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Jul 21, 2014 - 07:42 AM
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2014 NHRA: Jack Beckman Mopar Mile-High Nationals Event Recap: Second Round
Posted by: newsla on Jul 21, 2014 - 07:40 AM
NHRA
2014 NHRA: Jack Beckman Mopar Mile-High Nationals Event Recap: Second Round


Popular drag racer Jack Beckman lives and breathes NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing but the partnership between his Don Schumacher Racing team and the Infinite Hero Foundation has far greater importance.

 

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After qualifying 11th for Sunday's MOPAR Mile-High Nationals at Bandimere Speedway near Denver, the Infinite Hero Foundation/Valvoline team defeated DSR teammate Tommy Johnson Jr. in the opening round of eliminations.

But the Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car came up a nose short in the second round of eliminations against Tim Wilkerson because of a clutch issue in the 10,000-horsepower Funny Car.

The loss dropped Jack out of the top-10, which is where he needs to be after four more races for a chance to compete for his second Funny Car world championship in three seasons.

But that wasn't what he was thinking about when he arrived back to his pit area with his day over long before he wanted.

"Well, the clutch just basically came out of the car," Jack said. "In other words, the facing kind of disintegrated on one disc and when that happens you're not applying the power to the rear end, it's slipping the whole way and the engine runs away from the car and you stop accelerating.

"It's a shame because I really think that Rob (Flynn) and Chris (Cunningham) had a great tune-up in it. I actually think that our car easily would've been low elapsed time of that round. It's a woulda-coulda-shoulda situation."

He was greeted by Army Chief Warrant Officer Gary Linfoot and family, when he returned to his pit after the loss that dropped him out of the top-10 in the standings.

Linfoot was paralyzed after his helicopter crashed about six years ago in an Iraqi desert that crushed his spine and paralyzed him below the waist.

"I'm not going to dwell on that round. It was a huge weekend for us. Not so much on the racetrack but with the Infinite Hero Foundation program. The nice thing is Valvoline was out here supporting that with us. Terry Chandler and the Make-A-Wish team was a big part of it too.

"We had Army Sgt. Neil Duncan, the double amputee who climbed Mount Kilimanjaro, out here with us and we took him in the tow vehicle. Then we had Gary Linfoot, his wife Mary and son were able to come and hang out too.

"I'm going to chalk this weekend up to doing the right thing and hanging out with some wonderful people. We'll get back on it next weekend in Sonoma on the racetrack."

With the second round loss against Tim Wilkerson, Jack fell out of the top-10 in NHRA Mello Yello Funny Car points standings by three points.

FUNNY CAR
Event Winner: Robert Hight (John Force Racing)
No. 1 Qualifier: John Force (John Force Racing) 4.049 sec., 318.39 mph (track records)

JACK BECKMAN, Infinite Hero Foundation/Valvoline Dodge Charger R/T
Qualifying Position: No. 11
SUNDAY CHAMPIONSHIP ELIMINATIONS
First round: BECKMAN vs. Tommy Johnson Jr.
QUALIFYING
FRIDAY: 4.224 sec., 298. 47 mph, (Session 1); 4.153, 304.32, (Session 2)
SATURDAY: 4.227, 229.26, (Session 3); 4.719, 179.23, (Session 4)

NHRA MELLO YELLO STANDINGS
(Unofficial after 14 of 24 events; DSR drivers in CAPS)

FUNNY CAR
driver (wins) pts behind
1. Robert Hight (5) 1179 ----
2. John Force (2) 998 -181
3. RON CAPPS (1) 921 -258
4. TOMMY JOHNSON JR. (1) 882 -297
5. Courtney Force (1) 817 -362
6. Alexis DeJoria (2) 811 -368
7. MATT HAGAN (1) 794 - 385
8. Cruz Pedregon (1) 781 - 398
9. Del Worsham 780 -399
10. Tim Wilkerson 711 -468
11. JACK BECKMAN 708 -471

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