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Jun 18, 2014 - 06:23 AM
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2014 NHRA: Jack Beckman NHRA New England Nationals Event Preview
Posted by: newsla on Jun 18, 2014 - 06:14 AM
2014 NHRA: Jack Beckman NHRA New England Nationals Event Preview

You'd never know from the way Jack Beckman seems to always have a smile on his face and the upbeat way he interacts with his legion of fans at NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series events that the two-time NHRA world champion is mired in most disappointing stretch of his career.


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The winner of 10 event titles and the 2012 NHRA Funny Car world championship for Don Schumacher Racing has not won an event title since three races were left in the 2012 season. That's 37 events since the last time he hoisted an NHRA Wally trophy.

His Valvoline MaxLife Dodge Charger R/T team led by Rob Flynn has advanced to one championship round and one semifinals through 10 races this year, but Sunday at Bristol Dragway marked the fifth time the team has lost in the first round this season.

That dropped him to 11th in points and marks the first time he has been ranked outside the top-10 since the second race of the 2013 season and only the third time in the past four seasons.

"No excuses, we'll move on to Epping and get better," he said. "We have three more (races) in the next three weekends and six in the seven weeks, we just need to get some round wins.

"By the time we get done with that stretch it's going to separate who is going to be near the top of the standings and who is going to be fighting for one of the last 10 spots in the Countdown to the Championship.

"We will not be one of those teams at (the U.S. Nationals at) Indy on Labor Day fighting to get into the top-10 when the Countdown field is finalized."

JACK BECKMAN, Valvoline MaxLife Dodge Charger R/T
Last event Bristol, Tenn. (June 15): Qualified No. 11; lost in first round to Courtney Force
A year ago at Epping (Inaugural): Qualified No. 10; lost in semifinals to Courtney Force
Career at Epping: Wins 0; Runner-ups 0; Poles 0

Pts Events Titles Rup Semi Qtr 1st rd Poles DNQ Win/Loss
2014 11th 10 0 1 1 3 5 0 0 8-10
CAREER 194 15 20 36 55 59 10 6 245-169
Best Time, Speed: 3.736 sec. (10-6-12, Reading, Pa.); 320.30 mph (4-15-12, Charlotte 1)

NHRA MELLO YELLO STANDINGS (after 10 of 24 events)
driver (wins) points points behind
1. Robert Hight (4) 905 ----
2. John Force (1) 640 -265
3. TOMMY JOHNSON JR. 627 -278
4. Alexis DeJoria (2) 619 -286
5. Del Worsham 593 -312
6. Courtney Force (1) 581 -324
7. RON CAPPS 571 -334
8. Cruz Pedregon (1) 538 -367
9. Tim Wilkerson 533 -372
10. MATT HAGAN 527 -378
11. JACK BECKMAN 512 -383

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