BECKMAN FINISHES U.S. NATS IN QUARTERS, IS FIFTH IN COUNTDOWN CLERMONT, Ind. (Sept. 3, 2007) - Jack Beckman's first visit to the prestigious U.S. Nationals as a Don Schumacher Racing Funny Car driver in his first full season of Funny Car ...
BECKMAN FINISHES U.S. NATS IN QUARTERS, IS FIFTH IN COUNTDOWN
CLERMONT, Ind. (Sept. 3, 2007) - Jack Beckman's first visit to the prestigious U.S. Nationals as a Don Schumacher Racing Funny Car driver in his first full season of Funny Car competition was a dream weekend, despite his failure to double-up and earn a $50,000 bonus by winning the Skoal Showdown and the national event.
He collected $100,000 for his Showdown triumph on Sunday, qualified No. 3 in the field, earned for his crew another Full Throttle Pit Challenge Award for consistency in qualifying, and finished in the quarterfinals. As for the Countdown to Four point standings, the driver of the Mail Terminal Services Dodge Charger R/T is fifth, 18 points out of fourth (Ron Capps).
In eliminations, Beckman initially defeated Scott Kalitta with another consistent pass, a 4.902-second lap at 318.24 mph, then knocked off a solid .039 reaction time (.000 is perfect) against Mike Ashley's .091 in the second round. Unfortunately, in 90-degree heat, Beckman's uncharacteristic tire-smoking 5.305/299.66 didn't hold up to Ashley's winning 4.882/324.12.
"We just overpowered the race track," Beckman explained. "It's tough. The track temperature was a very hot 127 degrees. Mike Ashley had lane choice, and we knew we had to lean on the car to run with him. Hats off to that team, they put up a great number.
"We tried to run a high 4.80 to run with him, and that's what it would have taken to win that round.
"The good news is four of the Countdown cars didn't get out of the first round. We definitely did ourselves a little bit of good. We just need to go win Memphis and set things straight.
"That's just a byproduct of winning the race," he said of missing the doubling-up opportunity. "I'm very disappointed we didn't win the race. Our car was so consistent in the heat yesterday. Mike Ashley's car is like a home-run-hitting car. If they don't smoke the tires, they're going to haul. We can't take the chance that they're going to smoke the tires, which means we'd better set ours up to haul. But we also are incredibly consistent in hot weather conditions. It was actually a surprise to me that the car smoked the tires."