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Feb 24, 2013 - 06:52 AM
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2013 NHRA: Jack Beckman NHRA Arizona Nationals Qualifying Report: No. 10
Posted by: newsla on Feb 24, 2013 - 06:49 AM
NHRA
2013 NHRA: Jack Beckman NHRA Arizona Nationals Qualifying Report: No. 10


This isn't exactly how Jack Beckman expected the 2013 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series to begin.

It started out OK at the opener a week ago at Pomona, Calif., when his MTS Mail for Wounded Warriors/Valvoline Dodge Charger R/T qualified No. 2. But a first-round loss was followed by three disappointing qualifying runs on Friday and Saturday in the NHRA Arizona Nationals at Firebird International Raceway near Phoenix.

 

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But the team rebounded on its fourth and final run to post a 4.139-second effort at 262.49 mph to move up to the No. 10 qualifying position for Sunday's championship eliminations.

"There's no question that we struggled here in qualifying. Friday was a very difficult day for us when we smoked the tires on both runs," said Beckman, who has won three Funny Car titles at Firebird International Raceway.

"The only thing we could do on our first run Saturday was to back it way down and get down the track, which we did. It ran good numbers but started to spin the tires near the end of the track.

"We will have a competitive racecar for eliminations. I don't think it really matters where you qualify. We'll be in great shape tomorrow.

"Sometimes when you struggle you appreciate it more than when you go out and dominate."

This weekend Beckman's Don Schumacher Racing Dodge Charger R/T is adorned with a special paint scheme promoting the Mail for Wounded Warriors effort spearheaded by his longtime sponsor Mail Terminals Services owned by Rodger and Karen Comstock. The campaign will run throughout the season.

MTS has special postcards available near the team's pit area and fans are encouraged to add a message that will be delivered to a Wounded Warrior, and MTS will donate $1 to the Wounded Warriors for each card turned in.

"The great thing has been the veterans and wives of veterans who have come by and thanked us," said Beckman, a former U.S. Air Force sergeant. "I had a couple Purple Heart recipients come by. You know those people are touched deeply by what the Comstocks are doing.

"I couldn't be prouder of that, but we'd like to show the fans four win-lights Sunday with our Mail for Wounded Warriors Dodge. We didn't come here to finish second and just have a warm, fuzzy feeling.

"We want to win that trophy and celebrate with our Mail for Wounded Warriors Dodge in the winner's circle."

The following are Beckman's qualifying results and other notes from the NHRA Arizona Nationals:

FUNNY CAR
No. 1 qualifier: Johnny Gray (DSR) 4.034 sec., 313.80 mph

Jack Beckman, MTS Mail for Wounded Warriors/Valvoline Dodge Charger R/T
Qualified: No. 10
Sunday's first-round opponent: Bob Tasca III
FRIDAY
Session 1: 4.445 sec., 198.15 mph
Session 2: 4.322, 215.58
SATURDAY
Session 3: 4.322, 215.58
Session 4: 4.139, 262.49

THIS WEEK AT FIREBIRD
WHAT: 29th annual NHRA Arizona Nationals
WHERE: Firebird International Raceway, south of Phoenix
NITRO SCHEDULE:
Sunday: Championship eliminations, 11 a.m.

ON ESPN2:
Sunday: Qualifying, 1 a.m., 8 a.m. (ET)
Sunday: Championship eliminations, 8 p.m. (ET)

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