BECKMAN BOUNCED BY TEAMMATE SCELZI IN ATLANTA COMMERCE, Ga. (April 29, 2007) - Jack Beckman met up for the first time this season with his Don Schumacher Racing teammate Gary Scelzi in the opening round of Funny Car eliminations at the Summit ...
BECKMAN BOUNCED BY TEAMMATE SCELZI IN ATLANTA
COMMERCE, Ga. (April 29, 2007) - Jack Beckman met up for the first time this season with his Don Schumacher Racing teammate Gary Scelzi in the opening round of Funny Car eliminations at the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Southern Nationals today. The Mail Terminal Services Dodge Charger R/T driver had the edge at the starting lights by .018 of a second but was unable to convert that into a win, as four-time NHRA champion Scelzi claimed the victory by 12 feet with a 4.873-second pass at 312.28 mph to Beckman's 4.917/306.67.
"The upside is a Schumacher car went to the second round," said Beckman, who is now 11th in the Funny Car rankings, with 210 points. "The downside is we need to start pecking away at the points to get into the Countdown to the Championship, and we came here to win.
"All the crews work just as hard whether you don't qualify or win the race," he added. "The only difference is how many times they service the car. And I think our MTS guys are the best crew out here - the fastest crew in Funny Car - and they deserve to win.
"I feel like I've still got a ton to learn doing this," said Beckman, in his first full season of Funny Car competition. "It went out there, it moved left quite a bit. And I needed to bring it back into the groove sooner because it started spinning the tires and that cost us some race track. I'm not sure we would have stayed out in front of Scelzi, but that could've been the difference there.
"It appeared to be a little trickier race track today than it was in qualifying, but the good news is we have another race next week in St. Louis, so we get another chance to win."
Scelzi was then ousted by eventual runner-up Mike Ashley in the second round.
Next up is the O'Reilly NHRA Midwest Nationals at Gateway Raceway Park on May 4-6 in Madison, Ill., just outside of St. Louis.