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2014 NHRA: Jack Beckman NHRA Gatornationals Qualifying Results: No. 3
Posted by: newsla on Mar 16, 2014 - 06:26 AM
2014 NHRA: Jack Beckman NHRA Gatornationals Qualifying Results: No. 3

Jack Beckman's Florida vacation started off great Thursday night at Gainesville, Fla., and he hopes the celebration can continue on Sunday after championship eliminations in the 45th annual NHRA Gatornationals.


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Jack is qualified No. 3 in Don Schumacher Racing's Sandvik Coromant/Valvoline Dodge Charger R/T, and posted Friday's second quickest qualifying run of the day after inducting close friend and racing mentor Frank Hawley into the Don Garlits' International Drag Racing Hall of Fame.

"It was just a special night getting to induct Frank and just being in the room with that many legends in one place," Jack said of the ceremony. "When I introduced Frank I said he was my teacher, my mentor, my boss and my friend. It was almost surreal and one of those experiences that brings out the little kid in you. It was like 'I can't believe I get to do something like this.'

"And the next day I got to hop in a fuel Funny Car."

Jack not only jumped into the Sandvik Coromant/Valvoline Dodge Charger R/T on Friday but with crew chief Rob Flynn and assistant Terry Snyder they posted the quickest qualifying time in Friday's opening session and settled for the No. 2 seed going into Saturday. He closed qualifying with the No. 3 qualifying position.

"This weekend continues to be special because Sandvik Coromant sent so many of their employees here. A lot of times we use sponsorships to entertain customers but when we use it to entertain employees it is such a direct connection to them. When they see 'Sandvik Coromant' on the side of the racecar they call it 'our car.'

"And I think 'our car' can win this race."

Jack is looking to snap a streak of 29 events without winning an event title and earn his first at Gainesville. His last victory came at St. Louis in October 2012.

He carries a philosophy that Hawley shared with him several years ago.

"To always be in control of your thoughts," Jack said. "Confidence is a state of mind; it's not something you can go buy or drink. It's something you can will yourself to have. And when you're confident you're performing well."

Jack is looking for his first championship round appearance at Gainesville.

No. 1 Qualifier: Cruz Pedregon (Cruz Pedregon Racing) 4.068 sec., 308.21 mph

JACK BECKMAN, Sandvik Coromant/Valvoline Dodge Charger R/T
Qualified: No. 3
First Round: BECKMAN vs. Alexis DeJoria
FRIDAY: 4.108 sec., 275.96 mph, (Session 1); 4.229, 242.67(Session 2)
SATURDAY: 4.772, 169.72, (Session 3); 4.141, 305.15 (Session 4)

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