Baytown: Jack Beckman preview

BECKMAN HAPPY WITH HIS STATUS HEADING INTO HOUSTON NORTH HILLS, Calif. (March 25, 2008) - Jack Beckman couldn't be happier with his status right now after three national events in the 2008 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series driving the ...

BECKMAN HAPPY WITH HIS STATUS HEADING INTO HOUSTON

NORTH HILLS, Calif. (March 25, 2008) - Jack Beckman couldn't be happier with his status right now after three national events in the 2008 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series driving the Valvoline/Mail Terminal Services Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car. He's coming off a victory in Phoenix, a second season quarterfinal finish in Gainesville, Fla., and he trails first place in the standings by just six markers as he heads to the NHRA Spring Nationals this weekend at Houston Raceway Park.

"It's so funny," said Beckman, as he waxed philosophical on his position this early in the season. "People will get themselves so worked up and call it superstition, karma, mojo, whatever you want to call it, about not saying certain things, not getting too cocky, and not wanting to get down about things. You can drive yourself crazy worrying about what could happen. But, I am going to say that we have a pretty strong hot rod right now. I feel pretty good rolling into Houston.

"There's a good likelihood that by the end of the year, just like last year, every nitro Funny Car team is going to have a DNQ on its ledger. Of course, we hope that that's not going to happen. We're going to have races like Phoenix and Gainesville, where the weather is going to play a big factor in qualifying (both Friday qualifying sessions at those events were rained out). In Houston that certainly could be an issue. And Houston might be the first track where NHRA's new qualifying format for only 12 cars getting in on Friday gets tested.

"But the reality is none of that matters," he remarked. "If we get two sessions, it means everybody else gets two sessions. If the Friday qualifying impacts us, it's going to impact several other teams out there.

"The way I'm choosing to look at this is I'm living a dream, racing a Funny Car for Don Schumacher, Valvoline and Mail Terminal Services, we're second in points right now, we've already got one win, and we want to click off another one pretty soon. I can't wait to get there."

As for his history at Houston Raceway Park, "I've got a lot of people coming to this event," said Beckman, an instructor at the Frank Hawley Drag Racing School. "My father Bob lives in the Dallas area, and a lot of his friends and people I've met over the years through him are coming. I've been to Houston as a racer once (last year in his first full professional season driving for Don Schumacher Racing), but I've been there with the Hawley school a couple of other times.

"The early scouting reports are that the race track is in good shape," added Beckman, who lost first round to his teammate Ron Capps in 2007. "NHRA has proved that at every race this year, no matter what conditions they're faced with, they'll make it equal. I don't think the race track is going to be an issue here."

-credit: dsr

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Ron Capps , Jack Beckman , Don Schumacher , Frank Hawley