Indy ORP: Jack Beckman final report

BECKMAN GOES TO THIRD STRAIGHT FINAL, MOVES INTO SIXTH IN POINTS AT U.S. NATS INDIANAPOLIS (Sept. 1, 2008) - Jack Beckman made a big splash today at the U.S. Nationals, advancing to his third consecutive final round following a series of...

BECKMAN GOES TO THIRD STRAIGHT FINAL, MOVES INTO SIXTH IN POINTS AT U.S. NATS

INDIANAPOLIS (Sept. 1, 2008) - Jack Beckman made a big splash today at the U.S. Nationals, advancing to his third consecutive final round following a series of straight and fast eliminations passes. This was his fifth final round of the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series season and 10th of his career. Beckman leapfrogged over Ron Capps, John Force and Gary Densham to move into No. 6 in the standings for the Countdown to 1 playoffs.

En route to his money-round battle against Robert Hight after starting from the 11th qualifying position, the driver of the Valvoline/Mail Terminal Services Dodge Charger R/T carrying a special tribute to the Mail from Home program instituted by MTS to ship messages to the troops overseas, first defeated Ashley Force with a 4.160-second elapsed time at 295.21 mph, earning him lane choice over Cruz Pedregon in the quarterfinal.

He then dismissed Pedregon with another stout 4.176/292.58 lap. Holding on to lane choice in the semifinals, he sent home local favorite Melanie Troxel using a 4.256/290.94 run to do so.

Armed with lane choice once again for the final round, Beckman and the Valvoline/MTS crew were braced for a strong result, despite the hot and steamy conditions. Hight pulled out a deep-staged .034 reaction time (.000 is perfect), to Beckman's .077, but it was Beckman in the lead until just past the 330-foot mark (of a 1000-foot race track), when he hazed the tires, pedaled it quickly, then crossed the finish line with a losing 4.438/254.04 to Hight's winning 4.312/283.85.

"We just overpowered the track," Beckman explained. "Just a little bit too aggressive in the middle of the race track. I thought we had it. It's such a sinking feeling when the thing is just motoring, shoving you back in the seat, doing everything right, and all of a sudden it just lights the tires. And I got off and got back on it and Robert just shot around me, and then I knew we were never going to catch him."

Driving the Don Schumacher Racing in-house constructed DSR1 chassis, Beckman has won the most rounds since NHRA shortened the tracks for Top Fuel and Funny Car to 1000 feet. "We're 15 and 5 since Denver," said Beckman. "We're doing everything right. The reality is with 8000 horsepower that's going to happen once in a while. It was 90 degrees outside, it was a hot race track. We couldn't take them take lightly and we just overpowered the track.

"This to me is a tribute to this Valvoline/MTS Dodge team. We're working better, we're working faster, we're more efficient in everything that we do, and if there was a time to do it, this is it.

"Now we leave in sixth place, we tighten up the points deal and I think everybody ahead of us is going to be looking over their shoulder."

-credit: dsr

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Series NHRA
Drivers Ron Capps , John Force , Cruz Pedregon , Jack Beckman , Ashley Force , Don Schumacher , Robert Hight