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Beckman’s Record Run Earns Pole In Las Vegas

| , RacinToday.com Sunday, October 29 2017

Jack Beckman picked up the Funny Car pole on Saturday.


“Fast” Jack Beckman set both ends of the Funny Car track record at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway Saturday to secure pole position as qualifying concluded for the 17th annual NHRA Toyota Nationals.

Tony Schumacher (Top Fuel), Greg Anderson (Pro Stock) and Eddie Krawiec (Pro Stock Motorcycle) held serve from Friday to clinch No. 1 qualifiers in their respective categories at the fifth of six events in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Countdown to the Championship playoffs.

Beckman’s 1,000-foot pass of 3.854-seconds at 335.57 mph in his Infinite Hero Foundation Dodge Charger R/T secured his first pole of the season and 22nd of his career. The 2012 world champion will chase his third victory of 2017 and 27th of his career during final eliminations on Sunday. FOX Sports 1 will air a one-hour qualifying show Sunday at 3 p.m. (EDT), followed by three hours of live finals coverage at 4 p.m.

“I think we’ve got a great hot rod right now,” said Beckman, of Don Schumacher Racing. “It’s always nice before eliminations to eat a little bit at the lead of the car ahead of you and to put a little bit of distance to the ones behind you.”

Beckman _ whose team is funded by Terry and Doug Chandler and led by crew chiefs Dean Antonelli, John Medlen and Neal Strausbaugh _ heads into Sunday 177 points behind DSR teammate Ron Capps. The reigning world champ, Capps and his NAPA Auto Parts Dodge tuned by crew chief Rahn Tobler and assistant Eric Lane extended their lead by one point to 25 over 2009 world champ Robert Hight of John Force Racing.

“Guido (Antonelli) always says have fun, and I got on the radio and said a 3.85 would be fun. Turned out we were right on that one,” Beckman said. “That’s right what they were shooting for. We unloaded with an 8.00 (second run in the first session) and lolled everyone into a false sense of security, and then got three points each session after that for being the quickest.

“I don’t know if that will decide a championship and I don’t know if we can catch Hight or Capps, but it sure as heck could decide third place. We’re not very far behind Courtney Force (one point) and we don’t want to look over our shoulders because there’s three cars right behind us.”

Beckman will race Jim Campbell to open eliminations Sunday. Courtney Force, who qualified second in her Advance Auto Parts Chevrolet Camaro SS with a pass of 3.878-seconds at 331.77 mph, will race Jeff Arend. Point-leader Hight qualified third and will face Tim Wilkerson in the opening round.

Schumacher, the winningest driver in Top Fuel history, locked-in the No. 1 spot after wheeling his U.S. Army dragster to a 1,000-foot track record elapsed-time of 3.673-seconds at 332.67 mph on Friday. “The Sarge,” an eight-time world champion, posted his fourth pole of the season and 84th of his career.

“We’ve got the points, we made a good run and that really gives me the confidence,” Schumacher said. “The crew chiefs (Mike Green and assistant Phil Shuler) are making calls and the car is reacting. That’s more important than the numbers and where you qualify. We need to go out there and win that trophy.”

Schumacher will face Troy Buff in Round One Sunday. Point-leader Steve Torrence qualified his Capco Contractors/Torrence Racing dragster in the No. 2 spot with a run of 3.694-seconds at 330.15 mph en route to a pairing against Terry Haddock.

Pro Stock point-leader Anderson secured his fifth pole of the season and 92nd of his career via a quarter-mile pass in 6.663-seconds at 205.35 mph in his Summit Racing Equipment Chevrolet Camaro from Friday evening.

“It’s fun to be here in Vegas when you look and both sides of the grandstands are full,” said Anderson, a four-time world champion. “We’re having fun and having a good time. Las Vegas is my team owner’s (Ken Black) home track and it just means a whole lot more to me. I’ve had a lot of special weekends here and look forward to making another one.”

Anderson will line up against Alan Prusiensky and his Dodge Dart to begin eliminations. Drew Skillman qualified in the No. 2 spot with a 6.664-second pass at 205.32 mph in his Ray Skillman Camaro and will take on Deric Kramer.

Krawiec, the Pro Stock Motorcycle point-leader, secured his fifth pole of the season and 38th of his career via his Friday evening quarter-mile pass of 6.936-seconds at 191.76 mph aboard his Screamin’ Eagle Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson Street Rod.

