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Jun 02, 2014 - 06:16 AM
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2014 NHRA: Jack Beckman NHRA Summernationals Event Recap: Semifinal
Posted by: newsla on Jun 02, 2014 - 06:16 AM
2014 NHRA: Jack Beckman NHRA Summernationals Event Recap: Semifinal

Jack Beckman reached the semifinals of Sunday's 45th annual NHRA Summernationals eliminations at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park.


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But when the most consistent Funny Car on the property hazed the tires on the starting line in the semifinal round, it left the Infinite Hero Foundation team scratching their heads.

The Infinite Hero team was the most consistent Funny Car over the four qualifying sessions with runs ranging from the 4.017 to his slowest at 4.085.

After qualifying No. 5, Jack's Infinite Hero team posted the second best elapsed time of the first round of eliminations with their 4.067-second effort to defeat Chad Head.

In the second round of eliminations, Jack used a better reaction time to defeat Don Schumacher Racing teammate Matt Hagan before being paired against Cruz Pedregon in the semifinal.

Pedregon, who was No. 1 qualifier and went on to win the event title, produced a very slow time of 4.593 seconds at 234.33 mph but Jack's tires went up in smoke at the hit of the throttle and slowed to a 6.381 (153.16).

"Since I know we're better than a semifinal car, I can't be satisfied with the semifinal finish," Jack said. "Our car made six great runs in a row and then didn't move a foot in the semifinals. To get beat by a 4.50 ET, which is the second race in a row that's happened to us, we're just going to have to be better than that.

"We don't know why it spun the tires, there's no smoking gun. It must've been slick right in the area the car was staged up there because it was perfect for six runs and then didn't even want to move that run."

The team led by crew chief Rob Flynn and assistant Terry Snyder picked up valuable data as the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series takes one weekend off before racing four consecutive weekends at Bristol, Tenn., Epping, N.H., Chicago and Norwalk, Ohio.

"We got good data," he said. "The upside of this is that we do have a lot of good runs so that tells me that it's getting predictable for Rob and Terry and it's getting predictably quick. We got bonus points in two of the four qualifying sessions. We'll move on to Bristol."

Another highlight of the weekend was raising funds for the Infinite Hero Foundation. Fans swarmed the pit to donate $100 and pick up a special challenge coin in that Jack took down the Old Bridge Township Raceway track and then autographed.

"It was great this weekend, we raised a lot of money for the soldiers this weekend. A lot. I'm packing the coins with me and the fans are just eating them up. It's a great souvenir."

Winner: Cruz Pedregon (Cruz Pedregon Racing)
No. 1 Qualifier: Cruz Pedregon 3.959 sec., 310.48 mph

JACK BECKMAN, Infinite Hero Foundation Dodge Charger R/T
Qualified: No. 5
FIRST ROUND: BECKMAN (4.067 sec., 306.33) def. Chad Head (4.177, 283.61); QUARTERFINALS: BECKMAN (4.133, 308.50) def. Matt Hagan (4.121, 300.60); SEMIFINALS: Cruz Pedregon (4.593, 234.33) def. BECKMAN (6.381, 153.16)
FRIDAY: 4.085 sec., 295.34 mph, (Session 1); 4.054, 313.58 (Session 2)
SATURDAY: 4.071, 286.44 (Session 3); 4.017, 318.99 (Session 4)

1. Robert Hight (4), 847
2. John Force (1), 601
3. Alexis DeJoria (2), 564
4. Del Worsham, 535
5. RON CAPPS, 534
6. Courtney Force (1), 527
8. Cruz Pedregon (1), 506
10. MATT HAGAN, 454

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