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Aug 18, 2014 - 06:39 AM
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2014 NHRA: Jack Beckman NHRA Nationals At Brainerd Event Recap: Second Round
Posted by: newsla on Aug 18, 2014 - 06:38 AM
2014 NHRA: Jack Beckman NHRA Nationals At Brainerd Event Recap: Second Round

Jack Beckman and his Valvoline SynPower Funny Car team accomplished part of their goal for the NHRA's 33rd annual visit to Brainerd International Raceway.


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Beckman, who started from the No. 10 qualifying spot on Sunday, saw DSR teammate Tommy Johnson Jr and the Make-A-Wish team knock off 10th place driver Tim Wilkerson, opening the door for Beckman and Co. to vault in the top-10 in the NHRA Mello Yello Series standings. Jack's Todd Okuhara-tuned Dodge Charger R/T opened the door further by knocking off two-time NHRA series champion Cruz Pedregon with a lap of 4.118 at 305.63.

However, facing off against DSR teammate Ron Capps and the NAPA AUTO PARTS team in the second round, the Valvoline car couldn't walk through the opened door as Beckman posted a quicker, but losing lap of 4.046 to Capps' 4.049. The margin of victory was less than four thousandths of-a-second, which was no solace for the 2012 NHRA Mello Yello Funny Car champion.

"It's tough to recover that much with all the things that have been thrown at us over the course of the week and not be able to turn on the win light," Beckman said after the close loss to Capps. "Against Rahn Tobler and 700 runs of data with that NAPA team and we're dealing with five runs of data, I'm very proud of this group for being able to get the Valvoline car that quick.

"At the end of the day, it's win lights that matter. The important thing is we closed one more round on Wilky (Tim Wilkerson), I just don't like being in this position. We'll go test for two days in Indy and we can figure out some stuff and give (Todd) Okuhara and (Chris) Cunningham some more data to put us in an even better position to go rounds at Indy."

Beckman trails Wilkerson by 16 points or less than one round of racing when the teams enter the 18th and final race of NHRA's regular season, the 60th annual U.S. Nationals over Labor Day weekend at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis.

Last August during the U.S. Nationals, the Valvoline team took home the $100,000 pay day in the celebrated Traxxas Funny Car Shootout. To repeat as Traxxas Shootout champion, Beckman will need fan support in NHRA's Facebook vote and lottery drawing on Aug. 27 in downtown Indianapolis to name the eighth and final driver to compete in the 2014 Traxxas Shootout on Aug. 31.

Traxxas Funny Car Shootout Voting Live
Voting for the coveted eighth and final spot in the third annual Traxxas Funny Car Shootout at Indianapolis on Aug. 31 went live on NHRA's Facebook page on Aug. 17. Fans can vote for Beckman at https://www.facebook.com/NHRA/app_201730886505500. Beckman will need fan support in NHRA's online fan vote and lottery drawing on Aug. 27 in downtown Indianapolis to name the final driver to compete in the 2014 Traxxas Shootout on Aug. 31.

Event Winner: Ron Capps vs. John Force (To be completed during U.S. Nationals)
No. 1 Qualifier: John Force (John Force Racing), 4.060 sec., 315.27 mph

JACK BECKMAN, Valvoline SynPower Dodge Charger R/T
Qualifying Position: No. 10
FIRST ROUND: BECKMAN .088 4.118 sec., 305.63 mph def. C. Pedregon .065 5.237, 143.31
SECOND ROUND: Capps .090 4.049, 317.99 def. BECKMAN .096 4.046, 317.57

FRIDAY: 4.215 sec., 290.44 mph (Session 1), 4.154, 303.37 (Session 2)
SATURDAY: 4.511, 198.29 (Session 3), 4.115, 309.70 (Session 4)

NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Standings
(following the 17th of 24 races)
Funny Car
driver (wins) points
1. John Force (3) 1,326/1,346 (Final points TBD in Indy)
2. Robert Hight (5) 1,308
3. RON CAPPS (1) 1,090/1,110 (Final points TBD in Indy)
4. TOMMY JOHNSON JR (1) 1,052
5. Alexis DeJoria (2) 1,035
6. Courtney Force (2) 1,015
7. MATT HAGAN (1) 1,009
8. Cruz Pedregon (1) 929
9. Del Worsham 900
10. Tim Wilkerson 848
11. JACK BECKMAN 832 -16

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