“I’m happy with how the bike is performing,” said Krawiec, a three-time world champion. “I just need to go out there and stay focused and race. We need to turn on those win lights since that’s what gets you points. That is all I’m concerned about right now.”

Krawiec will face John Hall and his Buell in Round 1. Hector Arana Jr. is in the second spot with a 6.940-second pass at 191.87 mph aboard his Lucas Oil Buell and will line up against Katie Sullivan and her Suzuki. LE Tonglet, the 2009 world champ, is third aboard his Nitro Fish Racing Suzuki.

Sunday’s first-round pairings for eliminations at the 17th annual NHRA Toyota Nationals, the 23rd of 24 events in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series and fifth of six races in the Countdown to the Championship playoffs. Pairings based upon results in qualifying, which ended Saturday. DNQs listed below pairings:

Top Fuel _ 1. Tony Schumacher, 3.673-seconds, 332.67 mph vs. 16. Troy Buff, 3.978, 260.01; 2. Steve Torrence, 3.694, 330.15 vs. 15. Terry Haddock, 3.953, 286.25; 3. Clay Millican, 3.707, 311.99 vs. 14. Mike Salinas, 3.890, 315.86; 4. Brittany Force, 3.722, 327.51 vs. 13. Shawn Reed, 3.854, 315.64; 5. Doug Kalitta, 3.735, 324.83 vs. 12. Scott Palmer, 3.812, 318.92; 6. Terry McMillen, 3.736, 326.40 vs. 11. Richie Crampton, 3.779, 301.60; 7. Shawn Langdon, 3.742, 319.98 vs. 10. Antron Brown, 3.760, 325.61; 8. Leah Pritchett, 3.742, 324.20 vs. 9. T.J. Zizzo, 3.758, 327.35.

Funny Car _ 1. Jack Beckman, Dodge Charger, 3.854, 335.57 vs. 16. Jim Campbell, Charger, 4.089, 313.00; 2. Courtney Force, Chevy Camaro, 3.878, 331.77 vs. 15. Jeff Arend, Chevy Monte Carlo, 4.075, 303.71; 3. Robert Hight, Camaro, 3.880, 329.99 vs. 14. Tim Wilkerson, Ford Mustang, 4.029, 315.34; 4. Matt Hagan, Charger, 3.882, 330.88 vs. 13. Gary Densham, Mustang, 3.999, 317.87; 5. J.R. Todd, Toyota Camry, 3.884, 330.23 vs. 12. Del Worsham, Camry, 3.953, 287.60; 6. Ron Capps, Charger, 3.896, 326.56 vs. 11. John Force, Camaro, 3.928, 328.14; 7. Cruz Pedregon, Camry, 3.897, 329.67 vs. 10. Alexis DeJoria, Camry, 3.926, 326.71; 8. Jonnie Lindberg, Camry, 3.916, 322.50 vs. 9. Tommy Johnson Jr., Charger, 3.922, 325.77.

Did Not Qualify _ 17. Bob Bode, 4.257, 294.37; 18. Jeff Diehl, 4.641, 189.98; 19. Tim Gibbons, 5.448, 137.96.

Pro Stock _ 1. Greg Anderson, Chevy Camaro, 6.663, 205.35 vs. 16. Alan Prusiensky, Dodge Dart, 6.744, 204.14; 2. Drew Skillman, Camaro, 6.664, 206.16 vs. 15. Deric Kramer, Dart, 6.743, 204.20; 3. Bo Butner, Camaro, 6.672, 205.57 vs. 14. Shane Tucker, Camaro, 6.741, 204.98; 4. Jason Line, Camaro, 6.679, 205.82 vs. 13. Larry Morgan, Camaro, 6.740, 204.82; 5. Jeg Coughlin Jr., Camaro, 6.686, 205.98 vs. 12. Brian Self, Camaro, 6.728, 205.29; 6. Erica Enders, Camaro, 6.687, 206.42 vs. 11. Allen Johnson, Dart, 6.717, 204.42; 7. Tanner Gray, Camaro, 6.694, 204.45 vs. 10. Alex Laughlin, Camaro, 6.701, 205.13; 8. Chris McGaha, Camaro, 6.695, 206.32 vs. 9. Matt Hartford, Camaro, 6.696, 205.98.

