Charlotte: Jack Beckman Saturday notes

BECKMAN QUICKEST IN FINAL ROUND OF QUALIFYING IN CONCORD, EARNS NO. 11 CONCORD, N.C. (Sept. 13, 2008) - Jack Beckman continued scorching up the drag strips driving the Valvoline/Mail Terminal Services Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car, posting the ...

BECKMAN QUICKEST IN FINAL ROUND OF QUALIFYING IN CONCORD, EARNS NO. 11

CONCORD, N.C. (Sept. 13, 2008) - Jack Beckman continued scorching up the drag strips driving the Valvoline/Mail Terminal Services Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car, posting the quickest pass of the final qualifying session, a 4.129-second lap at 301.87 mph.

His quickest pass of the weekend was also the best of the third session, a 4.118/300.86, earning him No. 11 in the field. Beckman and crew chiefs Johnny West and Tommy DeLago have clearly tuned the Valvoline/MTS Dodge to be a rocket ship in the heat, as both runs were set when the track temperature was approximately 126 degrees. His other runs included a 4.206/293.35 and a 4.129/299.60 under the usually-more-desirable cooler conditions.

Beckman has reached the final round of eliminations at the last three events, which included one victory, and has won more rounds in the last six races than any other Funny Car driver, but has only qualified in the top half once in the last seven events, in Brainerd, Minn., where he was eighth.

"It's our typical m.o.," said Beckman, No. 6 in the point standings as the Countdown to 1 playoffs begin this weekend. "I hate going up Saturday not qualified (Beckman was out of the field before he produced his quickest lap), but this car is a bracket car in the heat. It is eerily quick and consistent in the heat and we were the quickest car both runs Saturday. And any time you throw 22 Funny Cars at a track like this, to be able to say that is an unbelievable accomplishment. Now we need to translate it to round wins tomorrow.

"It's also interesting the way the first-round match-ups play," added Beckman, who faces Jim Head in the opening round of eliminations. Head did not qualify for the Countdown. "One of the top-10 cars (John Force) doesn't qualify and several of them are matched against each other first round. But, at the end of the day, if we make it to to the final round we're doing ourselves the ultimate favor."

As for racing on the all-new zMax Dragway: "The facility is simply a plus. It now is the standard for drag racing. But, as far as the racing surface goes, it's great, smooth, and new tracks always take time to come around. My hat is off to NHRA and to all the people at zMax Dragway. I can't believe how quickly they made this a world-class race track, and I think the proof is in the fact that we just saw the all-time best Funny Car speed for the 1000-foot era." Frank Hawley is No. 1 qualifier with a 4.072/307.16.

"If we had any decent weather, you'd start seeing the records get set this weekend."

-credit: dsr

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Series NHRA
Drivers Jim Head , John Force , Jack Beckman , Frank Hawley