2013 NHRA: Jack Beckman NHRA Nationals at Maple Grove Raceway Event Recap: First Round
Jack Beckman and his Odyssey Battery team battled over the past few races to arrive at Maple Grove Raceway with a good chance of defending their NHRA Funny Car world championship
Beckman arrived at Maple Grove on Friday only 44 points out of first place.
Beckman and his team have won other battles and now face one of their most challenging after being upset in Sunday's opening round of the NHRA Nationals near Reading, Pa. The early loss dropped them to 126 points out of first place in the NHRA Countdown to the Championship with two of six playoff events remaining.
The Odyssey Battery Funny Car team qualified third for championship eliminations and had lane choice over No. 14 seed Alexis DeJoria, but Beckman lost traction and DeJoria posted the win.
"I've said many times that our Funny Car category is good from top to bottom and there is no such thing as an easy pairing in the first round," said Beckman, who will seek his first title of the year when the Mello Yello Series resumes in two weeks at Las Vegas.
Beckman, who remains third in the standings, now has to shift his aim to catching John Force instead of Don Schumacher Racing teammate Matt Hagan, who had been the points leader since early June until Force moved to No. 1 during qualifying at Maple Grove. On Sunday, Force won his second title in two weeks to extend the margin over Hagan (65 points) and Beckman.
The following are Beckman's results and updated standings from Maple Grove Raceway:
Event winner: John Force (John Force Racing)
No. 1 Qualifier: Force (3.987 sec., 323.50 mph)
JACK BECKMAN, Odyssey Battery/Valvoline/MTS Dodge Charger R/T
Qualified: No. 3
First round: Alexis DeJoria (4.071 sec., 310.70 mph) def. BECKMAN (4.542, 188.62)
First session: 4.078, 313.95 mph
Second session: 4.034, 318.99
Third session: 8.354, 73.79
Fourth session: 4.099, 312.42
NHRA COUNTDOWN TO THE CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS
(Unofficial through Oct. 6 eliminations at Maple Grove Raceway; DSR drivers in CAPS)
1. John Force 2,357 (---)
2. MATT HAGAN 2,392 (-65)
3. JACK BECKMAN 2,331 (-126)
4. Robert Hight 2,323 (-134)
5. Cruz Pedregon 2,307 (-150)
6. RON CAPPS 2,297 (-160)
7. Courtney Force 2,266 (-191)
8. JOHNNY GRAY 2,223 (-234)
9. Del Worsham 2,214 (-243)
10. Tim Wilkerson 2,175 (-282)
2013 REGULAR SEASON WINNERS: 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 (Charlotte), C. Pedregon (Dallas), J. Force (St. Louis), Force (Reading).