Jack Beckman takes Funny Car lead

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CHANDLER, Ariz. (AP) -- Jack Beckman took the Funny Car standings lead with two event left, racing to his third career victory at Firebird International Raceway on Sunday.

Larry Dixon (Top Fuel), Vincent Nobile (Pro Stock) and Hector Arana Jr. (Pro Stock Motorcycle) also won the fourth of six races in the NHRA Full Throttle Countdown to the Championship, the six-race playoffs to determine the world championships.

Beckman powered his Dodge Charger to a 4.354-second run at 278.29 mph in the final round to beat Don Schumacher Racing teammate Johnny Gray. The victory, Beckman's second in a row in Phoenix and the 12th of his career, moved him into the points lead for the first time in his career.