Topeka: Jack Beckman final summary

BECKMAN SNARES SEMIFINAL FINISH IN TOPEKA TOPEKA, Kan. (June 3, 2007) - Jack Beckman powered the Mail Terminal Services Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car straight into the semifinal round of eliminations at the O'Reilly NHRA Summer Nationals at ...

BECKMAN SNARES SEMIFINAL FINISH IN TOPEKA

TOPEKA, Kan. (June 3, 2007) - Jack Beckman powered the Mail Terminal Services Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car straight into the semifinal round of eliminations at the O'Reilly NHRA Summer Nationals at Heartland Park Topeka today, dismissing a duo of top contenders on his journey.

Without lane choice, No. 11 qualifier Beckman used a 4.846-second pass at 314.68 mph to defeat No. 6 qualifier Tommy Johnson Jr.'s 5.206/308.78 in the opening round. Earning lane choice for the second round, Beckman then disposed of his teammate Gary Scelzi, with a 4.943/307.86 to Scelzi's tire-smoking 7.772/106.04.

With lane choice once again, Beckman faced No. 1 qualifier Mike Ashley in the semifinals. The pair launched with nearly identical reaction times (.057 for Ashley, .069 for Beckman), but it was Ashley first across the finish line with a winning 4.882/310.41 to Beckman's 4.949/304.12. Margin of victory: .0798 of a second.

With this result, his second semifinal finish of the 2007 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series season, Beckman is 11th in the point standings, just 58 points out of the top eight, where he needs to be nine races from now to qualify for the new Countdown to the Championship.

"I tell you what was the neat thing," he said. "We had the second lowest ET of the first round, and low ET of the second round. Scelzi, at the end of the year, is going to hang up his driving suit. And we don't know if that's forever. I hope not. To get the opportunity to team with somebody like Scelzi, to get the opportunity to stage next to somebody like Scelzi, and actually beat him, is kind of a cool deal.

"We beat Tommy Johnson Jr. We beat two great cars, which of course is rhetoric, because they are all great cars when they qualify. Anybody can win one of these deals. I think we're close now.

"You're never happy when your win light doesn't come on, but we definitely had a car to win today. So that was disappointing, but the bright side of it is we made it to the semis, we're starting to go rounds and it gives the MTS Dodge team an opportunity to work on seat time for me in the car, and a tune-up for hot race tracks. I feel good about Chicago. I can't wait. I'm glad it's only four days away."

-credit: dsr

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Series NHRA
Drivers Gary Scelzi , Jack Beckman , Mike Ashley , Tommy Johnson Jr.