Monday, June 29, 2009

Hornaday, Dixon, Beckman winners

It was a good weekend for racers with Southern California roots.
Ron Hornaday Jr. won in Memphis. Larry Dixon and Jack Beckman won in Norwalk, Ohio.
Hornaday won the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Memphis Motorsports Park on Saturday. It was his third win of the season, the 42nd of his career and helped him pad his lead in the Truck Series standings to 76 points.
“This has been a pretty commanding truck,” said Hornaday, driver of the No. 33 Chevrolet Silverado for Kevin Harvick Inc. “I’m not sure what we keep doing to it, but we need to keep doing it.”
Hornaday has won two straight Truck Series races. He won the previous race at The Milwaukee. His 42 Truck Series wins are the most any driver in the series.
“This is pretty cool that I won the last Elvis trophy that they are going to have here,” Hornaday said. “I race for trophies and this has to be one of the nicest. I have to thank Longhorn, Kevin and DeLana (Harvick) and everyone else at KHI who makes racing these trucks possible. The last two weeks have been really fun and I look forward to a few weeks off before Kentucky.”
Beckman won the National Hot Rod Assn. funny car portion of the races at Summit Motorsports Park on Sunday. It was his second win of the season and snapped the two-race winning streak of Tony Pedregon.
Beckman beat Bob Tasca III with a .001 second reaction time in the final at Norwalk.
“In the final I made a mistake and got away with it, pure and simple,” said Beckman, a driver from North Hills and a driver for Don Schumacher Racing. “We had a good race car, [but] we were vulnerable. I’m not sure if this was the hottest track we raced on all year but [it was] 132 degrees. And with the new asphalt it was slippery down there, so I don’t think you were ever going to see anybody dominate.”
Beckman moved up to fourth in the funny car standings and earned the 130th national event win for Don Schumacher Racing.
Dixon continued his perfect season in final appearances in the NHRA top fuel division. He is 4-for-4 when he reaches the finals this year.
In Norwalk, Dixon faced Brandon Bernstein in the final and won the 47th NHRA top fuel race of his career.
“Four win lights at the end of the day, that’s what counts,” said Dixon, a Van Nuys High graduate and driver for Al-Anabi Racing. “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.”
Dixon moved into second place in the top fuel standings, leap-frogging Tony Schumacher, the reigning top fuel champion.
“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,” Dixon said. “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.”

Photo: Jack Beckman, a driver from North Hills, won the NHRA funny car portion of the races at Summit Motorsports Park in Norwalk, Ohio, on Sunday.

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