BECKMAN GETS BEAT BY TEAMMATE IN VEGAS LAS VEGAS (April 5, 2009) - Jack Beckman took one on the chin from his Don Schumacher Racing teammate Matt Hagan in the Funny Car quarterfinal round of the NHRA Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor ...
BECKMAN GETS BEAT BY TEAMMATE IN VEGAS
LAS VEGAS (April 5, 2009) - Jack Beckman took one on the chin from his Don Schumacher Racing teammate Matt Hagan in the Funny Car quarterfinal round of the NHRA Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway when the Rookie-of-the-Year frontrunner took him out in a close match-up.
After defeating Ashley Force Hood in the opening round with a 4.156-second elapsed time at 299.66 mph, Beckman lost lane choice to Hagan and was relegated to the less-favorable right lane.
Beckman launched first with a .087-of-a-second reaction time to Hagan's .109 (.000 is perfect) and was heading towards victory when a sharp move to the right at 660 feet caused the Valvoline/Mail Terminal Services Dodge to get close to the wall. As Beckman worked the steering wheel to avoid a collision with the guard wall, Hagan drove by for the win. Beckman crossed the finish line with a 4.352/229.78 pass to Hagan's winning 4.215/298.73.
"It's very frustrating," said Beckman, "because a 4.23 would have won the race for us. And we have our good hot rod back. It dropped a cylinder on the right side, and, I tell you, I cannot turn that wheel any harder left than I did. And it was pushing right, pushing, right, pushing right. If I had stayed in it 10 more feet we would have scraped the wall. You lose the race when you do that and you lose more than that. So, there was not much alternative but to get out of it.
"It's just frustrating because it dropped a cylinder early and we're trying to figure out what caused that to happen. The Valvoline/MTS guys are looking at the data right now.
"All we can do is keep our chins up and go out and make some good runs in Atlanta and get a hone in on this because that was an absolute surprise to us. It hadn't done that at all this weekend. We'll figure it out."
Next up is the NHRA Southern Nationals in Commerce, Ga., April 17-19.