Old Bridge Township Raceway Park
Jack Beckman Finishes Qualifying Strong Ready For NHRA Supernationals
Jack Beckman called the qualifying sessions “unusual,” but the driver of the Aaron’s Dream Machine/Valvoline Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car ended them on a strong note today, grabbing the ninth starting spot for Sunday’s 42nd annual NHRA SuperNationals here at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park.
“We had a weird Friday and Saturday for us,” said Beckman, winner in two of the last four races and second in the 2011 NHRA Full Throttle Funny Car standings. “We threw a blower belt in today’s third round, which actually put us in a precarious position as the fourth round began (15th-starting position after three sessions).
“We went to the starting line in the fourth session having been bumped out of the field earlier in the round, but another solid run, thanks to the work of Rahn Tobler (crew chief), John Collins (assistant crew chief) and the team, got the job done.”
In his fourth and final attempt on Saturday afternoon, the 44-year-old Southern Californian ran a 4.115-second lap at 306.12 miles per hour to earn a first-round race in Sunday’s final eliminations against Bob Tasca III.
On Friday, the Don Schumacher Racing driver opened with a 4.218 at 292.77-mph run, good enough for fifth, but a loss of traction in the nightcap (7.431 at 89.30 mph), dropped him to ninth.
“We’re going into Sunday on a high note,” Beckman said. “It’s always good to have a solid run in the final qualifying session before the race. In our mind there are five cars racing tomorrow – us and the four we have to beat to win the trophy. Our focus has to be on winning, that’s why we race.”
He said there is some added incentive for this race, which gets under way at 11 a.m. ET.
“This is the first race of the season for Rodger and Karen Comstock of Mail Terminal Services,” Beckman said about his long-standing sponsors and supporters. “Of course, we’d love to do well for them – and for everyone at Aaron’s and Valvoline, as well!”