Old Bridge Township Raceway Park
Jack Beckman Reaches Quaterfinals In NHRA Supernationals
Jack Beckman drove the Aaron’s Dream Machine/Valvoline Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car into the quarterfinals of today’s 42nd annual NHRA SuperNationals here at historic Old Bridge Township Raceway Park.
The Don Schumacher Racing driver put together his best run of the weekend – 4.112 seconds at 308.57 miles per hour – to defeat Bob Tasca III in the first round of eliminations.
The win earned Beckman, 44, a second-round encounter with No. 1 qualifier Cruz Pedregon, who won with a quarterfinals-best lap of 4.074 at 305.84 (to Beckman’s 4.179 at 305.15).
Reflecting on his overall weekend, the Southern Californian expressed disappointment, but took something positive from the experience.
“It’s been a disappointing race, qualifying in the bottom half of the field and then losing in the second round,” Beckman said. “But in a broader perspective, we overcame issues in qualifying, made adjustments and defeated a great car in the first round.
“It’s actually nice to see this as a disappointing weekend when you lose in the second round; it means you have a good team, which we do.”
He opened Friday’s qualifying with a 4.218 at 292.77, but then smoked the tires in the nightcap round. Saturday’s first session was a difficult 4.348 at 220.87 requiring a final-qualifying lap of 4.115 at 306.12 to crack into the field in the 12th-starting spot.
Beckman will head to the next stop on the 2011 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series schedule, the June 17-19 11th annual Ford NHRA Thunder Nationals at Bristol (Tenn.) Dragway, holding second place in the Funny Car standings behind Mike Neff.
He leaves New Jersey maintaining an optimistic attitude and is looking forward to the visit to the Volunteer State.
“We made some adjustments after our qualifying rounds that worked, but there were others which the car did not respond to after today’s first round,” he said. “I have no doubt Rahn Tobler (crew chief) and John Collins (assistant crew chief) will go back to the shop and figure it out, getting the Aaron’s Dream Machine/Valvoline car ready for Bristol.”