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2014 NHRA: Jack Beckman Route 66 NHRA Nationals Event Preview
Posted by: newsla on Jun 25, 2014 - 06:58 AM
2014 NHRA: Jack Beckman Route 66 NHRA Nationals Event Preview

Jack Beckman and the Valvoline MaxLife Funny Car team head to Joliet, Ill., for this weekend's NHRA Route 66 Nationals knowing the regular season is running out and it must begin winning rounds in Sunday's championship eliminations.


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The 2012 NHRA Funny Car world championship team lost in the first round Sunday at Epping, N.H., for the sixth time in 11 events and is mired in 11th place that is one spot short of being in the top-10. Jack has only advanced past the quarterfinals twice, including the championship round at Houston in the year's sixth event.

This weekend marks the halfway point of the 24-race NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season and only the top-10 after the U.S. Nationals held over Labor Day Weekend advance to the Countdown to the Championship six-race playoff.

"Chicago is the end to the first half of our season and we can't have any more first-round losses," Jack said. Before the past two events he had only been outside the top-10 after the second race of 2013 but rallied to finish third in the final standings.

"We have to start winning rounds on Sunday. We're not in the Countdown, and I've never been in this position before so late in the year."

The Valvoline Dodge Charger R/T has been respectable in qualifying by making into the top half of the 16-car field in six of 11 races with an average starting berth of 7.63.

"We have a good race car and that showed by qualifying sixth at Epping. But then we can't get out of the first round consistently so we didn't gain any points on Sunday again."

Jack, who turns 48 on Saturday near Chicago, would like the 16th NHRA Wally trophy of his career for his birthday this weekend.

The following are Jack's Route 66 Nationals, season and career statistics, and NHRA standings:

JACK BECKMAN: Valvoline MaxLife Dodge Charger R/T
Last event Epping, N.H. (June 22): Qualified No. 6; lost in first round to Del Worsham
A year ago at Chicago: Qualified No. 3; lost in quarterfinals to Matt Hagan
Career at Chicago: Wins 0; Runner-ups 0; Poles 0

Pts Events Titles Rup Semi Qtr 1st rd Poles DNQ Win/Loss
2014 11th 11 0 1 1 3 6 0 0 8-11
CAREER 195 15 20 36 55 60 10 6 245-170
Best Time, Speed: 3.736 sec. (10-6-12, Reading, Pa.); 320.30 mph (4-15-12, Charlotte 1)

(Official after 11 of 24 events; DSR drivers in CAPS)
driver (wins) points behind
1. Robert Hight (4) 970 ----
2. Alexis DeJoria (2) 716 -254
3. John Force (1) 713 -257
4. RON CAPPS (1) 683 -287
5. TOMMY JOHNSON JR. (1) 682 -288
6. Courtney Force (1) 658 -312
7. Del Worsham 645 -325
8. Cruz Pedregon (1) 599 -371
9. Tim Wilkerson 569 -401
10. MATT HAGAN 564 -406
11. JACK BECKMAN 547 -423

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