Beckman Sets National Record in Reading Quals
Jason Line raced his way to the no. 1 spot in Pro Stock, while Pro Stock Motorcycle points leader Eddie Krawiec grabbed his second-straight pole.
Just one week after his win at St. Louis, “Fast” Jack Beckman showed just how he earned his nickname, turning in a jaw-dropping 3.989 run in Friday’s session that went untouched during Saturday’s sessions to earn him his second-straight no.1 qualifier and fourth of the season.
In Saturday’s opening round, Beckman ran a 4.003 which was quick enough to certify Friday’s run as a new National Record – topping the mark of 3.995 set by Matt Hagan at zMax Dragway in September of 2011.
If the record holds through Sunday’s eliminations, Beckman would earn a 20-point bonus in the championship standings, where he currently sits second behind points leader Ron Capps.
"We want to win the championship,” said Beckman, who will face Mike Smith in the opening round of eliminations. “Some people would tell you they want to win at all costs and I’m not one of those people. We want to win because we did everything right out there and we want the other cars to be at their prime. We’d like to do it the right way.”
Cruz Pedregon regained the second spot with a run of 3.997 at 313.80 mph in Saturday’s first session, followed by Mike Neff (4.017/318.84), Johnny Gray (4.028/319.60) and Courtney Force (4.028/319.60).
Countdown contender Tim Wilkerson failed to qualify for the event, as did Blake Alexander. Mike Smith took the bump spot and will face Beckman in the first round.
Grubnic’s run also set the track ET record, as well as his own personal best low ET of his career.
“It’s good to be back in the No. 1 spot,” Grubnic said. “When I started with Connie [Kalitta] in 2004, we were No. 1 qualifier five times that year, and so it’s great to be back in that position. Not only that, but [teammate] Doug Kalitta running 331 miles per hour side-by-side with me. It’s great for the team, great for Connie, great for all the guys that work on the car, and great for our sponsors.”
Grubnic will open Sunday’s eliminations against Ike Maier, looking to match Saturday’s performance to certify a new National Record.
Morgan Lucas moved up a spot to take the second position, clocking in at 3.733 at 330.96 mph. Tony Schumacher was third with a 3.736 at 325.14 mph while Doug Kalitta moved up to fourth with a 3.739 at 331.45 mph to set a new track speed record. Shawn Langdon rounded out the top five with a 3.753 at 328.38 mph. Rit Pustari was the only driver who failed to qualify.
Line, second in points to series leader Allen Johnson, will be looking for his second-straight Reading victory – starting with an opening round matchup against Shane Gray.
“Tomorrow should be interesting, and fun to watch,” Line said. “Especially if it’s cold out and we could set a new national record. Those 20 points could really come in handy.”
Erica Enders was second, going 6.538 at 211.39 mph. Dave Connolly (6.539/211.76), V. Gaines (6.544/211.00) and Greg Anderson (6.544/200.38) rounded out the top five. Points leader Allen Johnson fell from second to sixth in the final round.
Lewis Worden and John Gaydosh, Jr. missed the field.
Pro Stock Motorcycle points leader Eddie Krawiec held the no.1 spot over his teammate second-place points challenger Andrew Hines at earn his fourth top qualifier of the year.
After watching Hines just barely miss topping his earlier qualifying run, Krawiec took to the track as the final qualifier of the afternoon and ran a 6.799 at 196.56 mph to solidify his top spot. He will face Craig Trebel in the opening round.
“I have a good race day bike,” said Krawiec, who will meet veteran rider Craig Treble in the first round. “I think it’s just consistently getting it down the track, getting it off the starting line and going. I’m going to do the best I can. I am just going to look for good green lights and I think the rest will come.”
Hines took second, running 6.824 at 195.93 mph. Hector Arana (63834/194.46), Hector Arana, Jr. (6.823/195.70) and LE Tonglet (6.877/193.43) made up the rest of the top five. Connie Cohen was the lone non-qualifier.
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