NHRA: ‘Fast Jack’ Beckman earns 5th Funny Car win of 2015; Brown (TF), McGaha (PS), Krawiec (PSM) also win


NHRA Funny Car driver “Fast Jack” Beckman may want to consider changing his nickname to “Faster Jack” because it doesn’t appear he’ll be slowing down anytime soon.

The Southern California native is the hottest driver in the NHRA, having won not only his second straight race on Sunday at Sonoma, Calif., but his fifth victory (in 15 races thus far) of 2015.

What’s more, he also set a new national elapsed time record in the Funny Car ranks on Saturday of 3.921 seconds.

Beckman captured the Funny Car class in the Sunday’s finals of the Sonoma Nationals at Sonoma Raceway, north of San Francisco.

Sonoma is the second leg of the annual three-race “Western Swing,” which includes last week’s race at Denver, Sunday’s finals at Sonoma and next Sunday’s race in suburban Seattle.

He’s hoping to become only the eighth driver in NHRA history – and only the second one in Funny Car – to pull off a Western Swing sweep.

Beckman (4.037 seconds at 310.63 mph) defeated Tommy Johnson Jr. (4.073 at 308.39 mph) to earn his 20th career Funny Car win and his first win ever at Sonoma.

“Winning the race and being No. 1 qualifier and setting the national record is icing on top of icing on top of the cake,” Beckman said. “It couldn’t have been any better. I don’t think this weekend will sink in until I’m on the plane going to Seattle.”

Added crew chief Jimmy Prock, who joined Beckman’s team late last season, “We race a lot, we live it and you don’t have many weekends like this.”

Beckman earned a near-perfect 147 of 150 available points during the weekend and is now just 57 points behind class leader Matt Hagan.

Of note, Sunday’s race marked the first time in NHRA history where all four No. 1 qualifiers went on to win the race.

In Top Fuel, Beckman’s Don Schumacher Racing teammate, Antron Brown, earned his fourth win of the season, his fourth at Sonoma and 51st overall triumph (35 in Top Fuel, 16 in Pro Stock Motorcycle) of his drag racing career.

Brown is now tied in the Top Fuel record book with legendary “Big Daddy” Don Garlits.

Brown (3.787 seconds at 320.74 mph) defeated Dave Connolly (3.808 at 319.14 mph) in the final round of eliminations.

“To tie one of the greatest racers in history is unbelievable, but it hasn’t sunk in,” Brown said. “It won’t sink in until I leave this sport, because I’m still hungry.”

Fellow DSR teammate Tony Schumacher leads Brown in the Top Fuel points standing by 37 points.

In Pro Stock, after finishing runner-up in the last two events, Chris McGaha (6.531 seconds at 212.13 mph) earned his first career win, defeating Jonathan Gray (6.560 at 211.03).

“This has been 30 years in the making,” McGaha said. “All those years that my dad [Lester] ran in Comp and with me in Pro Stock. There were plenty of times when we’d leave the house and think, ‘Maybe this is the week.’

“My dad came close a few times, and we had a few heartbreakers along the way. This takes the monkey off my back. I really want more, but if I only get one of these (the winner’s ‘Wally’ trophy), I can live to be content with that.”

Greg Anderson remains No. 1 in the Pro Stock standings with a 47-point lead over defending series champ Erica Enders.

And in Pro Stock Motorcycle, Eddie Krawiec, who also won the NHRA Pro Bike Battle on Saturday, earned his second straight win, third of the season and 29th of his career.

Krawiec (6.881 seconds at 191.00 mph) defeated Jerry Savoie (6.891 at 194.13) in the final round.


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TOP FUEL: 1.  Antron Brown; 2.  Dave Connolly; 3.  Tony Schumacher; 4.  J.R. Todd; 5.  Clay Millican; 6. Larry Dixon; 7.  Steve Torrence; 8.  Richie Crampton; 9.  Doug Kalitta; 10.  Troy Buff; 11.  Jenna Haddock; 12.  Brittany Force; 13.  Shawn Langdon; 14.  Terry McMillen; 15.  Steven Chrisman; 16. Spencer Massey.

FUNNY CAR: 1.  Jack Beckman; 2.  Tommy Johnson Jr.; 3.  Robert Hight; 4.  Cruz Pedregon; 5.  Ron Capps; 6. Matt Hagan; 7.  John Force; 8.  Chad Head; 9.  Del Worsham; 10.  Courtney Force; 11.  Paul Lee; 12. Tony Pedregon; 13.  Tim Wilkerson; 14.  John Hale; 15.  Alexis DeJoria; 16.  Jeff Diehl.

