Beckman leads NHRA Norwalk winners
Jack Beckman received a birthday gift as he raced to his second Funny Car victory of the season Sunday at the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals – a first for him at this track.
Larry Dixon, Jason Line and Andrew Hines also were winners of the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series event at Summit Racing Equipment Motorsports Park.
Beckman drove his Valvoline/Mail Terminal Services Charger to his second win of the season and moved to fourth in the Full Throttle Series points standings, by his nearly perfect .001 reaction time off the line against Bob Tasca. Beckman earned his eighth career victory with a performance of 4.315 at 277.54, while Tasca trailed in his Motorcraft Quicklane Ford Shelby Mustang with a 6.470 at 149.93.
"I think it's only on your birthday that you get away with what I got away with," said Beckman, who battled a head cold all weekend. "I made a mistake, pure and simple. We had a good car, but we were vulnerable. As I stepped on the throttle, I was looking down at the green light as I went by and it went green and I went, 'Wow, we're still very much in this thing.'
"We've been sliding down in points the last couple of weeks, so it was good to go from sixth to fourth. Our goal is to be a top-five car by Indy, and, more importantly, our goal is to be consistently quick come Indy. Once the points are reset anyone in the top five has a chance [to win the championships], and if you can hit your stride now, like we did last year heading into Denver, we're going to be in good shape for the summer months."
Dixon drove his Alan Johnson Al-Anabi Racing dragster to his fifth win of the season and first at this track with a performance of 3.981 at 294.54, while Bernstein smoked the tires in his Budweiser/ Lucas Oil dragster with a 7.257 at 94.06.
"Four win lights at the end of the day, that's what counts," said Dixon. "There were certain rounds that were not pretty, but at the same time, we were the quickest car every pair. I'm just real thankful to be able to get this win."
"The biggest thing is that [this is] a good team and they're working on trying to find the personality of all the brand new parts they have, and for me, it's trying to find my comfort zone within the team. Being underneath one camp for a long period of time and then you switch, it's different. It's taken me a little while to adapt and try to fit in and hold up my end of the bargain."
Line earned his fourth win of the season and 18th of his career in his Summit Racing Pontiac GXP at his sponsors home track, taking his place as 10th on the Pro Stock all-time list. This was the first race using teammate Greg Anderson's 2008 car after Lines' team had performance issues with his car.
"This was absolutely the biggest win for me, and it was a great time to do it," said Line. "We're tired of watching that yellow car win races, and we needed to get out there too. We just haven't done a good job lately. But we're starting to right the ship, and by Indy time, we're going to be strong. It's hopefully a sign of things to come for us, and it was a great day."
"My truck driver, Sonny McCurdy, he told me a couple weeks ago, 'Keep doing what you're doing, you'll keep getting what you're getting.' So we said, 'We've gotta change something up here because we've just been terrible, and we're a better team than that.' It was Rob's [Downing, crew chief] decision [to use Anderson's old car], and it was time. There was really nothing wrong with the other car, we just couldn't see the forest for the trees. So we made some changes, and obviously it's paid off for us. And it's going to get better."
In Pro Stock Motorcycle, Hines won his first race of the season, 16th of his career with a performance of 7.024 at 189.98 on his Lucas Oil Buell, to hold off fellow Screamin' Eagle Vance & Hines rider Eddie Krawiec, who finished in 7.032 at 190.78.
"It's been 19 or 20 races [since last win], and it feels good to do it with my teammate in the other lane; it made it that much better," said Hines, who also won here in 2007. "Eddie's been kicking my butt lately, so I hit the Tree hard in the semifinals when I had a bye, and in the final, I figured I had nothing to lose I hadn't been there in a while; if I go red, I go red. I threw everything I had at it because I knew I needed something against Eddie. It's good to finally be back on my game on the starting line.
The NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series continues with the 30th annual Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals, July 10-12, at scenic Bandimere Speedway near Denver.