Brainerd: Jack Beckman preview

BRAINERD AN IMPORTANT STOP FOR BECKMAN NORTH HILLS, Calif. (Aug. 5, 2008) - This weekend's 27th annual NHRA Nationals at Brainerd (Minn.) International Raceway is an important stop for Jack Beckman, the driver of the Valvoline/Mail Terminal ...

BRAINERD AN IMPORTANT STOP FOR BECKMAN

NORTH HILLS, Calif. (Aug. 5, 2008) - This weekend's 27th annual NHRA Nationals at Brainerd (Minn.) International Raceway is an important stop for Jack Beckman, the driver of the Valvoline/Mail Terminal Services Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car.

In only his second full season of pro Funny Car competition, Beckman is hanging by a thread to the No. 10 position in the point standings and only the top 10 will compete in the Countdown to the Championship playoffs which begin following the U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis on Labor Day weekend.

With three events remaining before the playoffs kick in, he's 53 markers short of ninth place (Mike Neff), 42 ahead of Bob Tasca III in 11th, and 44 in front of Del Worsham in 12th. It's going to be an exciting and pivotal weekend for this stack of drivers scratching to hang onto or get into the top 10. Not to mention the other drivers surrounding this quartet in the rankings.

"I thought going into the last six races that we were going to win 10 or 11 rounds to have a shot at staying in the top 10," said Beckman, who has won one national event this season. "We've won five rounds so far in the last three races. I still am kind of sticking to that concept. I think we're going to need a minimum of 10 round wins.

"I think if we can win Brainerd we'll put ourselves in pretty good shape to stay in the top 10.

"Maybe even more important, we won the second race of the year and then we went into a slump for seven or eight races. It seems like we're coming out of that slump, but the reality is you're never out of a slump until you win a race.

"If we can stay in the Countdown I think it would send a message to all the guys who have been busting their butts on the Valvoline/MTS Dodge team that we really can contend for this championship, we're legitimate, we're here and there isn't any reason that we can't be mixing it up to be No. 1 going into Pomona, Calif. (season finale Nov. 16).

"But, I really think that we're going to need to win one of these next three. And I'd just as soon do it in Brainerd, and get it over with, and then we can work on the other two."

Mail Terminal Services continues its "Mail from Home" program in 2008. Fans at each NHRA national event have the opportunity to sign special cards at the Don Schumacher Racing hospitality area and at the U.S. Army Racing Zone in the midway, which MTS then ships, free of charge, to the troops in war zones overseas.

-credit: dsr

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Series NHRA
Drivers Del Worsham , Jack Beckman , Don Schumacher , Bob Tasca III , Mike Neff