IT'S UNFINISHED BUSINESS FOR 2008 RUNNER-UP BECKMAN AT U.S. NATIONALS INDIANAPOLIS (Sept. 2, 2009) - For "Fast" Jack Beckman, the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series Funny Car runner-up at last year's U.S. Nationals, this weekend's 55th annual...
IT'S UNFINISHED BUSINESS FOR 2008 RUNNER-UP BECKMAN AT U.S. NATIONALS
INDIANAPOLIS (Sept. 2, 2009) - For "Fast" Jack Beckman, the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series Funny Car runner-up at last year's U.S. Nationals, this weekend's 55th annual running of the prestigious event is "unfinished business."
Driving the Valvoline/Mail Terminal Services Dodge for Don Schumacher Racing, Beckman is only in his third full season of competing in the Funny Car category and can boast having won eight times in 15 final rounds so far. The U.S. Nationals is one he'd like to add to that win column.
"A lot of times you'd be pretty pleased to make it into the final round, but to get to the final round in Indy and not win is definitely unfinished business," said Beckman, a two-time titlist this season who's fifth in the standings. He's already clinched a spot in the Countdown to 1 playoffs, which begin following this weekend's event for the final six races.
"I don't think you want to be at the end of your career and think, God, if we had just won that final round. We're hoping we can fix that right now.
"And, yes, it is just another race in terms of absolute points. But, because of the Countdown, it's a pivotal race for us drivers who are trying to move up in the standings and/or maintain our position.
"We have a great shot at locking in fourth place. Right now we're in fifth, but if we can do well in Indy we can seal fourth place, which is good. Even though NHRA tightens the points up for the playoffs, every 10 points means a lot at the end of the year." Each of the top 10 in points is separated by 10 markers going into the playoffs, with the exception of the leader, who earns an extra 20 points. Entering this weekend's event, Beckman is 12 points short of fourth place.
"The U.S. Nationals is not just another race because we get another time trial. We get five shots instead of the normal four," he added.
"It's not just another race because we get two night sessions here instead of the typical zero or one.
"I don't think there's anything about it that people could say it's just another race. However, we have to think of it as another race and not get caught up in the hype so that we can go out there and do our jobs and have the best chance of getting into the winner's circle."
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 125,000-card record for one season.