Las Vegas II: Jack Beckman final report

BECKMAN FALLS IN VEGAS OPENING ROUND LAS VEGAS (Nov. 2, 2008) - Jack Beckman put his chances of winning his first Funny Car championship in jeopardy today at the Las Vegas NHRA Nationals by fouling out in the opening round of ...

BECKMAN FALLS IN VEGAS OPENING ROUND

LAS VEGAS (Nov. 2, 2008) - Jack Beckman put his chances of winning his first Funny Car championship in jeopardy today at the Las Vegas NHRA Nationals by fouling out in the opening round of eliminations.

Driving the Valvoline/Mail Terminal Services Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car and in second place in the Countdown to 1 points entering the first stanza over No. 3 in points Cruz Pedregon, Beckman had a golden opportunity to eliminate one of his closest competitors for the crown. Unfortunately, he red-lighted with a -.054 reaction time, then struck the tires, handing the victory to Pedregon, who crossed the finish line in 4.196 seconds at 292.58 mph.

"I didn't do my job," said Beckman, who fell to fifth place in the standings, 64 markers behind new leader Cruz Pedregon, event winner today. "I didn't do my job about four different ways. Some people said, 'Well, the car smoked the tires anyway.' I squeezed the throttle and started the timers early, so I stutter-stepped the throttle. I red-lit and because of that the car smoked the tires.

"There was a pretty good likelihood of a win light in that round - Cruz actually didn't run well on that pass - and the driver messed that deal up. I am so grateful to have this Valvoline/MTS crew. When I came back to the pits, everybody patted me on the back, looked me in the eye and said, 'Let's go get them in Pomona.' And you can't pay for that sort of camaraderie.

"That being said, I get paid to drive the Valvoline/MTS car and I didn't do it on that run. So, we need to go vindicate ourselves in two weeks."

Next up is the 44th annual NHRA Finals in Pomona, Calif., Nov. 13-16.

-credit: dsr

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Series NHRA
Drivers Cruz Pedregon , Jack Beckman