BECKMAN ON FAST TRACK AT START OF COUNTDOWN INDIANAPOLIS (Sept. 8, 2008) - "Fast" Jack Beckman is living up to his nickname as he enters the beginning of the Countdown to 1 playoffs at this weekend's Inaugural NHRA Carolinas Nationals at zMax ...
BECKMAN ON FAST TRACK AT START OF COUNTDOWN
INDIANAPOLIS (Sept. 8, 2008) - "Fast" Jack Beckman is living up to his nickname as he enters the beginning of the Countdown to 1 playoffs at this weekend's Inaugural NHRA Carolinas Nationals at zMax Dragway in Concord, N.C. The driver of the Valvoline/Mail Terminal Services Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car is on a hot streak now after reaching his third straight final round at the U.S. Nationals last week (one win) and leapfrogging from No. 9 in the point standings to No. 6.
"I'm so excited just to go into Concord this weekend," said Beckman, who has won more rounds in the last six races than any other Funny Car driver, 15 to be exact. "No pro team has any experience there. It's an all-concrete track, it's a Bruton Smith track, so we already know we won't have to worry about certain things because it will be a first-class facility. Each track has its own personality and we all start even on that. It's going to be really interesting and unique and if we can take advantage of our multi-car team (four Funny Cars fielded by Don Schumacher Racing), theoretically it gives us an advantage there.
"And the Countdown feels great," he added. "We're three-and-a-half rounds out of first place right now. We've made more of a jump than anybody in the last six races and, boy, now the leader's well within sight." Beckman begins the playoffs 70 points behind No. 1 in the rankings Tim Wilkerson.
"Qualifying is going to be important to us. Having lane choice first round is something that did bite us several times in that nine-race winless streak that we had. Fortunately, since then, we've been able to run well enough even without lane choice; we've only had lane choice once in the last six races for first first round.
"Not only is that important, but the small number of qualifying points they award now become way more important. Those are basically going to become the tie-breaking points because everybody is separated by half-round increments right now."
The Mail from Home program allows fans and competitors an opportunity to sign unique cards in the Don Schumacher Racing hospitality area and at a kiosk within the U.S. Army Racing Zone at NHRA national events with messages to the U.S. troops overseas, which are then distributed free to war-zone camps by MTS. The number of postcards distributed by MTS in 2008 is expected to exceed the 90,000 mark that was reached in 2007.