BECKMAN MOVES INTO 10TH WITH RUNNER-UP FINISH AT MOPAR MILE-HIGHS MORRISON, Colo. (July 13, 2008) - "Fast" Jack Beckman raced the Valvoline/Mail Terminal Services Dodge Charger R/T directly into his seventh career final round today at the Mopar...
BECKMAN MOVES INTO 10TH WITH RUNNER-UP FINISH AT MOPAR MILE-HIGHS
MORRISON, Colo. (July 13, 2008) - "Fast" Jack Beckman raced the Valvoline/Mail Terminal Services Dodge Charger R/T directly into his seventh career final round today at the Mopar Mile-High Nationals and into the No. 10 spot in the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series Funny Car point standings.
No. 10 qualifier Beckman charged his way through the field en route to the final, dismissing Tommy Johnson Jr., Gary Densham and Cruz Pedregon along the way, with passes of 4.296/292.33, 4.362/281.77 and 4.334/290.82 on a 1000-ft. dragstrip for the first time in pro nitro NHRA history.
He faced points leader Tim Wilkerson in the final stanza without lane choice. Beckman launched first at the starting lights with a .046 reaction time to Wilkerson's .098 (.000 is perfect). Heading to what Beckman was hoping would be his second victory of the season, the Valvoline/MTS Dodge lost traction early, slowing to a losing 4.661/205.41 pass, while Wilkerson, who also lost traction later in the run, claimed the victory with a 4.398/262.23.
"So that's what the win light looks like," said Beckman who hadn't won a round in the last nine events. "I'd forgotten about it. It's been since first round in Gainesville (March 16). That's awesome. To get to the final you always, always, always want to capitalize on it and win. And it was interesting. Who would have thought both of us would have smoked the tires in the final? Tim just came out on top. Congratulations to them.
"But the nice thing is it's Mopar's race, we put a Mopar into the final round in Funny Car, we're back in the top 10, and maybe we've got a little bit of a head of steam going now. And the great thing is you always want to leave Denver on a high note, because in two weeks it's bam, bam, two more races, and this is where we're going to have to make our move.
"Tenth place isn't safe. I don't think eighth place is safe right now. We need to win first round every race up until Indy and then go a few more after that if we want to stay in the top 10. There's too many good cars too close to us right now." The Countdown to the Championship playoff for the top 10 in points begins following the U.S. National in Indianapolis on Labor Day weekend.
As for racing to 1000 feet? "I don't think it's changed a whole lot. We might be able to tweak a couple of things between half track and 1000 feet, but the cars are not going to run much different, and the fans are going to be seeing 300 mph from here on out , now that we're coming down off the mountain.
"The feedback from the fans has been all positive. I really don't think they're missing anything. And, as a driver, it's just a little bit more cushion once the 'chutes come out down there. It's no less exciting in the race car."