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2014 NHRA: Jack Beckman NHRA Sonoma Nationals Qualifying Report: No. 4
Posted by: newsla on Jul 27, 2014 - 06:09 AM
2014 NHRA: Jack Beckman NHRA Sonoma Nationals Qualifying Report: No. 4

Every round counts in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series but not every round has the implications like the situation Jack Beckman will face in the opening round of championship eliminations on Sunday at Sonoma Raceway.


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Jack's Valvoline SynPower Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car was the best performing Funny Car for Don Schumacher Racing during qualifying at the track near San Francisco topped by a 4.075-second pass on Friday night.

That leaves Jack and the team led by crew chief Rob Flynn and assistant Chris Cunningham racing No. 13 qualifier Tim Wilkerson in the opening round. For the past several weeks in NHRA Mello Yello competition, Jack and Tim have been trading the 10th and 11th spots in the Mello Yello standings.

Only four events remain before the top-10 are determined to comprise the field for the six-race Countdown to the Championship playoff. Jack entered the Sonoma event 11th, only three points behind Wilkerson. But Jack earned enough bonus points in qualifying to take over 10th by one point heading to their opening round match-up.

"We got what we wanted, a first round match-up with the other car we are battling for the top-10," Jack said. "I hope after first round we are still thinking that's the match-up we wanted."

Jack is 0-1 against Wilkerson this season and it happened last weekend near Denver during the first stop of NHRA's "Western Swing" that concludes next weekend near Seattle.

"With Friday night qualifying, you know the top-12 spots are going to be taken by the quickest cars in the cool conditions but that means the 13th best car is typically the best car that ran in the heat on Saturday, so it's a real interesting match-up."

The SynPower team also had a solid run in the Saturday afternoon heat, a 4.193-second effort at 294 mph in the fourth and final session of qualifying.

"We have to close the deal, just have to close the deal tomorrow. It's a must win."

No. 1 Qualifier: Courtney Force (JFR), 4.045, 319.22

JACK BECKMAN, Valvoline SynPower Dodge Charger R/T
Qualifying Position: No. 4
FIRST ROUND: BECKMAN vs. Tim Wilkerson
FRIDAY: 4.347 sec., 282.36 mph, (Session 1); 4.075, 314.83, (Session 2)
SATURDAY: 4.353, 228.89, (Session 3); 4.193, 294.75, (Session 4)

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