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Beckman Set To ‘Go For The Throat’ In Pomona

Info Manager | , RacinToday.com Friday, November 9 2012

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Jack Beckman stole the show again Friday in the second round of qualifying for the Automobile Club of Southern California NHRA Finals at Auto Club Raceway when he posted a run at 4.025-second elapsed time at 319.75 mph to put the Funny Car points leader in the No. 1 spot in the field for the sixth and final round of the Full Throttle Countdown to the Championship.

Beckman added three points to his lead over second-place Ron Capps, who has not qualified.

Beckman has a seven-point advantage over his Don Schumacher Racing teammate with two rounds of qualifying in all classes scheduled for 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Saturday to set the fields for Sunday’s 11 a.m. elimination rounds.

It was a stunning reversal for Beckman, whose Valvoline/NextGen Dodge Charger blew an engine and lost all the fiberglass bodywork in a fiery explosion during his first qualifying attempt on Thursday, and he gave all of the credit to his crew.

“Those guys were able to take a car that was in really bad shape last night and bring back a great race car,” he said. “Now we can play around tomorrow and go for the throat on Sunday.

“I think that our objective in qualifying here was not to lose ground in points (to Capps and third-place Mike Neff, who trails by 89 points), so we needed to do well. But the war is going to be on Sunday. We want to turn on the win light and that will guarantee us the championship.”

Morgan Lucas in Top Fuel, Greg Anderson in Pro Stock and Andrew Hines in Pro Stock Motorcycle are the other class leaders.

Lucas at least temporarily took the spotlight from the Top Fuel title contenders by running a 3.761 at 324.98 in his GEICO/Lucas Oil dragster in the first round of qualifying for the class, which lost its opening session to rain on Thursday.

Points leader Antron Brown, who’s trying to become the first African-American driver to win a major U.S. auto racing championship, was sixth in the Matco Tools dragster and is 65 points ahead of seven-time champion Tony Schumacher, who sits ninth in his U.S. Army dragster.

“We’re looking at it as getting ready for next year,” said Lucas. “We’re having a problem with the car not wearing as much clutch as it normally would (and losing time in the middle of the run). It’s been kind of inconsistent in that regard. We know there is some left out there.”

Four-time Pro Stock champion Anderson, who has struggled with a new Summit Racing Equipment Chevrolet Camaro for the past few months, moved to the top of the bracket with a 6.527 at 211.76. Anderson has been the No. 1 qualifier 75 times, but is looking for his first No. 1 of this season.

First round leader Allen Johnson is No. 2 and will clinch his first world championship by qualifying for Sunday’s eliminations.

“This is like Christmas for me. It’s been awhile,” Anderson said. “We’ve been working very hard on these new Camaros. We got a little bit lost when we brought them out back in July. We got a little confused with the chassis. We’re finally turning the corner and we’ll have great hot rods for next year.

“Hopefully this gets me back in the groove. There’s not a lot of room left (to improve), but there were a couple of places that were not quite perfect, so if we can brush them up we’ve got a shot (to stay No. 1).”

Hines strengthened his hold on the top spot in the Pro Stock Motorcycle field by pushing his Screamin’ Eagle Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson to a performance of 6.838 at 196.10. He posted a 6.872 in Thursday’s first round.

“I didn’t think the round was going to be as quick as it was (because of marginal conditions for the motorcycles) so it was surprising to see some of the numbers that were coming up,” said Hines, who won this event last year. “We got pretty much all of it on that run. I don’t know how much more we can improve on that. It was pretty good all the way down the track.”

No. 2 qualifier Eddie Krawiec, Hines’ teammate, will win his second straight and third overall series title by qualifying for Sunday’s eliminations.

Friday’s results after the first two of four rounds of qualifying for the 48th annual Automobile Club of Southern California NHRA Finals at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona, final of 23 events in the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series. Qualifying will continue Saturday for Sunday’s final eliminations.

Top Fuel — 1. Morgan Lucas, 3.761 seconds, 324.98 mph; 2. Khalid alBalooshi, 3.781, 324.20; 3. David Grubnic, 3.787, 322.27; 4. Spencer Massey, 3.791, 325.69; 5. Bob Vandergriff, 3.802, 323.50; 6. Antron Brown, 3.804, 321.27; 7. Clay Millican, 3.804, 320.66; 8. Doug Kalitta, 3.805, 326.08; 9. Tony Schumacher, 3.807, 307.44; 10. Cory McClenathan, 3.892, 312.50; 11. Steve Torrence, 3.902, 252.19; 12. Mike Salinas, 3.947, 303.50. Not Qualified: 13. Terry McMillen, 3.997, 271.35; 14. Shawn Langdon, 4.063, 289.45; 15. Brandon Bernstein, 4.177, 219.29; 16. Steven Chrisman, 4.220, 228.34; 17. Chris Karamesines, 4.937, 136.43; 18. Troy Buff, 7.016, 79.58; 19. J.R. Todd, 8.466, 71.80; 20. T.J. Zizzo, broke.

