Bristol: Jack Beckman preview

BOLSTERED BY SOLID SEASON, BECKMAN IS BACK FOR BRISTOL BID NORTH HILLS, Calif. (May 12, 2009) - With one victory in two final rounds and three quarterfinal finishes so far this 2009 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series season, "Fast" Jack...

BOLSTERED BY SOLID SEASON, BECKMAN IS BACK FOR BRISTOL BID

NORTH HILLS, Calif. (May 12, 2009) - With one victory in two final rounds and three quarterfinal finishes so far this 2009 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series season, "Fast" Jack Beckman returns to Bristol Dragway this weekend in a bid for his first victory at the NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals.

The driver of the Valvoline/Mail Terminal Services Dodge Funny Car has qualified for every race so far this year and stands fourth in the point standings. At this stage in 2008, despite having notched an early win in Phoenix, he had failed to qualify twice, including at Bristol.

"We're actually just past the quarter-way point of this season and we're sitting in fourth place," said Beckman, in only his third full term competing in the Funny Car class for Don Schumacher Racing. "We're ahead of where we were at this time last year (11th).

"Something else that I think is interesting," added Beckman, "is that until we get to Denver I believe this is the first time we're racing at all these tracks this year to 1000 feet. It doesn't make a whole lot of difference other than the fact that the crew chiefs have found a way to shorten the fuse up a little bit on the cars. Instead of eating themselves up at 1250 feet, some of them are eating themselves up at 950 feet.

"We have not stepped on our car in that way and we're not going to do that until we've used up a couple of our four allotted test sessions and figure out what can make the car faster in the earlier part of the run. And, in fact, we're kind of taking a step backwards. We have been testing some things during qualifying runs. We're going to go back more to the combo that we ran in the 1000-foot era last year, with which we arguably have been the most successful Funny Car to 1000 feet, and make sure that this 2009 chassis responds to that. Once we're satisfied, we're going to build on it with a lot of test sessions.

"Bristol isn't called Thunder Valley for nothing," said Beckman of the thunderous echo resounding in the valley where the dragway sits when the nitro cars take off. "So, it's always dramatic to race in Bristol. Also, I'm going to have my father and a lot of relatives from Maryland coming out for this race. Last year I got many of that group in the winner's circle at Reading, Pa. It would be cool to do that at Bristol."

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.

-credit: dsr

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Jack Beckman , Don Schumacher