2014 NHRA: Jack Beckman NHRA Southern Nationals Event Results: First Round
Before arriving at Atlanta Dragway last week, Jack Beckman stressed the importance of getting off to a strong start to the most grueling stretch of the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series schedule.
The Southern Nationals at Atlanta was the first of three races in three weekends and the first of 10 in 12 weeks and 13 in 15 weeks.
But the seventh event of the Mello Yello season didn't go as planned for Jack.
Rain on Sunday forced postponement of championship eliminations to Monday afternoon but the day didn't last long for his Valvoline MaxLife Dodge Charger R/T team when they lost in the first round to Don Schumacher Racing teammate Ron Capps.
That was the team's first run since Saturday night when an engine explosion destroyed the body on Jack's Funny Car despite competing his best of four qualifying runs that left him ranked 10th for elimination and gave Capps lane choice.
"Weekends like this are kind of basically write off weekends," he said. "We didn't accumulate any usable data, we hurt a lot of stuff, we cost ourselves a lot of money, we lost ground in the points. There's no silver lining on this one. But we recognize that's part of nitro racing. The bigger picture here is that was race one of 12 in the next 15 weekends. We've got to bounce back and bounce back quick.
"If NHRA let us skip one race a year and I knew there were going to be weather challenges, racetrack challenges, disintegrating a body and then go up and blow the tires in first round I'd skip Atlanta, no offense to the South."
Event winner: Robert Hight (John Force Racing)
No. 1 Qualifier: Alexis DeJoria (Kalitta Motorsports) 4.012 sec. (track record), 313.95 mph
JACK BECKMAN, Valvoline MaxLife Dodge Charger R/T
Qualified: No. 10
FIRST ROUND: Ron Capps (4.095 sec., 309.20 mph) def. BECKMAN (4.150, 251.77
FRIDAY: 8.242 sec., 73.02 mph, (Session 1); 6.862, 8.35 (Session 2)
SATURDAY: 4.168, 271.35 (Session 3); 4.150, 251.77 (Session 4)
NHRA MELLO YELLO FUNNY CAR STANDINGS
(unofficial through Atlanta)
driver (wins), points
1. Robert Hight (4), 730
2. John Force (1), 524
3. Alexis DeJoria (2), 472
4. RON CAPPS (0), 430
5. Del Worsham (0), 400
6. TOMMY JOHNSON JR., 380
7. JACK BECKMAN (0), 369
8. Courtney Force (0), 369
9. MATT HAGAN (0), 368
10. Tim Wilkerson (0), 329