By Jerry Bonkowski
|Concord, NC (March 29, 2015) - Two veteran drag racers snapped lengthy winless streaks in Sunday's final round of the NHRA 4-Wide Nationals at zMAX Dragway in Concord, N.C.|
Funny Car driver Jack Beckman snapped a 54-race winless drought, while Larry Morgan snapped an even longer streak of 120 races without a win.
Beckman claimed victory with a run of 3.983 seconds at 308.78 mph over Del Worsham (who takes over the Funny Car points lead), Chad Head and Tommy Johnson Jr.
It was Beckman's first win since St. Louis, nearly 2 ½ years ago, also the same season he won the NHRA Funny Car world championship.
It was also Beckman's 16th career national event win, his third at zMAX Dragway and second in the six-year history of the unique 4-Wide event.
"I can't guarantee we'll win another race this season," Beckman said in an NHRA media release. "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.
Lincoln Electric is a proud partner of Don Schumacher Racing.
"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."
In Pro Stock, Morgan held off Greg Anderson, Vincent Nobile and Jonathan Gray in the final round. Morgan won with a career-best 6.464 at 214.52 mph.
"I knew I could still drive," Morgan said of his 11th career victory, and his first win since Las Vegas in October 2009. "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."
Even though he fell short of reaching the final round, Jason Line took over the points lead in Pro Stock.
In Top Fuel, Antron Brown earned his second consecutive 4-Wide victory with a winning pass of 3.749 seconds at 319.90 mph, defeating Steve Torrence, Richie Crampton and Clay Millican.
Brown is now just two wins away from 50 in his NHRA career as both a Top Fuel driver and Pro Stock Motorcycle rider.
It was also the 44th time that two Don Schumacher Racing teammates have won their respective classes in the same NHRA national 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 bossman [Don Schumacher] to double up. I hope we can keep that streak going for him."
In addition to the win, Brown also takes over the Top Fuel points lead after the first four races of the season.
Lastly, in Pro Stock Motorcycle, defending series champ Andrew Hines (6.805 seconds at 196.30 mph) won his first race of the season and 39th of his career, defeating Eddie Krawiec (who takes over the lead in the standings), Scotty Pollacheck and Hector Arana Jr. in the final round.
It was also Hines' second 4-Wide triumph and fourth in total at zMAX Dragway.
"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."
The next NHRA national event will be the Summit.com Nationals, April 10-12 at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.