Funny Car — 1. Jack Beckman, Dodge Charger, 4.025, 319.75; 2. Courtney Force, Ford Mustang, 4.032, 315.93; 3. Jim Head, Toyota Solara, 4.056, 306.40; 4. Cruz Pedregon, Toyota Camry, 4.059, 311.85; 5. Johnny Gray, Charger, 4.060, 313.22; 6. Mike Neff, Mustang, 4.062, 313.66; 7. Paul Lee, Charger, 4.082, 308.28; 8. Robert Hight, Mustang, 4.096, 311.56; 9. Matt Hagan, Charger, 4.100, 308.50; 10. Grant Downing, Charger, 4.108, 308.35; 11. Jeff Arend, Camry, 4.127, 309.27; 12. Tim Wilkerson, Mustang, 4.128, 302.35. Not Qualified: 13. Bob Tasca III, 4.157, 304.74; 14. John Force, 4.212, 309.06; 15. Tommy Johnson Jr., 4.374, 285.05; 16. Ron Capps, 4.700, 183.77; 17. Josh Crawford, 4.840, 180.77; 18. Todd Lesenko, 5.012, 153.68; 19. Tony Pedregon, 6.089, 100.32; 20. Terry Haddock, 7.139, 93.40; 21. Bob Bode, 7.451, 80.82; 22. Alexis DeJoria, 7.976, 76.95.

Pro Stock — 1. Greg Anderson, Chevy Camaro, 6.527, 211.76; 2. Allen Johnson, Dodge Avenger, 6.537, 211.56; 3. Jason Line, Camaro, 6.539, 212.19; 4. V. Gaines, Avenger, 6.544, 211.49; 5. Erica Enders, Chevy Cobalt, 6.550, 211.59; 6. Vincent Nobile, Avenger, 6.567, 210.60; 7. Ron Krisher, Pontiac GXP, 6.577, 210.05; 8. Shane Gray, GXP, 6.588, 209.98; 9. Warren Johnson, GXP, 6.588, 209.20; 10. Rodger Brogdon, Camaro, 6.589, 209.07; 11. Greg Stanfield, Camaro, 6.591, 209.52; 12. Mike Edwards, GXP, 6.597, 210.24. Not Qualified: 13. JR Carr, 6.601, 209.04; 14. Chris McGaha, 6.602, 208.49; 15. Jeg Coughlin, 6.603, 209.69; 16. Kurt Johnson, 6.603, 209.49; 17. Mark Wolfe, 6.623, 208.52; 18. Deric Kramer, 6.635, 207.53; 19. Larry Morgan, 6.645, 207.53; 20. Steve Kalkowski, 6.734, 206.80; 21. Jerry Eckman, 6.835, 203.25.

Pro Stock Motorcycle — 1. Andrew Hines, Harley-Davidson, 6.838, 196.10; 2. Eddie Krawiec, Harley-Davidson, 6.874, 196.19; 3. Scotty Pollacheck, Buell, 6.876, 191.29; 4. Matt Smith, Buell, 6.882, 193.43; 5. LE Tonglet, Suzuki, 6.883, 193.90; 6. Hector Arana Jr, Buell, 6.889, 194.49; 7. Hector Arana, Buell, 6.891, 193.52; 8. Karen Stoffer, Suzuki, 6.907, 191.95; 9. Chip Ellis, Buell, 6.924, 192.06; 10. Steve Johnson, Suzuki, 6.927, 193.40; 11. John Hall, Buell, 6.931, 190.78; 12. Michael Ray, Buell, 6.952, 188.44. Not Qualified: 13. GT Tonglet, 6.999, 191.48; 14. Michael Phillips, 7.025, 189.23; 15. Katie Sullivan, 7.031, 183.07; 16. Shawn Gann, 7.045, 191.46; 17. Mike Berry, 7.069, 187.99; 18. Jim Underdahl, 7.090, 191.48; 19. Redell Harris, 7.103, 187.83; 20. Freddie Camarena, 7.104, 189.63; 21. Matt Guidera, 7.118, 183.84; 22. Wesley Wells, 7.124, 186.92; 23. James Surber, 7.152, 183.92; 24. Rhett Lougheed, 7.368, 145.27; 25. Kieth Burley, 7.805, 185.46.

Info Manager | , RacinToday.com Friday, November 9 2012
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