PRO STOCK: 1.  Chris McGaha; 2.  Jonathan Gray; 3.  Jason Line; 4.  Jeg Coughlin; 5.  Greg Anderson; 6.  Bo Butner; 7.  Erica Enders; 8.  Vincent Nobile; 9.  Larry Morgan; 10.  Shane Gray; 11.  Allen Johnson; 12.  Alex Laughlin; 13.  V. Gaines; 14.  Matt Hartford; 15.  Aaron Strong; 16.  Deric Kramer.

PRO STOCK MOTORCYCLE: 1.  Eddie Krawiec; 2.  Jerry Savoie; 3.  Jim Underdahl; 4.  Scotty Pollacheck; 5.  Andrew Hines; 6. Karen Stoffer; 7.  Steve Johnson; 8.  Hector Arana Jr; 9.  Hector Arana; 10.  Melissa Surber; 11. Katie Sullivan; 12.  Freddie Camarena; 13.  Mike Berry; 14.  Angie Smith; 15.  Matt Smith; 16. Chip Ellis.


Top Fuel: Antron Brown, 3.787 seconds, 320.74 mph  def. Dave Connolly, 3.808 seconds, 319.14 mph.

Funny Car: Jack Beckman, Dodge Charger, 4.037, 310.63  def. Tommy Johnson Jr., Charger, 4.073, 308.99.

Pro Stock: Chris McGaha, Chevy Camaro, 6.531, 212.13  def. Jonathan Gray, Camaro, 6.560, 211.03.

Pro Stock Motorcycle: Eddie Krawiec, Harley-Davidson, 6.881, 191.00  def. Jerry Savoie, Suzuki, 6.891, 194.13.


TOP FUEL: ROUND ONE — Clay Millican, 3.738, 322.34 def. Doug Kalitta, 3.782, 324.20; Steve Torrence, 3.812, 322.96 def. Troy Buff, 3.911, 272.78; Dave Connolly, 3.784, 322.50 def. Terry McMillen, 4.726, 155.02; Antron Brown, 3.769, 321.27 def. Steven Chrisman, 6.090, 102.81; J.R. Todd, 4.050, 298.40 def. Jenna Haddock, 4.127, 219.19; Tony Schumacher, 3.767, 325.69 def. Brittany Force, 4.280, 201.25; Larry Dixon, 4.051, 269.83 def. Shawn Langdon, 4.445, 165.09; Richie Crampton, 3.805, 323.27 def. Spencer Massey, 6.383, 92.29;

QUARTERFINALS — Connolly, 3.792, 325.06 def. Dixon, 3.818, 322.42; Todd, 3.790, 323.66 def. Millican, 3.793, 319.98; Brown, 3.805, 318.09 def. Crampton, 4.536, 165.99; Schumacher, 3.810, 321.58 def. Torrence, 3.821, 320.43;

SEMIFINALS — Brown, 3.797, 319.45 def. Schumacher, 3.816, 322.34; Connolly, 3.787, 326.40 def. Todd, 3.887, 310.55;

FINAL — Brown, 3.787, 320.74 def. Connolly, 3.808, 319.14.

FUNNY CAR: ROUND ONE — John Force, Chevy Camaro, 4.891, 174.12 def. John Hale, Dodge Charger, 4.983, 157.15; Jack Beckman, Charger, 3.993, 314.09 def. Tony Pedregon, Toyota Camry, 4.127, 295.72; Matt Hagan, Charger, 4.099, 313.15 def. Paul Lee, Toyota Solara, 4.105, 307.44; Ron Capps, Charger, 4.376, 260.56 def. Jeff Diehl, Solara, 10.602, 70.95; Robert Hight, Chevrolet Camaro, 4.052, 314.24 def. Courtney Force, Camaro, 4.081, 317.64; Cruz Pedregon, Camry, 4.319, 225.56 def. Alexis DeJoria, Camry, 6.091, 100.37; Tommy Johnson Jr., Charger, 4.070, 309.63 def. Tim Wilkerson, Ford Mustang, 4.508, 190.06; Chad Head, Camry, 4.040, 315.86 def. Del Worsham, Camry, 4.065, 310.48;

QUARTERFINALS — Johnson Jr., 4.126, 305.98 def. Hagan, 4.139, 306.53; Beckman, 3.979, 319.67 def. Head, 7.415, 101.74; Hight, 4.095, 312.21 def. Capps, 4.113, 311.27; C. Pedregon, 4.051, 306.67 def. J. Force, 4.175, 310.63;

SEMIFINALS — Johnson Jr., 4.109, 307.93 def. C. Pedregon, 11.675, 67.24; Beckman, 4.037, 310.91 def. Hight, 4.095, 311.27;

FINAL — Beckman, 4.037, 310.63 def. Johnson Jr., 4.073, 308.99.

