BECKMAN BUMPED OUT IN HOUSTON OPENING ROUND BAYTOWN, Texas (April 11, 2010) - It came down to a pedalfest between Jack Beckman and his opponent Tim Wilkerson in the opening round of eliminations at the 23rd annual NHRA Spring Nationals at...
BECKMAN BUMPED OUT IN HOUSTON OPENING ROUND
BAYTOWN, Texas (April 11, 2010) - It came down to a pedalfest between Jack Beckman and his opponent Tim Wilkerson in the opening round of eliminations at the 23rd annual NHRA Spring Nationals at Houston Raceway Park. And after a few sashays down the 1000-foot track by both drivers, Wilkerson emerged the victor.
Wilkerson crossed the finish line in 5.051 seconds at 185.28 mph to Beckman's quicker but losing 5.030/225.71. Margin of victory: 10 feet. Beckman leaves the event fifth in the 2010 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series point standings.
"It's frustrating," said Beckman. "It's very uncharacteristic for us to not get down the track four out of five runs this weekend. And being the last pair of Funny Cars, we heard all the tire-smoking runs in front of us.
"As a driver you're thinking you've got to be ready to catch it and that's what happened, and it turned into a pedalfest.
"To hear No. 1 in points lose (John Force), to hear No. 3 (Ashley Force Hood) lose in the points, you're thinking, Whoa, the door is opening up pretty good here.
"It's disappointing to lose any time. Maybe it's a little extra disappointing because we didn't really perform up to our potential the whole weekend and lost a golden opportunity to gain some ground.
"The upside of this is it's still so early in the season and we seem to do pretty well in Vegas (next event). We're going to run the race in Vegas, and we're going to stay later and probably test some things on that Monday after the race.
"Now we're starting to get into the hot summer months and in years past that was always our strength. But now that we've got a fast hot rod on cool tracks I'm not so sure that we've got that strength for the hot tracks. So, we need to try some things and see if we can calm this car down on tracks like Houston Raceway Park. It was just nasty out there.
"So, we'll shed a tear, we'll put the car back together, we'll keep our chins up [insert more cliches here].
"The thing about it is now we have to walk the walk. We've been saying that we're going to be in this deal all year long, and a nitro car is going to take a few first-round losses no matter how optimistic you are. Well, this was No. 2 for us this year. Now, we have to prove we're good enough as a team to rebound from this, go to Vegas, get this car down the track three or four times in qualifying and then go win rounds on race day.
"I know we're capable of doing that."
Next up is the 11th annual NHRA Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, April 16-18.