BECKMAN ENJOYS ANOTHER SOLID RACE IN COLUMBUS COLUMBUS, Ohio (May 22) -- Two races into his Top Fuel career, "Fast Jack" Beckman is still batting .500. Beckman and the Menards/Mail Terminal Services Top Fuel team raced to a round two ...
BECKMAN ENJOYS ANOTHER SOLID RACE IN COLUMBUS
COLUMBUS, Ohio (May 22) -- Two races into his Top Fuel career, "Fast Jack" Beckman is still batting .500. Beckman and the Menards/Mail Terminal Services Top Fuel team raced to a round two finish at the 41st annual Pontiac Performance Nationals at National Trail Raceway on Sunday, duplicating the results of his debut in Las Vegas last month. Beckman's record in Top Fuel eliminations now stands at 2-2.
Beckman qualified 13th, then upset No. 4 qualifier David Baca in round one. The Menards/MTS dragster trailed Baca at the start, and then rallied to take the win with a 4.91 second elapsed time at 292 miles-per-hour after Baca slowed.
Following a hurried thrash to replace a damaged engine, Beckman returned for round two where he smoked the tires against reigning NHRA POWERade Top Fuel champ Tony Schumacher, who blasted to a 4.51 at a track record speed of 334.51 miles per hour.
"We struggled a bit to try and get a handle on the track this weekend, but overall I'd say the Menards/MTS team had a pretty solid weekend," said Beckman, the 2003 NHRA Super Comp national champion. "In the first round, I could see that David was starting to pull away from me but I wasn't about to give up. A 4.91 wasn't pretty, but anytime the win light is on in your lane it's a good thing."
With rain in the forecast, NHRA shortened the turnaround time for professional competitors to just 65 minutes instead of the usual 75. That made things difficult for crew chief Jimmy Walsh and the rest of the Menards/MTS team as they rushed to finish the engine change. "From the time we pulled back in our pit area after the first round to the time we ran Tony was just over an hour," said Beckman. "They were still strapping me in the car on the starting line. If we had been the first pair out instead of the fourth, we would not have made it.
"Even though I smoked the tires against Tony, I'm proud of our team for getting the car to the starting line. We learned a lot from that, and will be even better that next time. Our next race in Joliet should be interesting because that's one of the fastest tracks on the tour and I believe we'll be able to make our first 4.50 runs there."
The next appearance for the Menards/MTS Top Fuel team will be the 8th annual CARQEST Nationals at Route 66 Raceway in Joliet, Ill., June 9-12.