JACK BECKMAN SNARES NINTH STARTING SPOT FOR NHRA SPRING NATIONALS
BAYTOWN, TEXAS, April 30, 2011 – Jack Beckman drove the Aaron’s Dream Machine/Valvoline Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car into the ninth starting position for Sunday’s 24th annual NHRA Spring Nationals here at Royal Purple Raceway.
The 44-year-old Californian battled heat and humidity today, relying on his 4.183-second, 299.86-mile-per-hour run in Friday’s first round to secure his place in the field and a first-round match with Jim Head.
Beckman finished today’s qualifying with a 4.264/288.52 mph run, which he said was important in preparing for tomorrow’s eliminations.
“We needed to get a time slip after finishing the fourth run,” said the Don Schumacher Racing driver. “We needed to get down the track and discover a safe setup for conditions like we had today (high humidity and heat). With this information plus what we found in the other runs, Rahn (Tobler, crew chief) and the Aaron’s/Valvoline crew should be able to hone in on the right combination for the race.
“We knew we would have to back off our earlier setup for the final round; which we did and got to the end of the track successfully.”
Beckman put the Aaron’s/Valvoline car into the winner’s circle at Charlotte, the previous stop on the 2011 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series schedule. The win propelled him into third place of the Funny Car championship standings, behind Robert Hight and Mike Neff.
“We had a couple of good runs here,” he said. “We just have to come out tomorrow and use the information we have to get down the track. Obviously, after Charlotte, we know we can win.”