Jack Beckman Aims For Win In Joliet

Route 66 Raceway

Beckman Would Like Joliet Trophy For Shelf At This Weekend’s Route 66 Nationals

Jack Beckman, second in the NHRA Full Throttle Funny Car standings and winner of two 2011 races, would like to continue his solid season by winning the Route 66 NHRA Nationals here this weekend, something he has never done.

Jack Beckman during Winners Circle celebration
Jack Beckman during Winners Circle celebration

Photo by: Ted Rossino

The driver of the Valvoline/Aaron’s Dream Machine Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car, with 11 national-event victories in a Funny Car career which began with the final five races of the 2006 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series season, wants to win every time he is strapped into his 8,000-horsepower machine, but a win at Route 66 Raceway would be even sweeter than some others.

“There’s a lot of drag-racing history here in the Chicago-area,” said the Don Schumacher Racing driver. “Back in the 70s there were a lot of touring Funny Cars, including Don Schumacher, based here. The track was different then, but there’s a great sense of being part of the sport’s tradition in coming back here to race.

“Route 66 Raceway is an unbelievable facility, ranking high on my list of places to race. My first race in the region was driving my Super Comp car in the Jegs All Stars while I was going through chemo, was down 30 pounds and was bald.

“All that’s behind me and I would like to add a trophy to my list of Chicago accomplishments,” added the Southern California cancer survivor.

A win this weekend would keep the number of Funny Car winners at four (leader Mike Neff with three, Robert Hight four and Jeff Arend one) through the first 11 races of the 2011 season, which Beckman finds interesting.

“Usually, considering the quality of drivers and teams in the category, we have five or six Funny Car winners by now,” he said. “I think we could easily see up to 10 by the end of the year, or, considering the unpredictability of nitro racing, it could remain at four – but I don’t think so.”

He wants to win every race, but realizes this is unrealistic.

“We would like to get another one before the Coundown (to 1 playoffs) begins after Indy, but most importantly is to keep running well as we get into those final six races,” said Beckman. “ We want to keep getting down the track, gaining data and an even better understanding of our Valvoline/Aaron’s hot rod.”

By: don schumacher racing

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Jack Beckman , Jeff Arend , Don Schumacher , Robert Hight , Mike Neff
Tags chicago, don schumacher racing, funny car, jack beckman, joliet, nhra, route 66 raceway