BECKMAN MAKES ROUTE 66 FIELD IN NO. 15 JOLIET, Ill. (June 6, 2009) - In a field of 18 cars vying for a position in the top 16 in order to race in Sunday's eliminations, "Fast" Jack Beckman drove the Valvoline Engine Guarantee Dodge Funny Car...
BECKMAN MAKES ROUTE 66 FIELD IN NO. 15
JOLIET, Ill. (June 6, 2009) - In a field of 18 cars vying for a position in the top 16 in order to race in Sunday's eliminations, "Fast" Jack Beckman drove the Valvoline Engine Guarantee Dodge Funny Car into the 15th position for the NHRA Route 66 Nationals at Route 66 Raceway.
It wasn't an easy weekend for this year's Atlanta champion. It started out OK on Friday when he posted a 4.364-second elapsed time at 232.11 mph, which placed him in No. 8, but following the Friday evening round (4.323/266.48) he had slipped to No. 15. After another less-than-stellar pass in the third session today (4.583/277.03) he found himself outside the field looking in. The fourth and final round was his only chance to make it in, and he did so, by posting a 4.225/299.26, which moved him into No. 15.
He will face Ashley Force Hood in the opening round of Sunday's eliminations.
"I wish I'd read the script before we acted out the play," said Beckman, whose car is also backed by Mail Terminal Services. "If you knew you were going to qualify in that fourth session you could have kept your blood pressure down and your heart rate from beating out of your chest.
"I tell you, it is no fun to roll up there with one shot left with a pretty decent bump spot and not having run close to it and then you have to step it up. We had (Don Schumacher Racing team manager) Lee Beard in here, and (crew chiefs) John Collins and Johnny West started analyzing data. We crunched a bunch of numbers and what we found is that we were not aggressive enough the first two sessions and we went way over center on the third run.
"So, we really gave it a happy medium and it was very, very safe (in the final pass). We're 15th, but we have way more left in this Valvoline Engine Guarantee car. And, I think we're going to surprise some teams tomorrow. Let's leave it at that."