‘Fast Jack’ is back: Beckman wins first race of 2016 and 800th in NHRA Funny Car history

(Photos courtesy NHRA)
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JOLIET, Illinois – When it comes to special occasions, NHRA Funny Car driver “Fast Jack” Beckman likes to rise to the occasion.

Beckman (3.955 seconds at 324.05 mph) won his first race of 2016 Sunday, defeating Don Schumacher Racing teammate Ron Capps (4.522 seconds at 194.74 mph) in the K&N Filters Route 66 NHRA Nationals at Route 66 Raceway.

But it was more than just Beckman’s 23rd career Funny Car win. It was the 800th Funny Car win in NHRA history – not coincidentally in the 50th season of Funny Car competition, too.

MORE: Results and standings from K&N Filters Route 66 NHRA Nationals

Beckman also captured the 700th win in NHRA Funny Car annals, as well. In addition, crew chief Jimmy Prock tuned Gary Densham to the 500th Funny Car win, turned the wrenches for Robert Hight to the 600th win and now tuned Beckman to the 800th win.

Funny Car driver and Joliet winner ‘Fast Jack’ Beckman

“Those are some pretty cool stats,” Beckman said.

What hasn’t been cool, though, is that prior to Sunday, Beckman has struggled to reach victory lane this year.

“I haven’t seen the winner’s circle since (last fall),” Beckman said. “Even though we had been to three final rounds this year, we really didn’t have our car.

“We never made it more than 200 feet in any of those prior rounds and we were struggling. We set the national record earlier this year, qualified No. 1 four times, but we just couldn’t put it together.”

Even though it was Beckman’s first Funny Car win of 2016, it only adds to the bigger picture of Don Schumacher Racing in 2016. It’s the seventh Funny Car win of the season for DSR in the first 13 races, including four by Capps.

Speaking of Capps, even though his red-hot ways of late were cooled off, he still made a noteworthy achievement, scoring his 600th round win in career NHRA competition.

“With the new Charger bodies, the windshield is much further back and we can see out the sides a lot more, which isn’t always a good thing,” Beckman said. “I saw a whole lot of NAPA front fender out there (Capps’ car) and I went ‘Oh’, and when I got to ‘no,’ it disappeared.

“When a car disappears out of your peripheral vision that fast, it usually means they’ve smoked the tires and you know that unless you have a huge problem, there’s no way they’re getting around you. It was a great feeling watching that win light come on.”

Now that he’s broken his winless streak, Beckman is feeling more confident – but he’s also still a bit cautious not to get overconfident.

“This doesn’t mean we’re going to be dominant come next race,” Beckman said. “But what it means is I feel a lot more confident when we tow into the gates that we can make more consistent runs.

“And once you make more consistent runs, you can turn the wick up and make quick runs.”

When NBCSports.com asked Beckman if “Fast Jack” is back, he said with a smile, “Remains to be seen – but I think so.”

Here’s some of the highlights of the first three rounds of eliminations:

* 16-time Funny Car champion John Force (4.007 seconds/319.82 mph) was an uncharacteristic first round loser, falling to Capps (3.927/323.12).

* Also a surprising first round loser was Tim Wilkerson (11.327 seconds, 75.19), who fell to Bob Tasca III (3.990/316.23).

* Defending 2015 NHRA Funny Car champion Del Worsham (4.566/184.85) lost in the first round to Courtney Force (3.955/317.87). Force (6.319/102.93), in turn, lost in the quarterfinals to Jack Beckman (3.939/325.92). Then in the semifinals, Beckman (3.923/325.06) knocked out the last remaining John Force Racing car, that of Robert Hight (3.970/323.12).

* Cruz Pedregon (6.201/105.73) was a first-round loser to Hight (4.016/317.34). Hight (3.917/328.06) then took out Alexis DeJoria (3.967/319.07) in the quarterfinals before losing to Beckman in the semis.

* After getting through the first two rounds, Matt Hagan (10.888/77.35) got through the first two rounds, but fell to Capps (4.003/314.02) in the semifinals.

The NHRA enjoys next weekend off before returning to action July 22-24 with the Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals at Bandimere Speedway near Denver, Colorado.

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Motocross 2023: Results and points after SuperMotocross Round 18 at Hangtown


For the second consecutive week, Jett Lawrence had perfect results in the Pro Motocross round at Hangtown in Rancho Cordova, California with a pair of moto wins and the overall victory, only this time he didn’t have Chase Sexton, who sat out the round with a concussion, to keep him honest in the second race.

Jett Lawrence’s performance in the first two Motocross rounds has him thinking of a rookie championship. – Align Media

Lawrence led all 16 laps of both races after taking the holeshot in the second moto and grabbing the lead from Dylan Ferrandis in Turn 2 of Moto 1. Lawrence claimed a four-second lead in Moto 1 and five seconds in Moto 2, but as dominant as it seems on paper, there were some exciting moments during the weekend. In the second race, Lawrence wanted to build an advantage that would allow him to maintain his pace and he nearly high-sided a couple of times in heavy ruts.

RESULTS: Click here for full 450 Results; Click here for 250 Results

In his second race back from a concussion, Ferrandis finished in the runner-up spot with a second in Moto 1 and a third in Moto 2. While his finish of second overall goes into the record books, Pro Motocross points are rewarded for each individual race and that meant Ferrandis lost eight points in championship battle to Lawrence. With Sexton failing to mount up for the race, Ferrandis advanced to second in the standings with an 18-point gap to Lawrence. Equally important, Ferrandis gained ground in the SuperMotocross World Championship (WSX) points and now has a gap of 44 over 21st-place Justin Starling.