PRO STOCK: ROUND ONE — Erica Enders, Chevy Camaro, 6.531, 211.93 def. Shane Gray, Camaro, 6.530, 212.39; Bo Butner, Camaro, 6.516, 211.93 def. Allen Johnson, Dodge Dart, 6.537, 211.83; Jonathan Gray, Camaro, 6.519, 211.49 def. Deric Kramer, Dart, broke; Vincent Nobile, Camaro, 6.534, 211.33 def. Larry Morgan, Camaro, foul; Jeg Coughlin, Camaro, 6.529, 211.36 def. Matt Hartford, Pontiac GXP, 6.567, 211.10; Jason Line, Camaro, 6.518, 211.53 def. Aaron Strong, Camaro, 6.603, 208.68; Chris McGaha, Camaro, 6.530, 212.19 def. V. Gaines, Dart, 6.561, 211.33; Greg Anderson, Camaro, 6.502, 211.99 def. Alex Laughlin, Camaro, 6.556, 211.76;

QUARTERFINALS — McGaha, 6.514, 212.13 def. Enders, 6.529, 211.93; Coughlin, 6.537, 211.03 def. Nobile, 6.534, 211.83; Line, 6.528, 211.39 def. Butner, 6.527, 211.66; J. Gray, 6.533, 210.54 def. Anderson, 6.518, 211.86;

SEMIFINALS — J. Gray, 6.544, 211.10 def. Line, 6.514, 212.09; McGaha, 6.531, 212.29 def. Coughlin, 6.551, 211.20;

FINAL — McGaha, 6.531, 212.13 def. J. Gray, 6.560, 211.03.

PRO STOCK MOTORCYCLE: ROUND ONE — Jerry Savoie, Suzuki, 6.858, 194.60 def. Katie Sullivan, Suzuki, 7.008, 189.36; Jim Underdahl, Suzuki, 6.869, 195.76 def. Hector Arana, Buell, 6.926, 193.32; Karen Stoffer, Suzuki, 6.921, 192.33 def. Mike Berry, Buell, 7.025, 186.54; Scotty Pollacheck, Buell, 7.031, 185.59 def. Chip Ellis, Buell, broke; Hector Arana Jr, Buell, 6.901, 196.47 def. Freddie Camarena, Suzuki, 7.010, 193.16; Andrew Hines, Harley-Davidson, 6.858, 192.88 def. Melissa Surber, Buell, 6.975, 187.81; Eddie Krawiec, Harley-Davidson, 6.963, 191.92 def. Angie Smith, 7.025, 183.87; Steve Johnson, Suzuki, 6.975, 192.36 def. Matt Smith, 7.155, 191.97;

QUARTERFINALS — Savoie, 6.832, 195.05 def. Stoffer, 6.911, 191.84; Krawiec, 6.859, 193.18 def. Johnson, 6.936, 192.00; Pollacheck, 7.002, 187.94 def. Arana Jr, foul; Underdahl, 6.878, 195.36 def. Hines, 6.900, 191.08;

SEMIFINALS — Savoie, 6.861, 195.08 def. Underdahl, 6.884, 195.39; Krawiec, 6.887, 193.27 def. Pollacheck, 7.053, 185.79;

FINAL — Krawiec, 6.881, 191.00 def. Savoie, 6.891, 194.13.


Top Fuel: 1.  Tony Schumacher, 1,206; 2.  Antron Brown, 1,169; 3.  Larry Dixon, 960; 4.  Doug Kalitta, 912; 5.  Richie Crampton, 901; 6.  Spencer Massey, 820; 7.  Brittany Force, 794; 8.  Steve Torrence, 783; 9.  J.R. Todd, 782; 10.  Shawn Langdon, 780.

Funny Car: 1.  Matt Hagan, 1,142; 2.  Jack Beckman, 1,085; 3.  John Force, 948; 4.  Tommy Johnson Jr., 947; 5. Ron Capps, 935; 6.  Del Worsham, 902; 7.  Cruz Pedregon, 855; 8.  Tim Wilkerson, 815; 9.  Robert Hight, 784; 10.  Alexis DeJoria, 765.

