POMONA, Calif. (Feb. 16, 2013) - Jack Beckman saw two of his passions merge Saturday at Auto Club Raceway, not far from where he grew up in Granada Hills, Calif.
The avid surfer who ranks riding waves just below riding 320-mph Funny Cars, was presented with a custom, top-of-the-line Al Merrick surfboard from sponsor Valvoline that saluted him for winning the 2012 NHRA Funny Car world championship.
"I didn't know what to say. Of the two things I love to do - race cars and surf - Valvoline combined the two. It was such a thoughtful gift and I'm going to use it until it breaks in half.
"I'd be on it Monday if we weren't racing in Phoenix next week."
The gift helped to soften the blow of losing the No. 1 qualifying position to Courtney Force of John Force Racing in Saturday's first of two qualifying sessions. Her 4.036-second run just edged Jack's 4.045 from the day before.
Another thing that left Jack smiling was that his Valvoline/MTS Mail for Wounded Warriors Dodge Charger R/T produced the quickest run of the fourth and final session with a time of 4.048 seconds in the NHRA Winternationals.
"That second run gives us a solid base for eliminations on Sunday," he said. "But it's supposed to be in the 60s and that will change a lot about how we set up our Dodge."
Crew chief Todd Smith and assistant Terry Snyder are continuing their torrid pace from the last half of 2012 when the team won three titles over the last 11 events of the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season.
Don Schumacher Racing