Cooper Webb is also in his second round since returning from a Supercross injury suffered in Nashville at the end of their season. Claiming results of fourth and second in the two races, Webb earned 40 SuperMotocross points at Hangtown and closed in on Sexton in the WSX battle. Sexton entered Hangtown with a large enough lead that he could not be overtaken, but he is now only 38 points up and could face a difficult decision next week at Thunder Valley in Lakewood, Colorado if he wants to hold onto his lead.

Moto 1 Results | Lap Chart | Fastest Segment Laps | Moto 2 Results | Lap Chart | Fastest Segment Laps | Consolation Race

Aaron Plessinger had an adventurous weekend in which he seemed to close on Lawrence in his second race before crashing and dropping to fourth. Coupled with a fifth-place finish in Moto 1, he earned 35 points and was credited with fourth overall.

Cashing in on confidence he gained in the final rounds of the Supercross season, Adam Cianciarulo earned his first top-five of the Pro Motocross championship after narrowly missing out last week with a sixth. He earned the distinction with consistent results of fifth in Moto 1 and fourth in Moto 2.

Click here for 450 Overall results | Rider Points | Manufacturer Points

Hunter Lawrence showed his back to the competition at Hangtown, just as he did the week prior at Fox Raceway. – Align Media

The Lawrence brothers made history last week as the first siblings to win in two Pro Motocross divisions on the same day. Fans should get accustomed to seeing this happen with some regularity as Hunter Lawrence posted identical results in Hangtown to those he had at Fox Raceway in the season opener.

In both races, Lawrence got off to a slow start in Moto 1 and had to claw his way back to the podium. He dominated Moto 2 in both rounds to earn the overall victories.

Justin Cooper did not allow Lawrence to gain much of an advantage in the Motocross points’ standings, however. Finishing second in both motos, the earned only one point less than Lawrence. His modest showing in Round 1 of the outdoor season has him 12 points out of first in the championship standings.

Moto 1 Results | Lap Chart | Fastest Segment Laps | Moto 2 Results | Lap Chart | Fastest Segment Laps | Consolation Race

Haiden Deegan scored his first moto win in just his fourth start in the series. In the first race of the day, he had to withstand constant pressure from Cooper, but when his teammate closed in on him, Deegan reached down and found a little more speed. Now that he’s won one of these races, he has his sight set on challenging Lawrence for the title. Deegan is second in the Pro Motocross championship standings with a 10-point deficit to the leader.

Haiden Deegan scored podiums in both Motocross rounds of 2023. – Align Media

Tom Vialle tied his career-best finish of fourth overall with a seventh-place finish in Moto 1 and a third in Moto 2. Vialle was fourth last week in overall ranking and has one fourth-place finish in the Supercross series that came in the Triple Crown format at Arlington.

Click here for 250 Overall results | Rider Points | Manufacturer Points

RJ Hampshire rounded out the top five with a pair of fifth-place results and 32 points for the round. Even though the deficit is a whopping 61 points, Hampshire climbed to second in the SuperMotocross championship standings now that Jett Lawrence has moved to the big bikes.

Jalek Swoll struggled last week and finished 21st overall at Fox Raceway. This week, he finished on the cusp of 10th in both races with a ninth in Moto 1 and 11th in Moto 2. In the SuperMotocross standings, he has a lot of ground to make up. He currently sits 49th on the chart with a 70-point gap to Chance Hymas, who is on the bubble to earn a guaranteed position in the SMX Mains for the three playoff races that will be held on September.

2023 Motocross Results

Round 1: Jett Lawrence, Hunter Lawrence win

2023 Supercross Results

Round 17: Chase Sexton, Jett Lawrence win
Round 16: Chase Sexton, RJ Hampshire win
Round 15: Chase Sexton, Hunter Lawrence win
Round 14: Justin Barcia, Max Anstie win
Round 13: Chase Sexton, Hunter Lawrence win
Round 12: Eli Tomac, Jett Lawrence win
Round 11: Eli Tomac bounces back with sixth win
Round 10: Chace Sexton wins, penalized
Round 9: Ken Roczen wins
Round 8: Eli Tomac wins 7th Daytona
Round 7: Cooper Webb wins second race
Race 6: Eli Tomac, Jett Lawrence win
Race 5: Webb, Hunter Lawrence win
Race 4: Eli Tomac, Hunter Lawrence win
Race 3: Chase Sexton, Levi Kitchen win
Race 2: Eli Tomac, Jett Lawrence win
Round 1: Eli Tomac, Jett Lawrence win

2023 SuperMotocross Power Rankings

Week 18: Jett Lawrence rockets to the top
Week 16: Chase Sexton takes SX title
Week 15: Eli Tomac is back on top
Week 14: Justin Barcia, most of top 20, hold steady
Week 13: Barcia leapfrogs the Big Three
Week 12: Eli Tomac gains momentum
Week 11: Cooper Webb, Tomac overtake Chase Sexton
Week 10: Sexton leads with consistency
Week 8: Sexton unseats Tomac
Week 7: Jason Anderson narrowly trails Tomac
Week 6: Perfect Oakland night keeps Tomac first
Week 5: Webb, Sexton close gap
Week 4: Tomac retakes lead
Week 3: Ken Roczen takes the top spot
Week 2: Roczen moves up; Sexton falls
Week 1: Tomac tops 450s; Jett Lawrence 250s