St. Louis: Jack Beckman Saturday notes

BECKMAN FAILS TO QUALIFY FOR FIRST TIME THIS SEASON AT GATEWAY MADISON, Ill. (May 3, 2008) - "Fast" Jack Beckman snapped his record as the active driver with the longest qualifying streak today (22) when he failed to qualify for the Midwest ...

BECKMAN FAILS TO QUALIFY FOR FIRST TIME THIS SEASON AT GATEWAY

MADISON, Ill. (May 3, 2008) - "Fast" Jack Beckman snapped his record as the active driver with the longest qualifying streak today (22) when he failed to qualify for the Midwest Nationals in the Valvoline/Mail Terminal Services Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car. This marked the first time this 2008 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series that he's missed the field.

Beckman made a valiant attempt, but with 19 cars and nearly perfect weather conditions, making the top 16 this weekend was a challenge for everyone. After final qualifying the 16-car roster was separated by only .08 of a second (from 4.774 seconds to 4.824).

The California native and cancer survivor struggled in the first session, then edged into No. 16 in Friday night's round with a 4.930/291.07. In the final two tries under cool and windy conditions, he improved to a 4.834/318.32 run, but the solid yet imperfect 4.847/315.64 lap in his last attempt fell short.

"There's no good spin to be put on not qualifying," said Beckman. "We've got way too good of a team and parts. And with Don Schumacher behind us there's no excuse for not qualifying.

"It hurt itself last run and we're trying to figure out why. The Valvoline/MTS Dodge guys are doing the post-mortem on the motor right now.

"It should have run quicker than that. It had enough in it to run an .80 flat, so it wan't a case of missing the tune-up. It's from trying to figure out why the engine is hurting itself and it's done it twice this weekend.

"When we win we win as a team, and when something like this happens it's as a team. We'll regroup. We're going to film a commercial for Valvoline next weekend in Rockingham, N.C., and we're going to probably bring out our new chassis if we can get it together in time and make a couple of short squirts. We've yet to determine whether or not we're going to race that car in Bristol. So, Bristol will either be the last race on this car or the first on a new car. And we're going to go test. We've got to get back into this thing.

"It's very early in the season. There's a lot of opportunity left to win races, but you've got to qualify."

Next up for Beckman is NHRA Thunder Valley Naionals in Bristol, Tenn.

-credit: dsr

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Jack Beckman , Don Schumacher