Beckman grabs the provisional pole at Summer Nationals in Topeka The hot streak continued for Jack Beckman, driver of the Aaron’s Dream Machine /Valvoline Dodge R/T Funny Car.
The Don Schumacher Racing driver captured the provisional pole today at Heartland Park Topeka, site of this weekend’s 23rd annual NHRA Summer Nationals, the seventh of 22 national events of the 2011 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series season.
“Fast Jack,” who came into the Topeka event with two wins in the last three races, rode his 8,000-horsepower Funny Car during the night session to a 4.054-second run at 313.66 miles per hour.
“We’re on a nice roll and we don’t want to lose our momentum,” said Beckman, who has a season round record of 12-4. “What I am most happy about is that we took advantage of really good conditions tonight and didn’t squander the opportunity.”
Beckman said that Saturday’s two qualifying sessions will not only be different, but critical for getting his car dialed in with a winning tune-up for Sunday’s finals.
“The key for tomorrow is to start collecting data for eliminations,” explained Beckman, who is second in driver points. “The conditions we had today -- cloudy and not that warm -- will most likely be different on Sunday. So that’s why it’s important that our Aaron’s Dream Machine/Valvoline Dodge Charger makes two more solid runs during tomorrow’s daytime conditions.”
Rounding out the top-five provisional qualifiers after the first two rounds (in order) were: DSR teammate Johnny Gray (4.058), Robert Hight (4.067), Mike Neff (4.070) and Cruz Pedregon (4.080).
ESPN2 and ESPN2HD will televise two hours of qualifying highlights at 5:30 p.m. ET on Saturday, May 21. ESPN2 and ESPN2HD will televise three hours of eliminations coverage beginning at 7 p.m. ET on Sunday, May 22.