Beckman gets 2nd Funny Car win of the season

  • Herald news services
  • Sunday, August 17, 2008 4:36pm
  • SportsSports

MOHNTON, Pa. – In a final round that matched teacher against student, Funny Car driver Jack Beckman raced to his second win of the season on Sunday at the Toyo Tires NHRA Nationals.

Tony Schumacher, Jeg Coughlin, and Matt Smith also were winners at the 17th of 24 events on the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series.

Beckman drove his Dodge Charger R/T to a 4.183-second run at 291.57 mph past Frank Hawley for his first win at Maple Grove. Hawley, who owns a drag racing school, employs Beckman as a drag racing instructor.

“Racing Frank Hawley was huge,” said Beckman. “It’s like a little league pitcher that’s just a huge fan of the sport and they bring up Mickey Mantle to play ball with you. Frank has meant so much to the sport and having him back in the sport is only going to make it better.”

The weekend ended with all 10 spots in the Funny Car Countdown to the Championship playoffs claimed. By the end of the weekend, John and Ashley Force, Gary Densham, Beckman, Mike Neff and Ron Capps had all received their invitations.

In yet another dominant performance, Schumacher drove his dragster to a 3.845 pass at 313.88. It was Schumacher’s 10th win of the season and fifth straight. The win also moved Schumacher within one win of Top Fuel legend Joe Amato, who holds the all- time wins record at 52.

“This has simply been incredible,” said Schumacher. “There really aren’t any words to describe it. It has been a gift of a year. Of all the years, this has been the most dominant we’ve ever been. It’s just an awesome car.”

Doug Herbert clinched his spot in the Countdown to 1, while ninth and 10th place drivers Dave Grubnic and Doug Kalitta, Kalitta Motorsports teammates, sit in the final two open spots in the category. Those final invitations will be issued after the Mac Tools U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis in two weeks.

In Pro Stock, Cagnazzi teammates Jeg Coughlin and Dave Connolly met in the final round, but it was Coughlin who drove his Chevy Cobalt to an easy win at 6.650 at 206.39 after Connolly fouled out on the starting line. It was Coughlin’s second win of the season and 40th of his career.

“We were pretty fortunate here today,” said Coughlin. “To have Kurt Johnson and Dave Connolly both go red against you isn’t something you expect and we’ll take it, that’s for sure.”

Though Connolly finished second in the event, he clinched his spot in the Countdown to 1 playoffs along with Mike Edwards and V Gaines.

Smith grabbed his fourth win of the year in Pro Stock Motorcycle, riding his Buell to a 6.957 at 188.81 past runner-up Angelle Sampey.

“We had the fastest bike every round today,” said Smith. “We got over the transmission problems that we had Saturday and we really got it done today.”

Sampey, Matt Guidera, Eddie Krawiec, and Chris Rivas all clinched a spot in the Countdown to 1.

Sunday at Maple Grove Raceway

Mohnton, Pa.

Final Placings

TOP FUEL — 1, Tony Schumacher. 2, Larry Dixon. 3, Clay Millican. 4, Antron Brown. 5, Brandon Bernstein. 6, Morgan Lucas. 7, Rod Fuller. 8, David Grubnic. 9, Cory McClenathan. 10, Hillary Will. 11, Doug Foley. 12, Doug Kalitta. 13, Bob Vandergriff. 14, J.R. Todd. 15, Doug Herbert.

FUNNY CAR — 1, Jack Beckman, Dodge Charger. 2, Frank Hawley. 3, Cruz Pedregon. 4, Mike Neff. 5, Tony Pedregon. 6, Del Worsham. 7, John Force. 8, Ashley Force. 9, Gary Densham. 10, Jim Head. 11, Tim Wilkerson. 12, Bob Tasca III. 13, Melanie Troxel. 14, Robert Hight. 15, Tommy Johnson Jr. 16, Ron Capps.