Did Not Qualify _ 17. Kenny Delco, 6.769, 204.11; 18. Steve Graham, 6.771, 203.40; 19. Val Smeland, 6.842, 200.44; 20. Joey Grose, 6.911, 199.05.

Pro Stock Motorcycle _ 1. Eddie Krawiec, Harley-Davidson, 6.936, 191.76 vs. 16. John Hall, Buell, 7.039, 187.91; 2. Hector Arana Jr., Buell, 6.940, 192.55 vs. 15. Katie Sullivan, Suzuki, 7.038, 189.76; 3. LE Tonglet, Suzuki, 6.953, 192.36 vs. 14. Melissa Surber, Buell, 7.026, 188.67; 4. Andrew Hines, Harley-Davidson, 6.955, 193.82 vs. 13. Joey Gladstone, Suzuki, 7.017, 189.12; 5.Scotty Pollacheck, Suzuki, 6.958, 191.00 vs. 12. Matt Smith, Victory, 7.013, 189.66; 6. Angie Smith, Buell, 6.970, 190.92 vs. 11. Karen Stoffer, Suzuki, 7.002, 189.73; 7. Hector Arana, Buell, 6.973, 193.40 vs. 10. Mike Berry, Buell, 6.998, 189.39; 8. Jerry Savoie, Suzuki, 6.977, 191.73 vs. 9. Angelle Sampey, Victory, 6.977, 189.66.

Did Not Qualify _17. Steve Johnson, 7.055, 188.60; 18. Freddie Camarena, 7.067, 190.67; 19. Charles Sullivan, 7.090, 186.92; 20. Ron Tornow, 7.111, 187.68; 21. Cory Reed, 7.130, 184.80; 22. David Hope, 7.149, 182.08; 23. Mark Paquette, 7.175, 182.77; 24. Scott Bottorff, 7.183, 184.77; 25. Lance Bonham, 7.190, 185.69; 26. Andie Rawlings, 7.899, 166.97.


Shane Molinari raced to his third pole position of the season Saturday en route to a first-round win during eliminations of the J&A Service Pro Mod Drag Racing Series portion of the NHRA Toyota Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. This weekend’s Pro Mod racing, presented by Real Pro Mod Association, is the final event on the 2017 schedule.

Molinari posted a quarter-mile run of 5.801-seconds at 255.10 mph in his 1968 Pontiac Firebird to secure the No. 1 position. In eliminations, Molinari faced Danny Rowe in his 2016 Chevrolet Corvette and posted a winning run of 5.882-seconds at 252.47 mph to Rowe’s numbers of 5.933/243.63. When eliminations resume Sunday, Molinari will face Harry Hruska and his 2014 Chevrolet Camaro in pursuit of his second win of the year.

Meanwhile, the battle for the series crown will be settled between point-leader Troy Coughlin in his 2015 Corvette and Mike Castellana in his 2017 Camaro, each of whom won their respective first-round matchups. The title contenders will race each other in a decisive second round pairing.

Saturday’s Pro Modified results from the 17th annual NHRA Toyota Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, the final of 12 events in the NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series:

ROUND ONE _ Harry Hruska, Chevy Camaro, 5.864-seconds, 250.64 mph def. Steven Whiteley, Cadillac CTS-V, 5.888, 237.46; Jonathan Gray, Camaro, 5.864, 244.96 def. Khalid alBalooshi, Camaro, 5.940, 243.06; Mike Castellana, Camaro, 5.857, 248.48 def. Mike Janis, Camaro, Broke; Shane Molinari, Pontiac Firebird, 5.882, 252.47 def. Danny Rowe, Chevy Corvette, 5.933, 243.63; Troy Coughlin, Corvette, 5.808, 255.58 def. Sidnei Frigo, Corvette, 5.868, 252.47; Rickie Smith, Camaro, 5.863, 248.39 def. Michael Biehle, Ford Mustang, 6.193, 205.57; Dan Stevenson, Camaro, 6.894, 175.43 def. Bob Rahaim, Camaro, 9.689, 96.51; Steve Jackson, Camaro, 5.851, 245.36 def. Jim Whiteley, Camaro, 11.551, 111.65.


| , RacinToday.com Sunday, October 29 2017
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