Dodge SRT Hellcat driver Jack Beckman has his sights firmly set on NHRA Funny Car’s top prize at Pomona




November 13, 2019 12:13 PM

Dodge SRT Hellcat driver Jack Beckman has his sights firmly set on NHRA Funny Car’s top prize at Pomona

The Don Schumacher Racing driver trails points leader Robert Hight by just 46 points.

Mike Pryson



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NHRA/National Dragster

Jack Beckman has just one win this season, but he’s firmly in the championship picture this weekend at Pomona.

Jack Beckman heads into the 2019 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series’ Auto Club NHRA Finals at Pomona sitting in second place in the Funny Car standings.
He also has no interest in leaving Pomona in second place.
Beckman, the 2012 Funny Car champion and driver of the Infinite Hero Foundation Dodge SRT Hellcat, is sandwiched between points leader Robert Hight of John Force Racing and Beckman’s teammate Matt Hagan. Hight holds a 46-point lead over Beckman and 56 points over Hagan. John Force is also lurking in fourth place, 72 points out of first place.
A round win this weekend is worth 30 points. And Beckman knows the math.

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“If we win the race and Robert is not in the final next to us, we win the championship,” Beckman said. “I’m not looking at Matt or John Force behind us because we want to finish first. We’re not trying to defend the second place position. 
“So, our goal right now is to maximize qualifying points, execute perfectly on race day and hope that the ladder falls in such a way that we pair up with Robert before the final round.”
Sounds simple enough. Then again, Beckman, a 29-time race winner, has been here before. In fact, each of the top four contenders has won championships — Force has 17, Hight and Hagan have two, while Beckman has one.
“I’m not sure that I could ever top the first Funny Car championship I won, just like I’m not sure I could ever top the first Super Comp championship (in 2003) I won,” Beckman said. “The first is always going to be incredibly special and significant. That being said, to go six more years and come close a couple of times and not the seal the deal makes you realize exactly how tough it is to win a championship.
“When (John) Force was winning all of those championships in the late 1990s, early 2000s, even he’ll tell you he kind of took it for granted for a little while. It seemed easy to do. Well, I am firmly aware of how incredibly difficult it is to do, and to do it with the Infinite Hero cause on the side of the car would be special for so many extra reasons there. A second Funny Car championship would mean the world to me.”

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