– Defending Funny Car champion Jack Beckman raced to his second consecutive No. 1 qualifying position Saturday at Brainerd International Raceway during the final day of qualifying for the Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals.

Clay Millican (Top Fuel) and Vincent Nobile (Pro Stock) will also lead their categories when eliminations begin Sunday.

Beckman had a pass of 4.038 seconds at 313.37 miles per hour. He has two career runner-up finishes at the track but has yet to win there and is also looking for his first victory this season. He will race Bob Bode in the first round of eliminations Sunday.

“We’ve got a brand-new car that only has four runs on it, and two of them were low E.T. [elapsed time] of the session,” Beckman said. “There is no guarantee [of success] when you qualify No. 1. Theoretically, you stack the odds a little bit in your favor. Other than that, it is just bragging rights.”

NEWS SERVICES