Pro Stock: 1.  Greg Anderson, 1,263; 2.  Erica Enders, 1,216; 3.  Jason Line, 1,069; 4.  Chris McGaha, 1,053; 5.  Allen Johnson, 877; 6.  Larry Morgan, 874; 7.  Drew Skillman, 779; 8.  Jonathan Gray, 761; 9. Shane Gray, 757; 10.  Vincent Nobile, 735.

Pro Stock Motorcycle: 1.  Eddie Krawiec, 702; 2.  Hector Arana Jr, 596; 3.  Andrew Hines, 546; 4.  Karen Stoffer, 468; 5. Jim Underdahl, 459; 6.  Jerry Savoie, 429; 7.  Hector Arana, 417; 8.  Matt Smith, 389; 9.  Scotty Pollacheck, 376; 10.  Angelle Sampey, 336.

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Vicki Golden and 805 Beer tell a unique story from an Inverted Perspective


Vicki Golden has earned a career worthy of a thousand stories and 805 Beer tells at least one of them, as “Inverted Perspective” premiered March 30 on the company’s website and YouTube channel.

Golden did more to break the glass ceiling in SuperMotocross than she ever thought possible. She knows this because riders have never felt the need to explain any of her accomplishments with the disclaimer, “for a girl”. 

At this point in Golden’s career, she’s been the first woman to finish top 10 in AMA Arenacross Lites, the first woman to qualify in the Fast 40 in Monster Energy AMA Supercross and the first woman to compete in freestyle Moto X competition, earning a bronze medal by doing so.

Her love for moto came from childhood while she watched her dad and brother ride. By seven she was on her bike and making waves throughout Southern California. 

Golden, 30, is still madly in love with the sport and has no plans on moving away but her career is already one to talk about. 805 Beer’s film series wanted to do exactly that.

“I’m taken aback by it all,” Golden told NBC Sports about the documentary. “It’s just crazy to see your story, it’s one thing to live your life and battle everything that comes about but it’s another to just sit there and talk about it.”

805 approached Golden about the feature by asking, “Do you even realize that what you do, and your story is special?”

Golden took the question as a blank canvas to map out the highs and lows of her career and life. 

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The title “Inverted Perspective” came from a brainstorming session with Dominick Russo and it highlights Golden’s outlook on the sport of SuperMotocross and her life in general. 

“My whole life, my whole career was thinking differently and looking at things that shouldn’t be done and aren’t there, while being able to make a place for myself, where no one thought there should be a place,” Golden said.  “It’s inspiring someone to think in different ways. It sums up my life.”

Vicki Golden is not “fast for a girl”; she’s just fast. – 805 Beer

While Golden is no stranger to the spotlight, this was the first time she’s been fully involved with the storytelling and creation of a feature about herself. 

“It’s not like a full new experience,” Golden said. “Obviously, you get your standard questions about your upbringing and accomplishments, but I’ve never really put into perspective things that happened in my past with my dad and putting that to light. Also, certain other things that maybe got overlooked in previous interviews or films. I wanted to touch on these and Dom wanted to create a story. It’s just cool to see it come to light, it’s a nearly impossible thing to tell somebody’s life story in 40 minutes.”

Golden’s father was left paralyzed after an ATV accident, robbing him the opportunity to ride again. This happened a few months before the father-daughter duo was set to compete in the Loretta Lynn’s Amateur Nationals when Vicki was 12. While she might have been unable to grasp the severity at the time, it’s something she carries with her. Golden continues to ride in his honor.

Years later, an accident in 2018 nearly sidelined the then 25-year-old Vicki when a freestyle accident almost resulted in the amputation of her lower leg. 

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Golden 805 Beer
Vicki Golden has ridden a variety of disciplines in SuperMotocross, which gives her a unique perspective. – 805 Beer

“Inverted Perspective” highlights her father’s diligence in helping Vicki continue with her career and the kindness and strength he carried while fighting his own battle. 

“My dad was the entire reason that I started riding in the first place,” Golden said. “So, to honor his memory and to honor what we went through and how hard he pushed to keep our dream alive and keep everything going – in that sense then, it was really special to be able to honor him and talk about him.”

The 40-minute feature was filmed entirely in black and white, a stark contrast from the oversaturated world of motocross where the brighter the suit the easier it is for fans to find their rider and follow him in the race. By filming in monochrome Russo and Golden had the chance to focus on the race and track from a different perspective. 

“It was cool to be able to film it differently,” Golden said. “It created a challenge in the sense of what was going to be more visually impactful for the film.

“I couldn’t be here without the companies that back me but at the same time, it’s not like the logos or colors disappeared, it’s just different lights shed on different spots. It’s just a cool way to do it and to take color away and still be impactful. When you think of black and white, you think of old school, the OG way of doing things.”