Compiled by SEMA Editors
BROWN, BECKMAN, MORGAN AND HINES TAKE FOUR-WIDE NATIONALS WINS: Jack Beckman ended a 54-race winless streak by racing to the Funny Car victory last Sunday at the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals at zMAX Dragway. Antron Brown (Top Fuel), Larry Morgan (Pro Stock) and Andrew Hines (Pro Stock Motorcycle) also were winners at the event that features NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series teams racing in a four-lane configuration. Beckman powered his 10,000-hp 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 mph at the controls of his Infinite Hero 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.
K&N HORSEPOWER CHALLENGE OFFERS BONUS CASH FOR PRO STOCK DRIVERS: The K&N Horsepower Challenge field has been set, and Shane Gray leads the star-studded field as the No. 1 seed when the special event takes center stage April 11 during the 16th annual SummitRacing.com NHRA Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The winner of the 31st annual K&N Horsepower Challenge will earn $50,000, a custom K&N Horsepower trophy and bragging rights as the best Pro Stock racer in the country. The runner-up will earn $10,000, the two semifinalists $3,000 each, and the four first-round finishers $2,500 apiece. A total purse of $76,000 is up for grabs for the eight drivers competing in the K&N Horsepower Challenge.
BROWN AND BECKMAN RACE TO TRAXXAS NITRO SHOOTOUT BERTHS: With their respective wins at the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals, Antron Brown and Jack Beckman raced their way into the Traxxas Nitro Shootout held at Lucas Oil Raceway during the Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals. Funny Car racer Beckman has raced in the event twice and defeated Cruz Pedregon for the $50,000 payday in 2013. Brown has raced in the Top Fuel category portion of the event three times but has yet to win the specialty race.
He Said, She Said
"I couldn't be happier. I've won a lot of races, but this has to be one of the best ones I've ever won. I knew I could drive. I'm still good enough that I can still let the clutch out. The only thing I was worried about was getting the funding to do it. I knew I was capable and I knew getting into a Camaro, getting hooked up with Johnny (Gray), and getting all the support I get from FireAde was going to be good. I've just got to drive the car. If there's something I don't see that I don't like, I can overrule what they decide to do. But those guys are really good at what they do, and they do a fabulous job. It showed today."
—Larry Morgan on winning the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals for his 11th career Pro Stock victory. This was his first win since 2009 and his fist final round since the 2011 season. He moved from ninth to seventh in Pro Stock points with the win.
Inside the Numbers
100: Number of career Funny Car wins for Don Schumacher Racing, which was recorded when Jack Beckman raced to victory at the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals. The win was significant for Beckman as it broke a winless streak that dated back to the 2012 season when he won the Funny Car world championship. It is also his first win with Jimmy Prock as crew chief. "I can't guarantee we'll win another race this season," said Beckman. "I think we will, but I can't say 100%. 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 hoped it would."
Did You Know
GAINES WINS K&N FAN VOTE: Popular veteran racer V. Gaines, driver of the Kendall Oil Dodge Dart, has been named the K&N Horsepower Challenge Fan Vote winner and will fill the No. 8 starting spot in the Pro Stock bonus event. The 31st annual K&N Horsepower Challenge will be conducted during the running of the SummitRacing.com NHRA Nationals, Saturday, April 11, at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The event will be televised live by ESPN2. This is the third consecutive year Gaines has raced in the event and the fifth time he will race in the K&N Horsepower Challenge. Gaines, who has yet to win the K&N race, will face No. 1 qualifier Shane Gray in the opening round of eliminations.
"We are just tickled to death that so many fans thought we ought to race in that race," Gaines said. "I would have liked to have gotten in the other way, but we had a few issues that cost us a little bit, but to be able to race in it, that is fantastic. Anybody can win this one. We try to treat our fans right and communicate with them. They ask a lot of us and we ask a lot of them and they came through."
View the complete 2015 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series schedule.