JACK BECKMAN WANTS TO “CLOSE THE DEAL” IN BRAINERD AT THE LUCAS OIL NHRA NATIONALS
BRAINERD, Minn., August 15, 2011 – Jack Beckman loves coming to this part of Minnesota, but his previous visits have left him feeling slightly unfulfilled, a situation which can be remedied this weekend if he ends up in Brainerd International Raceway’s winner’s circle at the conclusion of the 30th-annual Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals.
“You like going back to a race track for one of several reasons: it’s a place you like, you have something to prove and you’ve had success there,” said the pilot of the Valvoline NextGen/Aaron’s Dream Machine Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car. “And I like coming to Brainerd.
“I like the track and I’ve had success here, including two final rounds and setting the track’s elapsed-time and speed records, but we have not closed the deal with a victory, which is something I would like to accomplish, something to prove.”
Last year the 45-year-old Don Schumacher Racing driver did everything here during final eliminations except win as he was runner up on the day when he set both track records for elapsed time – 4.057-seconds in winning a first-round race with Del Worsham – and track speed – 306.33 miles per hour in defeating Robert Hight in the semifinals.
“We were extremely successful on Sunday and got everything but the trophy,” he said about his second visit to this race’s final round without a win light (2008 being the prior one). “It would really be great to get that Brainerd win this year and continue to get ready for the upcoming playoffs.
“Speaking of the playoffs, the drag-racing fan in me is looking forward to this coming race (second-to last before the Countdown to 1, which pits the top-10 drivers from the 16-race regular season in a six-race battle for the 2011 NHRA Full Throttle Funny Car championship) to see how the Countdown shapes up. We’ve already clinched a spot and I’m curious to see how those drivers fighting to get into the top 10 make out here and at Indy.”
Beckman comes here third in the Funny Car standings, 13 points behind Robert Hight in second place.
“I’m not concerned about points or the standings at this stage, but, as in every race, I would like to collect the trophy for Valvoline, for Aaron’s, for Don Schumacher, for the great guys on my crew and for me,” he said. “And, of course, I want to complete my success story here in Brainerd.
“Like I said, I really like this track. The fans seem like they wait 11 months for this race to come every year and they are great! The campsite at this track is enormous and it has something for everyone – a family section, a fun section and a section you wouldn’t want parolees hanging out in.”