BECKMAN UPSET IN MEMPHIS FIRST ROUND MEMPHIS (Oct. 5, 2009) - Jack Beckman, steering the Valvoline/Mail Terminal Services Dodge Funny Car, bowed out in the opening round of eliminations in Monday's running of the NHRA Mid-South Nationals ...
BECKMAN UPSET IN MEMPHIS FIRST ROUND
MEMPHIS (Oct. 5, 2009) - Jack Beckman, steering the Valvoline/Mail Terminal Services Dodge Funny Car, bowed out in the opening round of eliminations in Monday's running of the NHRA Mid-South Nationals at Memphis Motorsports Park.
Following a long clean-up after Daniel Wilkerson crashed into the opposite guard wall (he escaped injury) in his first-round match-up against Beckman's teammate Ron Capps, Beckman and Jeff Arend were the second pair out. With lane choice, as the No. 2 qualifier, Beckman took off a tick after Arend, then both drivers struck the tires and pedaled their respective cars aiming for the finish line. Arend recovered first to take the win with a 4.646-second elapsed time at 201.82 mph. Beckman followed with a 4.745/260.56.
With that, Beckman slipped to fourth in the Countdown to 1 playoffs standings.
(Note: Jeff Arend won the second national event of his career since 1996 today, against Tony Pedregon.)
"It didn't affect us." Beckman said of the long delay. "Sometimes when there's a long delay and the sun is out, especially first round, the conditions can change dramatically. That wasn't the case for us.
"And the race track was OK. You saw several good runs after us, but you saw several that smoked the tires and had to pedal.
"What it looks like to me is it was one of those conditions where the tune-up window is very small, where if you hit it right the car's going to fly, if you miss it's going to go out there and shake and smoke. And that’s what happened with us.
"We missed it. It stings, because we're down to a very small number of rounds right now and to watch so many of the other Countdown cars get the win light first round was tough, too.
"We have to go back to the final round in Richmond. That’s the only way we're going to be a championship contender. It's time to put up or shut up. We’re ready.”
Next up is the Fourth Annual NHRA Virginia Nationals in Richmond, Va., Oct. 9-11.