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2014 NHRA: Jack Beckman Route 66 NHRA Nationals Qualifying Report: No. 7
Posted by: newsla on Jun 29, 2014 - 12:48 PM
2014 NHRA: Jack Beckman Route 66 NHRA Nationals Qualifying Report: No. 7

Jack turned 48 on Saturday at Route 66 Dragway and had a pretty good day finishing with the No. 7 qualifying position for championship eliminations in the Route 66 NHRA Nationals at Joliet, Ill.


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What he has wanted most for his birthday is an NHRA Wally trophy, something he hasn't held since the St. Louis event toward the end of the 2012 season when he won the NHRA Funny Car world championship. Jack, who owns 15 NHRA Funny Car titles, has not been to a winner's circle in 38 events.

He will start the day ranked one spot outside of the top-10 in Funny Car points standings and he knows he has to start winning rounds to be among the 10 teams competing in the six-race Countdown to the Championship.

He trails Don Schumacher Racing teammate Matt Hagan by 20 points, which is earned for each win on Sunday, and he will face Hagan in the first round at Joliet, Ill. An advantage Jack will have is by qualifying higher and the reward is getting his choice of lanes in the opening match-up.

"It's going to come down to who is more aggressive with the racetrack tomorrow," Jack said, noting the challenge from Hagan's team with crew chief Dickie Venables.

The four qualifying sessions over Friday and Saturday were held after 5 p.m. each day while Sunday's first round of eliminations begins at 11 a.m. (CT) that will put all rounds scheduled for hotter times.

"It's going to be sticky enough that you're going to be able to throw a lot at it and you just don't want to get outrun," Jack said.

"Dickie and Matt have been looking awful good in the first sessions each day when it was a lot hotter than the night runs. First round should be conditions that no one has run in yet. The earliest we've run in is 5 o'clock and the rest have been after 8. None of that is really going to be too helpful for tomorrow.

"Same racetrack, same weekend but a lot different conditions. The fact that we made it on the last three runs makes me very optimistic."

No. 1 Qualifier: Tommy Johnson Jr. (Don Schumacher Racing) 3.999 sec., 317.19 mph

JACK BECKMAN, Valvoline MaxLife Dodge Charger R/T
Qualifying Position: No. 7
FRIDAY: 11.268 sec., 66.61 mph, (Session 1); 4.048, 315.64, (Session 2)
SATURDAY: 4.134, 308.57, (Session 3); 4.080, 298.80, (Session 4)

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