Jack Beckman has track record in Funny Car qualifying

LAS VEGAS (AP) Jack Beckman raced to a track record performance to lead Funny Car qualifying Friday at the DENSO Spark Plugs NHRA Nationals.

Beckman, who is in position to earn his third No. 1 qualifying position of the season, powered his Dodge Charger to a track record time of 3.916 seconds at 322.88 mph in the day's final qualifying session at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Beckman opened qualifying in 11th after his car lost traction early in the run. Qualifying continues Saturday to set the lineups for Sunday's eliminations.

''If there's cloud cover tomorrow that run is definitely in jeopardy,'' Beckman said. ''Whether it stands or not, when we struggled on the first run we were really aggressive. That makes it more difficult because we don't have any data from that run. It's gratifying as a driver to know the crew can come back after a run like that and still go to the No. 1 position.''

Steve Torrence (Top Fuel) and Jason Line (Pro Stock) also were qualifying leaders in their categories at the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series event.

Torrence, who won the season-opening Winternationals, paced the Top Fuel class with a 3.728 at 325.30 in his dragster.

Series points leader Line led the Pro Stock order with a performance of 6.687 seconds at 205.98 mph in a Chevy Camaro.

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