St. Louis: Jack Beckman final report

BECKMAN IS RUNNER-UP IN ST. LOUIS MADISON, Ill. (May 2, 2010) - Jack Beckman raced the Valvoline/Mail Terminal Services Dodge Charger Funny Car straight into his second final round of the season, the 19th of his career and the first at the ...

BECKMAN IS RUNNER-UP IN ST. LOUIS

MADISON, Ill. (May 2, 2010) - Jack Beckman raced the Valvoline/Mail Terminal Services Dodge Charger Funny Car straight into his second final round of the season, the 19th of his career and the first at the NHRA Midwest Nationals at Gateway International Raceway. He ended up runner-up to a resurgent Robert Hight and moved into third in the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series point standings.

While his competitors on the other side of the ladder were tossing out 4.1-second laps, Beckman and the Valvoline/MTS team remained consistent throughout. On his direct path to the finals he left some heavies in the dust, including Tony Pedregon, whom he defeated with a 4.254-second pass at 290.63, Tim Wilkerson with a 4.243/294.56, and Bob Tasca using a 4.215/297.29.

It wasn't until the final round, when he met up with Robert Hight, after a track-cooling short rain delay, that he met his match. Beckman launched two hundredths of a second ahead of Hight, but it was Hight first at the finish, recording the quickest pass of the day, a 4.149/304.25, to snatch the victory from Beckman by 15 feet. Although Beckman posted his quickest pass of the day, a 4.204/296.44, it wasn't enough to beat Hight.

"The rain delay didn't last long enough," said a disappointed yet buoyant Beckman. "We always do good in rain delays, but we didn't have a rain delay.

"You would think that everybody would be really disappointed. Losing's tough and losing in the final round is still tough, but we struggled in the last two races, and we tried some things. I think we might have found that missing ingredient where this Valvoline/MTS Dodge starts behaving itself and does what we tell it to do.

"It's a long season and we're still going to have some hotter tracks than this, so we're not resting on our laurels that we're 100 percent where we need to be. But we were able to get down the track four times in a row, pick away at the tune-up and give then one helluva race in the final. We didn't want to overpower the track and beat ourselves in the first 100 feet, and we're OK. We're content runner-ups today."

Next up is the 30th annual NHRA Southern Nationals in Commerce, Ga., May 14-16.

-source: dsr

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Series NHRA
Drivers Tony Pedregon , Tim Wilkerson , Jack Beckman , Robert Hight