BECKMAN HAS GROWING PAINS IN SONOMA SONOMA, Calif. (July 31) -- The Menards/Mail Terminal Services Top Fuel team had a short day today at the Fram Autolite Nationals in Sonoma as driver "Fast Jack" Beckman was defeated in the opening round ...
BECKMAN HAS GROWING PAINS IN SONOMA
SONOMA, Calif. (July 31) -- The Menards/Mail Terminal Services Top Fuel team had a short day today at the Fram Autolite Nationals in Sonoma as driver "Fast Jack" Beckman was defeated in the opening round of eliminations. Beckman, a former sportsman champion who was competing in just his sixth race in Top Fuel, ran a competitive 4.70 elapsed time, but it wasn't enough to beat opponent Morgan Lucas, who ran a 4.61.
"Nobody likes to get beat but the silver lining is that our team learned a lot this weekend," said the always upbeat Beckman. "We've been able to run consistent low 4.6s with this car all year, but we realize that isn't quick enough to win races. The competition has gotten so tough that you've got to run high 4.40s and low 4.50s in order to win and that is our ultimate goal. "[Crew chief] Jimmy Walsh tried some new parts this weekend, including a new fuel pump and a different supercharger. Obviously it's going to take us a little while to get all the new stuff figured out, so we have to expect a few growing pains along the way. We'll continue to refine our combination and eventually, we will put ourselves in a position to win races."
Using the new engine combination, Beckman struggled early in qualifying and didn't make the 16-car Top Fuel field until running a 4.67 in until the fourth and final session on Saturday afternoon. "This is the first time we really had to face the possibility of not qualifying for a race," Beckman said. "There were a lot of tense moments on Saturday, but I have a lot of faith in [car owner] Dexter Tuttle and the crew he has assembled. They were able to pull together, get the car down the track, and we were able to be here to race on Sunday."
The next stop for the Menards/MTS Top Fuel team will be the Lucas Oil Products Nationals in Brainerd, Minn., August 11-14.