Reading: Jack Beckman final summary

BECKMAN RUNS STRONG IN READING, LOSES ON HOLESHOT TO FORCE MOHNTON, Pa. (Oct. 1, 2006) - Jack Beckman just missed earning his first Funny Car round win in the Matco Tools Iron Eagle Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car and helping his Don Schumacher...

BECKMAN RUNS STRONG IN READING, LOSES ON HOLESHOT TO FORCE

MOHNTON, Pa. (Oct. 1, 2006) - Jack Beckman just missed earning his first Funny Car round win in the Matco Tools Iron Eagle Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car and helping his Don Schumacher Racing teammate (and points leader) Ron Capps in the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series Funny Car championship chase today at the rescheduled Toyo Tires NHRA Nationals. The former Top fuel racer turned Funny Car driver suffered a holeshot loss to John Force in the opening round of eliminations at Maple Grove Raceway in a close contest against the 13-time champion.

No. 8 qualifier Beckman logged the quicker elapsed time of 4.783 seconds at 315.05 mph to No. 9 qualifier Force's slower but winning 4.793/313.44 in a match-up he lost by a mere 10 feet. Reaction times made the difference, as Beckman left the starting line at .109 of a second (.000 is perfect) to Force's .078, leaving .0222 (of a second) as the margin of victory.

"You talk about opportunity. It was an opportunity to help Ron, and with him losing first round, John had the chance to take back the lead " said Beckman. Force did take over the lead by winning the second round over Tommy Johnson Jr. after Capps lost the first round to Phil Burkart Jr.

"It was also an opportunity for this Matco Tools Iron Eagle team and the 1500 Matco Tools distributors who root for us each weekend. No matter how John Force is running, when you beat him it's good because he's the benchmark for this Funny Car class. We were so damned close to beating him.

"The bottom line is I lost on a holeshot. I had a quicker ET, and John beat me," said the 2003 NHRA Super Comp champion.

"To be that close to beating John Force, and not get the win light, stings a little bit. I have to be honest. I didn't go up there thinking, Gosh, if we could give John a good race we would really feel good about it."

On the close defeat: "You know, in a Funny Car, you can't see the car in the other lane. In a Top Fuel car you can see the nose and know they are probably 15 feet ahead of you. In a Funny Car, if you see them, they are probably 70 feet ahead of you. I never saw him and kept thinking, We're getting there, we're getting there. But then the win light never came on and I turned the corner and saw my Matco Tools crew guys with long faces, so that's when it sunk in that we didn't win."

Next up for Beckman is the Torco Racing Fuels NHRA Nationals at Virginia Motorsports Park in Richmond, Va., Oct. 6-8.

-credit: dsr

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Series NHRA
Drivers John Force , Jack Beckman , Phil Burkart , Don Schumacher