Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Beckman prepares for Gateway; Hornaday fourth at Kansas

Jack Beckman finally broke through with his first NHRA funny car win of the season. Now he heads to a track where he has never qualified for the elimination rounds.
Beckman, a driver from North Hills, won the NHRA funny car final at Atlanta Dragway in Georgia two weeks ago. The NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series is at Gateway International Raceway this weekend. In two previous trips to Gateway as a funny car driver, Beckman has failed to qualify into the Sunday elimination rounds.
“There's nowhere to go but up,” said Beckman, a driver for Don Schumacher Racing. “It’s always nice getting back in the car after a win because even though it doesn’t make a difference mechanically, or to the race track, it’s a mental high psychologically for the crew. We all can’t wait to get back in there and try to continue our streak in St. Louis and break the so-called Gateway jinx.”
Beckman enters the Gateway races second in the funny car standings. He trails teammate Ron Capps by 69 points. Ashley Force Hood, a driver from John Force Racing, is third in the funny car standings, one point behind Beckman.
“It's all good,” Beckman said. “It’s nothing but positive going in there. I talked to the guys in the DSR shop and everybody is still standing eight feel tall after getting that first win. That’s the first taste of blood for the year and you want it again and you want it quick.”

Ron Hornaday Jr. was fourth in the rain-delayed NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Kansas Speedway on Monday. Mike Skinner won the race, followed by Johnny Benson and Brian Scott. Brian Ickler, a driver from San Diego, was fifth.
“I thought our pit strategy was going to work out,” said Hornaday, driver of the No. 33 Chevrolet Silverado for Kevin Harvick Inc. “We had the freshest tires of anyone out there. Rick Ren (crew chief) made a good call. Had we have gone to the end of this thing; I think we would have been the truck they were all chasing. It’s really frustrating to race this way, but you can’t control Mother Nature. I just want to thank all of my guys on this Copart team. I had an awesome truck, I just hate we didn’t get the chance to show what we had there at the end.”
Hornaday moved into second place in the Truck Series standings, 25 points behind Skinner.

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