BECKMAN DRIVES TO NO. 8 IN READING, FACES JOHN FORCE FIRST ROUND MOHNTON, Pa. (Sept. 30, 2006) - Matco Tools Iron Eagle Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car driver Jack Beckman qualified No. 8 for this weekend's rescheduled Toyo Tires NHRA Nationals at...
BECKMAN DRIVES TO NO. 8 IN READING, FACES JOHN FORCE FIRST ROUND
MOHNTON, Pa. (Sept. 30, 2006) - Matco Tools Iron Eagle Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car driver Jack Beckman qualified No. 8 for this weekend's rescheduled Toyo Tires NHRA Nationals at Maple Grove Raceway Park, posting the quickest and fastest quarter-mile lap of his two-race Funny Car career: 4.756 seconds at 325.45 mph - also faster than his career-best Top Fuel speed.
The 2003 NHRA Super Comp champion and former Top Fuel racer eclipsed his previous career-best Funny Car ET and mph of 4.895 and 313.58, respectively, established last weekend in Dallas.
His first pass of only three this weekend because of intermittent rain drops resulted in an 11.219/76.82 pass after the tires shook hard at the launch, and he forfeited his third and final qualifying chance when the Matco Tools Iron Eagle crew discovered a leak in the fuel pump at the starting line.
"It was cool," he said of his 4.756/325.45 run. "We picked up a 10th and a half (of a second) and 10 mph from last week in Dallas," said Beckman. "The car wasn't set on kill for that (final) run either. Todd (Okuhara, crew chief) probably had a .70-flat in it for that last hit, but we had the fuel problem at the line.
"It's unfortunate that we didn't get to make the last run, but it is also fortunate, because it is better that it happened in qualifying than on race day," he said.
Beckman faces NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series Funny Car title contender John Force (who is 39 points behind Beckman's teammate Ron Capps for the points lead) in the first round. "You want to win no matter who is in the other lane," said Beckman. "It's extra exciting that it is John Force, and we could be a factor in the points chase, so I think that is a lot of fun."
Crew Chief Todd Okuhara is not concerned about losing two qualifying runs: "It is what it is, and I know we race Force, but the bottom line is we have to adapt to the conditions tomorrow, and run what we think the track is going to hold," he said.
"It's not really who we run because we are racing the race track."