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Aug 04, 2014 - 06:51 AM
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2014 NHRA: Jack Beckman NHRA Northwest Nationals Event Recap: Second Round
Posted by: newsla on Aug 04, 2014 - 06:50 AM
2014 NHRA: Jack Beckman NHRA Northwest Nationals Event Recap: Second Round

Jack Beckman wanted to make a big bang Sunday in the Northwest NHRA Nationals at Pacific Raceways near Seattle.

But the "bang" he wanted to make was in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series standings and not on the track.


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The 2012 NHRA Funny Car world champion upset Don Schumacher Racing teammate Tommy Johnson Jr. in the opening round when a quicker reaction at the starting line in his Valvoline SynPower Dodge Charger R/T that overcame a slightly quicker run by Johnson.

But in the quarterfinals, the roof of Jack's Dodge was destroyed after an engine detonation that cost him a chance to beat Alexis DeJoria. Jack was uninjured.

"I hate this. It's race day and you do whatever you can to get the car to the finish line," he said. "I thought I felt it start spinning the tires. I'm not sure. Sometimes when something that big happens, it clears your short-term memory.

"The body is gone, fire. Not too bad of a fire this time. I could still see OK and then you start to slow down and you're just sliding because of oil. It's disappointing. The most disappointing thing is we didn't get the win light. It costs a lot of money to replace a body and we didn't get the win light.

"We have two races to get our act together. We'll clean our stuff up, we'll clean our act up and we'll be ready for the next race."

Jack is battling with Tim Wilkerson for one of the last 10 spots in the six-race Countdown to the Championship playoff and has only two events to move up one spot from 11th to pass Wilkerson for the No. 10 ranking.

Jack started the day 20 points behind Wilkerson and although Wilkerson also lost in the quarterfinals Jack fell another 10 points behind to 30 when he was docked by NHRA for when his car put fluid on the racetrack after the explosion.

"It's the same rules for everybody," Jack said of the penalty. "That's what the NHRA rules package is right now."

Two more Mello Yello Series events remain before the top-10 are finalized for the Countdown and points are reset before the playoff begins

Sunday's race, which was the 16th of the 24-event schedule, ends the annual "Western Swing" that began with races at Denver and Sonoma, Calif. The series has a weekend off before competing Aug. at Brainerd, Minn.

Event winner: John Force (John Force Racing)
No. 1 Qualifier: John Force (John Force Racing) 4.057 sec., 308.07 mph

JACK BECKMAN, Valvoline SynPower Dodge Charger R/T
Qualifying Position: No. 12
FIRST ROUND: BECKMAN (4.176 sec., 295.59) def. Tommy Johnson Jr. (4.164, 302.75); QUARTERFINALS: Alexis DeJoria (4.202, 293.22) def. BECKMAN 4.385, 230.45)
FRIDAY: 4.256 sec., 282.48 mph, (Session 1); 4.290, 288.52, (Session 2)
SATURDAY: 4.236, 290.44, (Session 3); 4.156, 297.29, Session (4)

(Unofficial after 16 of 24 events; DSR drivers in CAPS)

driver (wins) points behind
1. *Robert Hight (5) 1,271 ----
2. *John Force (3) 1,224 -47
3. RON CAPPS (1) 989 -282
4. Courtney Force (2) 980 -291
5. TOMMY JOHNSON JR. (1) 975 -296
6. Alexis DeJoria (2) 961 -310
7. MATT HAGAN (1) 949 -322
8. Cruz Pedregon (1) 894 -377
9. Del Worsham 848 -423
10. Tim Wilkerson 815 -456
11. JACK BECKMAN 785 -486

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