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2014 NHRA: Jack Beckman Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals Qualifying Report: No. 8
Posted by: newsla on Jul 06, 2014 - 06:42 AM
2014 NHRA: Jack Beckman Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals Qualifying Report: No. 8

Jack Beckman loves looking at drag racing from a fan's perspective so he has enjoyed four late qualifying sessions at the past two events including this weekend in the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals in northern Ohio.


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"NHRA is doing something to shake it up for the fans," said Jack, who qualified No. 8 for Sunday's eliminations in his Don Schumacher Racing Valvoline MaxLife Dodge Charger R/T led by crew chief Rob Flynn.

"They used this format last week at Chicago and will use in two weeks at Denver. It's where the fans get to see the typical night qualifying on Friday and again on Saturday. It's awesome for the fans, and it's fun for us to get two chances to swing for a home run with great night conditions."

But when eliminations begin at 11 a.m. (ET) Sunday, drivers in the Mello Yello Drag Racing Series will run in full daylight for the first time over the weekend.

"The downside is the conditions for qualifying are not what we'll see on Sunday. The reality is you want to qualify for a position on Friday so you get data on Saturday to get ready for Sunday but it's hard to do that with evening and night sessions on both days. The only qualifying run that could approximate what we'll see on Sunday would be the final round.

"All the teams are doing it so there's no advantage or disadvantage for anyone.The night runs are awesome with the flames out of the (exhaust) pipes, for great ETs on the scoreboards and bragging rights for the crews.

"But then it's back down to business on Sunday when it will be hotter and the track trickier. We have so much horsepower that we back it down and make calculated decisions to be better than the car in the other lane."

Jack earned the No. 8 qualifying position with his 4.064-second run at 317.94 in Friday's night session.

But Sunday's conditions won't be the same.

"Sometime you wish you could put blinders on and earplugs in and not listen on Sunday morning to the cars running in front of you because if they're all making it down the track you think 'boy, here we go' and you turn up the wick but then you might go out and loose traction and get in trouble by overpowering the track. Or everyone in front of you smokes the tires so you get gun shy and back the car way down.

"As a driver you have to be ready to catch this thing quick by pedaling the throttle if you start to lose traction. As drivers on Sunday all that should be on our minds is do whatever it takes to get down the track.

"On Sunday you have to get it to the finish line and if it shakes or smokes you have to recover quickly. You've gotta get it pointed straight and get back on the throttle and get to the finish line first.

The event at Norwalk, which marks the start of the second half of the 24-event season, is the fourth of four straight Mello Yello event racing weekends.

No. 1 Qualifier: Del Worsham (Kalitta Motorsports) 4.000 sec.*, 321.42 mph (* track record)

JACK BECKMAN, Valvoline MaxLife Dodge Charger R/T
Qualifying Position: No. 8
FRIDAY: 4.163 sec., 306.26 mph, (Session 1); 4.064, 317.94, (Session 2)
SATURDAY: 4.142, 286.86, (Session 3); 4.432, 200.98, (Session 4)

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