Jack Beckman ended a 54-race winless streak by racing to the Funny Car victory Sunday at the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals at zMAX Dragway.
Antron Brown in Top Fuel, Larry Morgan in Pro Stock, and Andrew Hines in Pro Stock Motorcycle also were winners at the unique event that features NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series teams racing in a four-lane configuration.
Beckman powered his 10,000-horsepower machine to the quickest run of the weekend to take the victory over rival finalists Del Worsham, Chad Head and Tommy Johnson Jr. Beckman pulled away from the pack with a final round performance of 3.983 seconds at 308.78 miles per hour at the controls of his Dodge Charger R/T.
Beckman’s last victory came in St. Louis in 2012. It was his second win at this event, third win at this track and 16th career victory.
“I can’t guarantee we’ll win another race this season,” said Beckman, the 2012 Funny Car world champion. “I think we will, but I can’t say for 100 percent. But, I know for sure we’ll be better than we were today. Jimmy [Prock, crew chief] and the team will be even better the rest of the year because they’re getting better every race. All the little things are coming together and now the car is doing what they hope it will.”
Beckman moved to seventh in points with the win. He also won in earlier quads, beating Ron Capps, Johnson Jr. and Paul Lee in the opening round and then defeating Johnson Jr., John Force and Robert Hight in the second round.
Worsham moved into the series points lead with his second runner-up finish of the season.
In Top Fuel, Brown claimed his second consecutive victory at this event when he defeated Steve Torrence, Richie Crampton and Clay Millican. Brown crossed the finish line first in his dragster with a 3.749 at 319.90, to take his 48th career victory. By joining Beckman in the winner’s circle the duo gave team owner Don Schumacher his 44th multiple-title event.
“It’s been an incredible run at this race,” Brown said. “You have to dig deep to win races like this. We’ve had a long road with a new combination. We’ve had some gremlins, but in the final we laid down the gauntlet to bring the win home. It was also huge for the boss man [Don Schumacher] to double up. I hope we can keep that streak going for him.”
Brown won his opening round quad against Dave Connolly, J.R. Todd and Shawn Langdon with a 3.771-second run and then earned a wild pedal-fest victory in the second round over Torrence, Doug Kalitta and Connolly.
Brown moved into the series points lead with the victory, ahead of reigning world champ Tony Schumacher and third-place Langdon.
Veteran driver Morgan ended a 120-race drought from winner’s circle in Pro Stock when he held off Greg Anderson, Vincent Nobile and Jonathan Gray in the final round. He drove his Chevy Camaro to a career-best 6.464 at 214.52 in the winning effort.
“I knew I was still good enough to let the clutch out,” said Morgan of his 11th career victory, and his first win since Las Vegas in October of 2009. “I knew I could still drive. I just needed to get the right financial backing and hook up with Johnny Gray to get some horsepower. Jerry Haas built me a new car in 30 days, and a lot of other great people helped me get to the winner’s circle today. I’ve surrounded myself with good people, and that’s how you win. It wasn’t just one guy who won today, it was a team effort.”
Morgan advanced with a second place finish in the opening round against Jason Line, Rodger Brogdon and John Gaydosh. He finished first in the second round match against Vincent Nobile, defending event winner Jimmy Alund and Line.
Line moved into the points lead and Morgan jumped from ninth to seventh in the standings with his win.
In Pro Stock Motorcycle, reigning world champ Hines claimed his first win of the season and 39th of his career by outrunning Eddie Krawiec, Scotty Pollacheck and Hector Arana Jr. Hines claimed his second Four-Wide victory and his fourth at this track with a winning performance of 6.805 at 196.30 on his Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson.
“We got on the dyno last week and tried a few things,” Hines said. “We followed through and my V-Rod got us to the final round. We just went out and did what our team does best.”
Hines won his first round quad over Mike Berry, Brian Pretzel and Karen Stoffer and also finished first in the second round quad by outrunning Scotty Pollacheck, Berry and Matt Smith.
Krawiec moved into the series lead with his second consecutive runner-up finish of the season and Hines is second overall in the series standings.
The NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series continues April 10-12 with the SummitRacing.com NHRA Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in Nevada.
Sunday’s race was the fourth of 24 in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series.
Pro Stock Championship Point Standings
1. Jason Line 359 2. Roger Brogdon 316 3. Greg Anderson 299 4. Erica Enders-Stevens 268 5. Drew Skillman 266
Funny Car Championship Point Standings
1. Del Worsham 305 2. Matt Hagan 303 3. Ron Capps 279 4. Tommy Johnson Jr. 239 5. Robert Hight 230
Top Fuel Championship Point Standings
1. Antron Brown 354 2. Tony Schumacher 328 3. Shawn Langdon 312 4. Spencer Massey 286 5. Doug Kalitta 238