BECKMAN GRABS PROVISIONAL FUNNY CAR TOP SPOT IN VEGAS
No nitro Funny Car driver was faster than Jack Beckman Friday in Las Vegas.
The driver of the Don Schumacher Racing Infinite Hero Dodge clocked a 3.867-second elapsed time at 329.50 mph to claim the provisional No. 1 qualifying spot Friday at the NHRA Toyota Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
After slowing to an 8.006-second lap in the first qualifying session, Beckman found his groove with his 3.867-second pass in Q2. Beckman held off Courtney Force, who came in with a 3.878-second lap in Q2.
“I didn’t think it would stand up,” said Beckman about his run which came early in Q2. “The problem with running good early is that on the night session the track is going to continue to cool down and it is going to get better and they (the drivers running after him) saw what the track was capable of. Everybody else is smart enough to give it a little more clutch and little more everything else. It almost didn’t survive the next pair and then watch the rest of the Funny Cars run and eventually stand as No. 1, that surprised me.”
Beckman has yet to record a No. 1 qualifying spot this season, but he and his team have had a solid year.
Beckman arrived in Las Vegas fourth in the point standings – 186 behind first-place Ron Capps, the reigning world champion and his DSR teammate.
Vegas has been good to Beckman during his career, where he has accumulated two wins, four runner-up finishes and two No. 1 qualifying positions, the last coming last year at this fall race.
“Never bet on a drag race,” Beckman said about whether his time would stick through Saturday. “I like our Friday. The first run we really missed the power level, which is tough to get here at Vegas. You are higher altitude, there’s no greenery here and the oxygen level is a little bit lower than at other tracks and we were just weak up there. We went 8 flat. We had to run early, and we didn’t have any data to fall back on and our run stuck (in Q2) and that’s huge feather in the cap of the Infinite Hero crew. I’m not sure if it will stand (Saturday), but it gives us some great data going into (Saturday), and frankly I don’t care if that run stands (Saturday) because if anybody else can beat it we have just as good as good a chance.”