FUN, SUCCESSFUL WEEKEND BECKONS BECKMAN IN BRAINERD NORCO, Calif. (Aug. 12, 2009) - Jack Beckman is feeling the magnetic draw of this weekend's 28th annual NHRA Nationals at Brainerd (Minn.) International Raceway. The driver of the...
FUN, SUCCESSFUL WEEKEND BECKONS BECKMAN IN BRAINERD
NORCO, Calif. (Aug. 12, 2009) - Jack Beckman is feeling the magnetic draw of this weekend's 28th annual NHRA Nationals at Brainerd (Minn.) International Raceway. The driver of the Valvoline/Mail Terminal Services Dodge Funny Car feels a strong connection to this Northern Minnesota track, where he ran his career quickest pass in Top Fuel in 2005 and where he was Funny Car runner-up last year.
Not only that, he has family nearby and he's a fan of "the zoo." "Yeah, I like Brainerd," said Beckman, who is in his third full season of pro NHRA competition. "It's not far from where my grandfather grew up on a farm in Montevideo, so I have relatives in the area.
"The atmosphere in Brainerd is so totally unique to that race. There are other races where there are campgrounds and awesome, fun fans, but in Brainerd I swear these people wait for 11-and-a-half months for this event. It's like they put everything into their campsites and their vehicles. They have couches on wheels, they have tractors they tow stuff around with, and it's just amazing to see.
"If you've never been to "the zoo" - you may no want to go after dark - you have to go at least once in your life."
As for competing this weekend and being assured a high spot in the Countdown to 1 playoffs that begin for the top 10 in points following the U.S. Nationals on Labor Day weekend, "It's three races left before the Countdown kicks in (Brainerd, Reading, Pa., and the U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis)," said Beckman from his new home in Norco, Calif. "We're fifth. We're chasing fourth. We want to get back in that fourth spot. I don't think that we're going to get into the top three. Those three (Tony Pedregon, Ron Capps and Ashley Force Hood) have distanced themselves a bit, but fourth place is very, very doable for us. And, if we can close out the first part of the season with at least one more win (he's notched two already), I think we're going to be in good shape to retake fourth.
"It's also an opportunity for us to try some tune-up things that might work well for us once the Countdown does start. So, it really would be nice to qualify well on Friday and have the luxury of testing on Saturday. Ultimately, Countdown or no Countdown, we still want to win on Sunday."
Mail Terminal Services continues its popular "Mail From Home" campaign in 2009, supporting the U.S. troops serving in the war zones. In the past two NHRA seasons the campaign has sent over 195,000 post cards overseas signed by fans and supporters at each NHRA national event with messages of support for the troops, along with numerous NHRA National Dragster issues and other automotive magazines. Photos of cars and drivers were also included.
In 2009 the "Mail From Home" program has been challenged to exceed the previous records of cards distributed to hit a 120,000-card record for one season.