Las Vegas: Jack Beckman preview

SECOND VEGAS WIN BECKONS BECKMAN LAS VEGAS (April 11, 2007) - Jack Beckman arrived at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway last October to drive in only his fourth-ever NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series Funny Car national event after joining Don...

SECOND VEGAS WIN BECKONS BECKMAN

LAS VEGAS (April 11, 2007) - Jack Beckman arrived at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway last October to drive in only his fourth-ever NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series Funny Car national event after joining Don Schumacher Racing following the U.S. Nationals. He left with his first victory in that class, then went on to qualify No. 1 and reach his second straight final round at the season finale in Pomona, Calif. The California native also set both ends of the national record.

Beckman's national elapsed-time record has since been eclipsed, but the driver of the Mail Terminal Services Dodge Charger R/T still holds the national speed record and is looking for a repeat win at this weekend's SummitRacing.com NHRA Nationals, the first of two season events at this track.

"I'm excited because Vegas has always been a horsepower track, which the MTS Dodge and (crew chief) Todd Okuhara like," said Beckman, who's had a tough start to the new season. "It's a little bit more forgiving than some of the tracks we raced on already. It's a little more forgiving than some of the tracks we're going to be at after that, and I think it's a great opportunity for us to get our confidence back and I don't see any reason why we can't go back out there and win it.

"What I also think is important is that it's the first race where we're going to be starting to get back to normal," he said of John Force Racing's return after sitting out the Houston race following the passing of JFR driver Eric Medlen from injuries sustained in a Gainesville, Fla., testing accident. "Obviously, Eric is not going to be with us anymore, but the Force cars are all going to be back out there and I think it may be the next step in the healing process.

"It's also going to be tough because it will be the first time since Gainesville we'll be back at the races with the Force camp and I know they're going to have difficult times. But I think it's important that they get back out there. And I think if we win this race we will have really won this race, because all the best Funny Cars will be there."

(Note: Final determination of whether the JFR cars will race this weekend depends on the outcome of unprecedented testing runs made by JFR today at The Strip to test safety changes made to the team's Funny Cars.)

"Since last year the NHRA has added 25 pounds to the cars. So, the paint job's different and we've moved weight around in the MTS Dodge. Other than that, the car doesn't know it's not the exact same car that won at Vegas last year and we're not going to tell it, and hopefully it will do its thing."

MAIL TERMINAL SERVICES "MAIL FROM HOME" PROGRAM UPDATE:
Mail Terminal Services will be featuring Camp Speicher this weekend at the SummitRacing.com NHRA Nationals in its "Mail from Home" program. Postcards will be available to send to this war-zone camp at the Don Schumacher Racing hospitality area as well as at a kiosk in the U.S. Army "Racing Zone", the U.S. Army Interactive area located in Nitro Alley.

-credit: dsr

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Series NHRA
Drivers John Force , Jack Beckman , Eric Medlen , Don Schumacher