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Jul 29, 2014 - 05:41 PM
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2014 NHRA: Jack Beckman NHRA Northwest Nationals Event Preview
Posted by: newsla on Jul 29, 2014 - 05:37 PM
2014 NHRA: Jack Beckman NHRA Northwest Nationals Event Preview

Jack Beckman wasn't surprised when two tires on his motorhome blew Monday on his way home to Southern California after a disappointing day at Sonoma Raceway near San Francisco.


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With his family along for the weekend trip to the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series event in Northern California, two flat tires didn't help inflate their spirits after Jack and the Valvoline SynPower Dodge Charger R/T team lost in the opening round against the they most needed to beat.

After an impressive No. 4 qualifying run Friday night, Jack was paired in the opening round against Tim Wilkerson, the driver with whom he is battling for the No. 10 ranking in the Mello Yello standings. Jack lost the No. 10 spot and regained it during qualifying but the first-round loss dropped him to 11th and 19 points behind Wilkerson. (Each round win in eliminations is worth 20 points.)

"The way things have been going for us on Sundays lately I should have expected something to go wrong with the motorhome on the way home," Jack said.

But there is no bigger fighter in drag racing than Jack, and he promises to move forward this weekend in the Northwest NHRA Nationals at Pacific Raceways in Kent, Wash.

When the top-10 in points are finalized upon conclusion of the Mello Yello regular season, which includes this weekend's race near Seattle and events at Brainerd, Minn., and near Indianapolis, the points totals will be reset for those 10 Funny Car drivers eligible to win the season title in the six-race Countdown to the Championship playoff that closes the season.

When the points are reset, the leader in the standings will hold a 30-point advantage over No. 2 with points dropping at 10-point increments from second to 10th.

"We know we have a very good car and that showed at Sonoma when we qualified fourth," Jack said. "It's frustrating because every weekend it seems like something different stops us from gaining the consistency we need.

"Everyone on the Valvoline Dodge team believes we'll make it into the Countdown and we want to get as high as we can because each spot we gain is worth 10 more points," said Jack, who won the 2012 Funny Car world championship by a record two points.

Jack Beckman, Valvoline SynPower Dodge Charger R/T
Last event Sonoma (July 27): Qualified No. 4; lost in first round to Tim Wilkerson
A year ago at Seattle: Qualified No. 1; lost in first round to Johnny Gray
Career at Seattle: Wins 1 (2007); Runner-ups 1 (2011); Poles 1 (2013)

Pts Events Titles Rup Semi Qtr 1st rd Poles DNQ Win/Loss
2014 11th 15 0 1 2 4 8 0 0 11-15
CAREER 195 15 20 37 55 62 10 6 248-174
Best Time, Speed: 3.986 sec. (10-6-12, Reading, Pa.); 320.30 mph (4-15-12, Charlotte 1)

(Official after 15 of 24 events; DSR drivers in CAPS)
driver (wins) points behind
1. Robert Hight (5) 1,216 ----
2. John Force (2) 1,097 -119
3. RON CAPPS (1) 957 -259
4. Courtney Force (2) 941 -275
5. TOMMY JOHNSON JR. (1) 938 -278
6. Alexis DeJoria (2) 883 -333
7. MATT HAGAN (1) 868 -348
8. Cruz Pedregon (1) 840 -376
9. Del Worsham 816 -400
10. Tim Wilkerson 762 -454
11. JACK BECKMAN 743 -473

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