2013 NHRA: Jack Beckman AAA Insurance NHRA Midwest Nationals Event Recap: Runner-up
A door opened for Jack Beckman on Sunday in the third of six Countdown to the Championship events in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series, and it was his Valvoline MaxLife/MTS Mail for Wounded Warriors team that turned the knob.
Beckman entered the AAA Insurance NHRA Midwest Nationals event at Gateway Motorsports Park near St. Louis 76 points behind Don Schumacher Racing teammate Matt Hagan, who is ranked No. 1.
Hagan's crew chief Todd Smith and assistant Terry Snyder placed Beckman in the No. 8 qualifying position in the final round of qualifying on Saturday and nearly repeated that same 4.07-second pass for the first round of Sunday's eliminations when Beckman defeated Alexis DeJoria.
Beckman was then paired against Hagan in the second round of eliminations for the second consecutive NHRA event. And again Beckman took the round win, knocking out the points leader and giving them an opportunity to strike.
In the semifinal round, Beckman won a pedal fest over Del Worsham and was paired against John Force in the final round. The Valvoline MaxLife team produced a run of 4.127-second but it wasn't enough to earn the win over Force's 4.097.
"The problem is we keep opening the door wide open for ourselves and then we fail to take full advantage of it," Beckman said after the final round. "A runner-up is not bad but we have to win a race.
"We have to win a race if we are going to win the championship. We are probably going to have to win two of the last three races. I guess the upside is we have a car that can do it."
By advancing to the final round, Beckman moved into No. 3 in NHRA Mello Yello Funny Car standings and cut his points deficit to 44 points behind Hagan and 38 behind No. 2 ranked Force.
The following are Beckman's statistics and other event notes from the NHRA Midwest Nationals near St. Louis.
Event winner: John Force (John Force Racing)
No. 1 Qualifier: Matt Hagan, 4.001 sec., 320.20 mph (track record time, speed)
JACK BECKMAN, Valvoline MaxLife/MTS Dodge Charger R/T
Qualified: No. 8
Round 1: BECKMAN (4.079 sec., 312.78 mph) def. Alexis DeJoria (4.110, 310.70)
Round 2: BECKMAN (4.088, 308.64) def. Matt Hagan (4.187, 304.53)
Semifinals: BECKMAN (4.546, 253.47) def. Del Worsham (4.926, 181.47)
Final: John Force (4.097, 310.13) def. BECKMAN (4.127, 309.84)
First session: 4.113, 310.41
Second session: 6.791, 91.59
Third session: 4.096, 309.84
Fourth session: 4.070, 313.66
MELLO YELLO DRAG RACING SERIES
NHRA Countdown to the Championship Standings
(Unofficial through Sept. 29 through St. Louis qualifying; DSR drivers in CAPS)
1. MATT HAGAN 2,336
2. John Force 2,330 (-6)
3. JACK BECKMAN 2,292 (-44)
4. Robert Hight 2,288 (-52)
5. Cruz Pedrgon 2,253 (-83)
6. Ron Capps 2,225 (-111)
7. Courtney Force 2,202 (-134)
8. JOHNNy GRAY 2,187 (-149)
9. Tim Wilkerson 2,142 (-194)
9t. Del Worsham 2,142 (-194)
2013 REGULAR SEASONS: C. Force, CAPPS, GRAY, C. Pedregon, HAGAN, C. Pedregon, GRAY, GRAY, HAGAN, J. Force, C. Force, HAGAN, GRAY, C. Pedregon, CAPPS, HAGAN, CAPPS, Hight.
2013 COUNTDOWN WINNERS: Hight, C. Pedregon. J. Force