BECKMAN GRABS PROVISIONAL SONOMA POLE WITH BOTH ENDS OF TRACK RECORD SONOMA, Calif. (July 16, 2010) - Jack Beckman grabbed the provisional Funny Car pole position at the FRAM-Autolite NHRA Nationals tonight, setting both ends of the track record...
BECKMAN GRABS PROVISIONAL SONOMA POLE WITH BOTH ENDS OF TRACK RECORD
SONOMA, Calif. (July 16, 2010) - Jack Beckman grabbed the provisional Funny Car pole position at the FRAM-Autolite NHRA Nationals tonight, setting both ends of the track record as the 10 p.m. curfew drew near.
Driving the Valvoline/Mail Terminals Dodge Charger, Beckman pulled out a spectacular pass of 4.063 seconds at 311.56 mph to snatch both records from his Don Schumacher Racing teammate Matt Hagan, who set them last year. If it holds through two more qualifying rounds, it will be Beckman's third career No. 1 qualifying effort and the first of the 2010 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series.
In today's first qualifying session, Beckman posted a 4.238-second lap at 289.57 mph, good for No. 10 at the time.
"We were fourth pair out. We ran OK in the day session; we just wanted to get down the track," he said, "but it kind of put us up towards the front (of the second session). We knew the track would probably get a little bit better as we went out there.
"I love the Bruton Smith facilities. There are just no questions and [the same] with the NHRA track prep crew. It's nice to have that sort of confidence. They didn't do their normal scrape/drag. You can tell they knew they were up against the clock. And all of a sudden cars are firing up, I had to get my gear on and get in there.
"And 250 feet into the run - you know when it's going to be a good run - when the timing and the clutch start coming in, if it's trying to shove you out the back of the car, it's on a good run.
"It ran good. I threw the 'chute down there and said, Well, that ought to be OK, and they came on the radio and said. 4.06, I said, Cool. And then when you get out of the car you realize there's still five really good pairs of cars behind us. And all 10 of them, or at least a couple of them, are probably going to go under that 4.06 and in fact it's almost like we tipped the hand of what the car could handle with that 4.06. Now people can dive in and adjust their clutch and timing management systems.
"And then [Gary] Densham is the next car out and blows the body off and I'm at the top end and watched that. I was concerned that he was OK, and he was. And then that little delay, you start wondering, does the track get better, does the track get worse?
"It's interesting. I even told the crew guys, I try never to get emotionally wrapped up in this deal, but, man, wouldn't it be cool if everybody else smoked the tires and we ended up No. 1.
"I was very surprised that we outlasted those 10 cars out there. I think tomorrow is going to be extremely difficult for somebody to get in under that. I'm not saying it's not possible. I'm saying that's a big hill to climb."