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Sep 02, 2014 - 07:08 AM
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2014 NHRA: Jack Beckman NHRA U.S. Nationals Event Recap: First Round
Posted by: newsla on Sep 02, 2014 - 06:23 AM
NHRA
2014 NHRA: Jack Beckman NHRA U.S. Nationals Event Recap: First Round


Jack Beckman lost his chance Monday to compete in his eighth consecutive NHRA Countdown to the Championship playoff when the No. 2 qualified driver in the 60th annual U.S. Nationals near Indianapolis was upset in the first round of eliminations.

 

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Jack and the Valvoline SynPower Funny Car team started championship eliminations in the season's biggest event ranked 11th and only the top-10 after the regular season finale can compete for season championships in the six-race playoff that begins in two weeks near Charlotte.

The Valvoline SynPower Dodge Charger R/T needed to go at least one elimination round farther than No. 10 Tim Wilkerson for the opportunity to win a second NHRA world championship in the past three years.

The Valvoline Dodge overpowered the track almost immediately and Blake Alexander, who qualified 15th in the 16-car field, won with a time of 4.133 seconds (304.39 mph) to Jack's 6.652 (110.25).

Making the loss sting even more was that four pairs of Funny Cars later, Jack's DSR teammate Tommy Johnson Jr. defeated Wilkerson and that would have opened the championship door for the Valvoline team.

"No silver lining to this. The best we can be is 11th and that's underachieving for us," Jack said. "We'll just move on to Charlotte.

"Everybody on this team feels beat up right now. They earn less money when we don't go deep into eliminations, we can't run for a championship, the wind is out of everybody's sails right now. We have two weeks to get a fresh perspective on this. Right now everybody is just a little bit depressed."

The season, however, isn't over for the Valvoline team. Six events remain and although it won't be one of the 10 teams contesting for the championship there are six NHRA Wally trophies to be won.

FUNNY CAR
Winner: Alexis DeJoria (Kalitta Racing)
No. 1 Qualifier: Matt Hagan (Don Schumacher Racing) 3.998 sec. (track record), 316.01 mph

JACK BECKMAN, Valvoline SynPower Dodge Charger R/T
Qualifying Position: No. 2
MONDAY CHAMPIONSHIP ELIMINATIONS
First round: Blake Alexander (4.133 sec., 304.39) def. BECKMAN (6.652, 110.25)
QUALIFYING
FRIDAY: 4.071 sec., 314.90 mph, Session 1
SATURDAY: 4.032, 319.07, Session 2; 4.004, 312.13, Session 3
SUNDAY: 8.325, 77.21, Session 4; 8.269, 77.69, Session 5

NHRA MELLO YELLO STANDINGS
(Unofficial after 18 of 24 events and end of regular season); DSR drivers in CAPS

FUNNY CAR
driver (wins) points behind
1. John Force (3) 1,420 ---
2. Robert Hight (5) 1,340 -80
3. RON CAPPS (2) 1,188 -232
4. Alexis DeJoria (3) 1,148 -272
5. TOMMY JOHNSON JR. (1) 1,107 -313
6. Courtney Force (2) 1,093 -327
7. MATT HAGAN (1) 1,074 -346
8. Cruz Pedregon (1) 963 -457
9. Del Worsham 961 -459
10. Tim Wilkerson 883 -537
11. JACK BECKMAN 873

COUNTDOWN TO THE CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS
(Standings and reset points for contestants qualified for the Countdown to the Championship)

FUNNY CAR
driver (wins) points behind
1. John Force (3) ------
2. Robert Hight (5) -30
3. RON CAPPS (2) -40
4. Alexis DeJoria (3) -50
5. TOMMY JOHNSON JR. (1) -60
6. Courtney Force (2) -70
7. MATT HAGAN (1) -80
8. Cruz Pedregon (1) -90
9. Del Worsham -100
10. Tim Wilkerson -110


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