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Beckman rockets again in Seattle

by Bill Cawthon on

Jack Beckman and Jimmy Prock did it again. One week after setting a new national ET record in Nitro Funny Car, Beckman’s final pass of the day on Saturday set a a new benchmark, 3.912 seconds at 322.88 miles per hour.

That’s 0.085 seconds quicker than his track-record-setting time of 3.997 set on Friday in the Northwest Nationals running this weekend at Pacific Raceways in Kent, Washington, 19 miles south of Seattle.


It’s also 0.009 seconds quicker than the national record he set last weekend in Sonoma and 0.072 seconds quicker than his closest competition, Del Worsham in the DHL Toyota Camry.

“It’s just a wonderful feeling,” said Beckman. “When you are a kid, you dream for that moment of greatness, but the reality is very few get to do it at the top level. I’ve had a lot of success in my career and a lot of phenomenal crew chiefs.”

While his track records are likely to stand, Beckman will have to make a pass at 3.591 seconds or quicker today to certify a new national record. If he can pull it off, Beckman and the Infinite Hero Dodge Charger R/T will have the four fastest speeds in Nitro Funny Car history.

He will meet Terry Haddock in the opening round of eliminations today.

Tommy Johnson Jr., trimmed 0.022 seconds from his best Friday time, but dropped three spots to fifth in the final qualifying order after Worsham, John Force and Tim Wilkerson posted quicker times. He will start his Sunday in Seattle with the one of two Dodge-Dodge races in the first round, going up against Paul Lee in the McLeod Racing Charger.

Ron Capps was a bit slower in the third round of qualifying but chopped 0.059 seconds from his Friday time in the fourth round. He goes into today’s eliminations in the No. 8 spot. He will be matched up with current points leader Matt Hagan, who had a rough time on Saturday, smoking the tires on both passes. Hagan’s Friday time, good enough for the No. 4 spot then, dropped him to ninth in the final order.

With just 16 cars in the field, everybody qualified. John Hale starts in the No. 15 spot and will meet Del Worsham in one of the day’s first races.

Allen Johnson will meet Larry Morgan, who bested him in the final Pro Stock round in Denver. Johnson improved on his Friday time but fell to the No. 6 position as Chris McGaha and Shane Gray made big moves on Saturday.

As was true in Funny Car, there were just 16 competitors in Pro Stock so everyone is in the game today. V. Gaines qualified 13th and will face off with Greg Anderson in the first round while Deric Kramer, who got the No. 14 spot, races against Jonathan Gray.

ARCA: Last night’s Federated Auto Parts 200 wasn’t a banner race for Dodge fans. Tom Hessert and Kyle Weatherman, who have both won races in Dodges, were driving the Fusions again.

Hessert finished two spots after James Swanson in the No. 48 Kan Dodge, the top Dodge finisher, who was 12th across the finish line. Swanson’s car was one of only two Dodges to finish the race, which saw nearly a third of the field pulled before the race ended. Matt Vainner, driving Roger Carter’s No. 97 Nitroforce Industries/Titan 1000 Dodge, was still running at race’s end, but was on Lap 163 of the 200 laps in the race.

Richard Hauck and the No. 31 Dodge were in an accident on lap 170. Bo LeMastus had to retire after 135 laps because of handling problems with the No. 42 Crosley Brands/T&T Construction/Glad Precision Dodge. Con Nicolopolous had engine trouble with the No. 06 Wayne Peterson Racing Dodge and exited after 46 laps.

Tudor United Sportscar Championship: Ben Keating and Jeroen Bleekemolen kept moving up the ladder. After finishing ninth and fifth in Friday’s practice rounds, their No. 33 Riley Motorsports/Viper Exchange Dodge SRT Viper qualified second in the GT-Daytona class for today’s Continental Tire Road Race Showcase at Road America.

Their best time was just 0.118 seconds slower than the No. 73 Park Place Motorsports Porsche 911 GT America driven by Patrick Lindsey and Spencer Pumpelly.

The race is scheduled to start at 3:05 PM (ET) this afternoon.

Bill Cawthon grew up in the auto industry in the 1950s. His Dad worked for Chrysler and Bill spent a number of Saturdays down on the plant floor at Dodge Main in Hamtramck. Bill is also the U.S. market correspondent for, a British auto industry publication, and a member of the Texas Auto Writers Association, which has named the Jeep Grand Cherokee the “SUV of Texas” several times and named the Ram 1500 as the “Truck of Texas” two years running.

Bill has owned five Plymouths (including the only 1962 “Texan”), one Dodge and one Chrysler and is still trying to figure out how to justify a Wrangler. He also has owned at least one of every 1:87 scale model of a Chrysler product. You can reach him directly at (206) 888-7324 or by using the form.

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