Charlotte: Jack Beckman Saturday notes

DEFENDING CHAMP BECKMAN BAGS NO. 8 IN CONCORD QUALIFYING CONCORD, N.C. (Sept. 19, 2009) - Winner of the inaugural event here in 2008, Jack Beckman placed the Valvoline/Mail Terminal Services Dodge Funny Car in the No. 8 position in qualifying...

DEFENDING CHAMP BECKMAN BAGS NO. 8 IN CONCORD QUALIFYING

CONCORD, N.C. (Sept. 19, 2009) - Winner of the inaugural event here in 2008, Jack Beckman placed the Valvoline/Mail Terminal Services Dodge Funny Car in the No. 8 position in qualifying for this year's NHRA Carolina Nationals at zMAX Dragway, the first race of the six-event Countdown to 1 playoffs of the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series.

He recorded his quickest pass of 4.117 seconds at 305.70 mph in the final of four attempts in the past two days. His other tries resulted in a 4.167/290.01 (No. 8), an unrecorded run in which the car stopped before the finish beams (No. 13), and a 4.121/304.12 (No. 8).

The California native did not earn any of the bonus qualifying points NHRA now awards to the top three qualifiers in each qualifying round (three, two, one points respectively) during the playoffs.

"We got a couple of runs behind," said Beckman, a two-time winner this season who is fifth in the Countdown standings but has been struggling the last few races, "and I thought, Oh, no, here we go again. In the second run we broke a clutch lever, didn't get down the track. That threw away our chances in the optimal conditions.

"Fortunately, Saturday ended up overcast, so we got a couple more shots at a good race track and we did everything correctly. We got in the show with a good run, made some adjustments and we picked up on the next run, and I think we're ready for tomorrow.

"Anything can happen. This field is as tight as I remember in any NHRA national race. I think for the fans it's going to be an exciting race, period. And I think, because it's the Countdown, it's going to be hair-pulling for all the crews and drivers.

"There are so many cars that are running so fast here, I can't wait for tomorrow to get here."

Beckman faces Del Worsham in the opening round of Sunday's eliminations.

-credit: dsr

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Series NHRA
Drivers Del Worsham , Jack Beckman