Jack Beckman tops Funny Car qualifying at Atlanta Dragway

May 14, 2016

COMMERCE, Ga. (AP) Jack Beckman topped Funny Car qualifying Saturday in the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Southern Nationals at Atlanta Dragway.

The two-time Atlanta winner used his track-record 3.939-second run at 326.32 mph from Friday night in his Dodge Charger R/T night to earn his fourth No. 1 of the season and 19th of his career.

''I'm happy where we are, qualifying No. 1,'' said Beckman, the 2012 Funny Car season champion. ''It's nice for a little bit of prestige, you get some bonus points that go with it, and it's maybe even nicer because you get a more favorable matchup first round. The whole idea behind that is to play it smart and strategic and win four rounds on Sunday. I think I'll sleep well tonight and come in tomorrow embracing the fact that we'll be the favorite.''

Doug Kalitta led the Top Fuel field, Greg Anderson was fastest in Pro Stock, and Angelle Sampey topped the Pro Stock Motorcycle lineup.


Kalitta, the winner two weeks ago outside Houston, powered his dragster to a 3.731 at 328.70 on Friday night to take the No. 1 qualifier in Top Fuel. Kalitta reset Atlanta Dragway's elapsed time track record and earned his second No. 1 qualifier of the season and 45th of his career.

Anderson also used his Friday night performance, a leading performance of 6.610 at 210.14 in his Chevy Camaro. The four-time Atlanta winner has four No. 1 qualifiers this season and has raced to three victories in the first six races of the year. This is his seventh top qualifier at Atlanta Dragway and the 84th of his career.

Sampey rode her Buell to her first No. 1 qualifier since 2008 with a 6.865 at 193.32 from Friday night. She has four victories at Atlanta Dragway.