By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher
Infinite Hero Foundation Funny Car pilot Jack Beckman is the provisional No. 1 qualifier following Friday’s action. Beckman went 3.891 at 321.42 mph in his Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat at the 10th annual NGK Spark Plugs NHRA Four-Wide Nationals at zMAX Dragway in Concord, North Carolina.
Beckman’s pass was part of the NHRA’s Friday Prime Time Night of Fire. Besides racing, there was pyrotechnics and special music for each driver.
“I forgot about the fire. And I found myself having a very ‘fan’ moment in the race car,” said Beckman. “This is just one of those moments. I thought, this is my job. I get strapped into a nitro Funny Car and they’re making a big deal out of this. They’re playing my song. They’re putting fireworks out there. And then we’re going to fire the car up.
“And you don’t want to go through all that and be lackluster. The icing on the cake was to have the car run as good as it did. I don’t know if the 3.89 will hold, but it gives the other teams something to shoot for. And more importantly, it gives us something to shoot for.”
Behind Beckman was Robert Hight, who has three wins so far. The Yorba Linda, California native, the President of John Force Racing, went 3.935 at 285.11 for the provisional No. 2 spot.
“The Surfer” Jeff Diehl is a surprising provisional No. 3 qualifier. The Salinas, California native went 4.426 at 216.00.
Part-timer Dave Richards is another surprising Top 5 provisional qualifier, as he has the No. 4 spot. The Wellington, Florida native went 5.202 at 148.01 mph.
Bob Tasca III was the provisional No. 5 qualifier in his Ford Motorcraft/Quick Lane ride. The Hope, Rhode Island native went 6.564 at 98.16 mph.
The rest of the field panned out like this:
6. Tim Wilkerson, Mustang, 7.520, 95.51
7. Dale Creasy Jr., Dodge Stratus, 7.711, 86.30
8. Tommy Johnson Jr., Charger, 7.978, 89.94
9. Matt Hagan, Charger, 8.233, 122.09
10. John Force, Camaro, 8.714, 76.99
11. Shawn Langdon, Camry, 8.950, 73.04
12. Cruz Pedregon, Charger, 8.966, 83.02
13. Jonnie Lindberg, Mustang, 9.198, 68.19
14.Jim Campbell, Charger, 10.064, 62.98
15. J.R. Todd, Camry, 14.099, 70.50
16. Ron Capps, Charger, 15.585, 62.61.
17. Bob Bode, broke
18. Bob Gilbertson, broke
19. Terry Haddock, broke