championship, which begins following this event at the U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis on Labor Day weekend. He moved into fourth in the standings after Mike Ashley failed to qualify today.
"Awesome," said Beckman, who's aiming to move up even higher before the next phase of the Countdown kicks in. "Again, and we've said this several times, and the outcome has almost always worked in our favor, so I hope it's the same tomorrow: If we had to pick the way qualifying was going to go, it worked out perfectly for us.
"With Mike Ashley not qualifying, John Force and I each moved up a slot in the points. So, Force is third, we're fourth. We've got Force first round. If we beat him, we'll be third in points and then our goal is to hold on to it.
"It's a simple math deal: win the race and leave third in points, with a ton of momentum. And we had the most consistent car in qualifying. I think tomorrow the air is going to be pretty similar to today (70s, low humidity). We're in awesome shape."
Even more so with a bevy of local family members cheering him on. "I've got 15 cousins out here today from Cumberland, Md. (where his dad grew up), just going nuts. They're NASCAR fans who are gradually getting weaned over to NHRA. And it's so cool to see because as a NASCAR fan all you do is watch it on TV or from the stands. When they get to come in the NHRA pits and watch the crew service the motor it's amazing to see their faces light up, and when we warm up the car they all start crying and have to run for fresh air.
"So, I've got a lot of added incentive. It's the last race before they seal the Countdown. And even though we're locked in, you want to make a statement. It would be a good psychological boost for crew chiefs Phil Shuler, Todd Okuhara, and all the MTS Dodge guys to leave here with that win."