Richmond: Jack Beckman Saturday notes

BECKMAN DRIVES VALVOLINE/MTS DODGE INTO NO. 7 IN VIRGINIA QUALIFYING DINWIDDIE, Va. (Oct. 11, 2008) - Jack Beckman powered the Valvoline/Mail Terminal Services Dodge Funny Car into No. 7 in qualifying for the third annual Virginia NHRA Nationals...

BECKMAN DRIVES VALVOLINE/MTS DODGE INTO NO. 7 IN VIRGINIA QUALIFYING

DINWIDDIE, Va. (Oct. 11, 2008) - Jack Beckman powered the Valvoline/Mail Terminal Services Dodge Funny Car into No. 7 in qualifying for the third annual Virginia NHRA Nationals at Virginia Motorsports Park today, posting a career-best (racing to 1000 feet) 4.059-second pass at 300.06 mph in Friday's second session.

His other laps under nearly ideal conditions both days included a stellar out-of-the box run of 4.080/298.47 in the first session, his career-best at the time and good for No. 1 at that point. Today, he followed up with another solid 4.062/300.33 lap and a 4.069/301.54, the fifth quickest of that final round.

"(Crew chiefs) Johnny (West) and Tommy (DeLago) are disappointed," said Beckman following the final pass. "They wanted to run a 4.04 on the last run. They are nitro Funny Cars and we're talking about a 20-thousandths-of-a-second difference. (Tony Pedregon's 4.041/305.22 was the quickest of that round, and the top three qualifiers hold 4.041-second elapsed times). I wouldn't trade this Valvoline/MTS Dodge for any car on the grounds right now. We've gone down both lanes all four sessions within two hundredths of a second. We're going to be so tough tomorrow.

"Any time you put nitro in the fuel tank anything can happen. If betting was legal, the Valvoline/MTS Dodge would be a good bet right now."

Beckman faces non-Countdown-contender Del Worsham in the opening round of eliminations on Sunday. Until strong performances in the last qualifying session resulted in a shuffling of the standings, there was a point where it looked like he might face points leader Tim Wilkerson in Sunday's opening stanza.

"We really wanted that match-up with Wilkerson," said Beckman, who is now tied in second with Tony Pedregon in Countdown points. "That's not to say that we were sure that we were going to beat him, but, at this point in the game, as far as Tim is in front of us (71 markers after qualifying), we wanted to race him first round and control our own destiny.

"It is what it is. We just need to go out and win rounds. It's frustrating when you have somebody like Tim who has been so dominant and we have to depend on him going out early. But, since we have no control, we'll be fine; we'll just focus on our lane."

-credit: dsr

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Series NHRA
Drivers Tony Pedregon , Del Worsham , Tim Wilkerson , Jack Beckman