PRO STOCK — 1, Jeg Coughlin, Chevy Cobalt. 2, Dave Connolly. 3, Allen Johnson. 4, Kurt Johnson. 5, Greg Anderson. 6, Justin Humphreys. 7, Larry Morgan. 8, Jim Yates. 9, Jason Line. 10, Mike Edwards. 11, Richie Stevens. 12, V. Gaines. 13, Ron Krisher. 14, Warren Johnson. 15, Rickie Jones. 16, Greg Stanfield.

PRO STOCK MOTORCYCLE — 1, Matt Smith. 2, Angelle Sampey. 3, Steve Johnson. 4, Karen Stoffer. 5, Chip Ellis. 6, Eddie Krawiec. 7, Chris Rivas. 8, Craig Treble. 9, Andrew Hines. 10, Matt Guidera. 11, Hector Arana. 12, Paul Gast. 13, Shawn Gann. 14, Junior Pippin. 15, Wes Wells. 16, Angie McBride.

Finals

TOP FUEL — Tony Schumacher, 3.845 seconds, 313.88 mph def. Larry Dixon, 3.891 seconds, 302.35 mph.

FUNNY CAR — Jack Beckman, Dodge Charger, 4.183, 291.57 def. Frank Hawley, Charger, 6.967, 95.08.

PRO STOCK — Jeg Coughlin, Chevy Cobalt, 6.650, 206.39 def. Dave Connolly, Cobalt, foul.

PRO STOCK MOTORCYCLE — Matt Smith, Buell, 6.957, 188.81 def. Angelle Sampey, Buell, 7.061, 186.28.

TOP ALCOHOL DRAGSTER — Marty Thacker, 5.397, 267.00 def. Mike Lewis, 5.762, 261.22.

TOP ALCOHOL FUNNY CAR — Frank Manzo, Chevy Monte Carlo, 5.601, 259.26 def. Eric Lourie, Chevy Camaro, 5.737, 248.80.

SUPER STOCK — Dan Fletcher, Chevy Camaro, 9.311, 138.02 def. Anthony Bertozzi, Pontiac Grand Am, 9.176, 144.57.

STOCK ELIMINATOR — Anthony Fetch, Chevy Camaro, 11.213, 113.15 def. David Ficacci, Camaro, 10.359, 127.45.

SUPER COMP — Jeff Strickland, Dragster, 8.917, 156.21 def. Richard Dorr, Dragster, 8.887, 170.92.

SUPER GAS — Iggie Boicesco, Chevy Corvette, 9.904, 165.62 def. Tom Goldman, Corvette, 9.880, 144.97.

Driver Standings

TOP FUEL: 1, Tony Schumacher, 1,650. 2, Antron Brown, 1,124. 3, Larry Dixon, 1,082. 4, Cory McClenathan, 1,019. 5, Rod Fuller, 1,015. 6, Brandon Bernstein, 974. 7, Hillary Will, 907. 8, Doug Herbert, 843. 9, David Grubnic, 736. 10, Doug Kalitta, 732.

FUNNY CAR: 1, Tim Wilkerson, 1,189. 2, Tony Pedregon, 1,066. 3, Robert Hight, 1,000. 4, Cruz Pedregon, 958. 5, Ashley Force, 922. 6, John Force, 871. 7, Gary Densham, 859. 8, Ron Capps, 840. 9, Jack Beckman, 836. 10, Mike Neff, 796.

PRO STOCK: 1, Greg Anderson, 1,222. 2, Kurt Johnson, 1,185. 3, Jeg Coughlin, 1,129. 4, Jason Line, 1,090. 5, Allen Johnson, 1,008. 6, Dave Connolly, 868. 7, Mike Edwards, 865. 8, V. Gaines, 864. 9, Ron Krisher, 794. 10, Greg Stanfield, 770.

PRO STOCK MOTORCYCLE — 1, Matt Smith, 922. 2, Andrew Hines, 849. 3, Chip Ellis, 774. 4, Angelle Sampey, 668. 5, Chris Rivas, 662. 6, Eddie Krawiec, 643. 7, Matt Guidera, 626. 8, Craig Treble, 554. 9, Steve Johnson, 541. 10, Karen Stoffer, 487.

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