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Mar 26, 2014 - 06:24 AM
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2014 NHRA: Jack Beckman SummitRacing.com NHRA Nationals Event Preview
Posted by: newsla on Mar 26, 2014 - 06:23 AM
NHRA
2014 NHRA: Jack Beckman SummitRacing.com NHRA Nationals Event Preview


Jack Beckman isn't looking for a flashback Sunday after championship eliminations of the NHRA SummitRacing.com Nationals at Las Vegas.

 

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He just wants to see history repeat itself at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway where he won his first professional event title at its fall race in 2006.

"My first win was at Las Vegas in the fall of 2006, and I hope after this weekend I can say my most recent win was in Las Vegas," said Jack, whose Don Schumacher Racing Valvoline MaxLife Dodge Charger R/T has won 14 more Wally trophies after that one and added the NHRA Funny Car world championship 2012.

But Jack is in the longest non-winning streak of his seven-year professional driving career. His last title was in 2012 at the September race near St. Louis. He advanced to championship rounds three times last year and was the No. 1 qualifier twice en route to finishing third in points.

At the end of the past season, Jack and assistant crew chief Terry Snyder were the only returnees to the team. Veteran crew chief Rob Flynn took over and filled out the roster.

"The expectations for our new team were to look good from the outset and start looking great in a short period of time," Jack said. "I see us headed in that direction. Rob Flynn strikes me as a chess player; he's quiet, studious and digs his nose in the (data) books and goes over run after run. Not just our stuff, but he's been getting some data from our other Schumacher Funny Car teams.

"I see what he's doing. He's educating himself about our cars to be able to make educated decisions at the racetrack. I'm telling you, once this car starts responding in a manner that's predictable to him we're going to be deadly consistent.

"We're not far off right now. Were it not for losing to the low elapsed times of the rounds at the last two events we could have gone deep in eliminations. You don't want to put yourself in a position to rely on luck to win a race, and with the way we're headed we're going to be creating our own luck pretty soon and no better place for that than in Vegas."

THURSDAY'S FANFEST ON 'BROOKLYN BRIDGE'
The annual spring NHRA Fanfest returns to the "Brooklyn Bridge" in front of the New York New York Hotel & Casino on the Las Vegas Strip is 5-7 p.m. (PT) Thursday when the event kicks off the NHRA Nationals with music, games, ticket giveaways and fun.

Jack will join Don Schumacher Racing drivers Antron Brown, Tony Schumacher, Spencer Massey, Ron Capps, Matt Hagan and Tommy Johnson Jr., other stars of the Mello Yello Series from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. for a free autograph session.

Another feature of Fanfest will be the display of DSR's New York New York Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car.

New York New York is the official Las Vegas hotel and casino for DSR.

JACK BECKMAN: Valvoline MaxLife Dodge Charger R/T
Pts Events Titles Rup Semi Qtr 1st rd Poles DNQ Win/Loss
2014 9th 3 0 0 0 2 1 0 0 2-3
CAREER 183 15 19 35 53 55 10 6 239-162
Best Time, Speed: 3.986 sec. (10-7-12, Reading, Pa.); 320.58 (10-5-12, Reading)

BY THE NUMBERS
Last event (March 14-16, Gainesville, Fla.): Qualified No. 3; lost in quarterfinals to Ron Capps
A year ago at Las Vegas 1: Qualified No. 3; lost in quarterfinals to Matt Hagan
Last fall at Las Vegas 2: Qualified No. 3; lost in semifinals to Courtney Force
Career at Las Vegas 1: Wins 0; Runner-ups 0; Poles 0
Career at Las Vegas: Wins 1 (2006); Runner-ups 2 (2012, 2009); Poles 0

NHRA MELLO YELLO FUNNY CAR STANDINGS
(Through Gainesville, third of 24 events; DSR drivers in CAPS)
driver (wins), points
1. John Force (1), 316
2. Robert Hight (1), 273
3. Alexis DeJoria (1), 187
3. Del Worsham (0), 187
5. Bob Tasca III (0), 184
6. TOMMY JOHNSON JR. (0), 168
7. RON CAPPS (0), 164
8. MATT HAGAN (0), 161
9. JACK BECKMAN (0), 151
10. Courtney Force (0), 146

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