Jack Beckman Hopes To Pick It Up Again In Sonoma At Fram/Autolite NHRA Nationals
After a dizzying two-week period which included the birth of his second child and a challenging visit to the most difficult track on the circuit outside Denver, Jack Beckman returns to his native California for this week’s 24th-annual FRAM/Autolite NHRA Nationals looking to catch his breath while recapturing the performance he exhibited here in last year’s event.
The Valvoline NexGen/Aaron’s Dream Machine Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car Beckman brings to the starting line Friday for the first round of qualifying (the nitro categories scheduled for 4 p.m. PT) at Infineon Raceway will look different, but at the end of the day he hopes the results are familiar.
“We will be able to breathe a lot easier this week – and I don’t just mean because we are closer to sea level than we were at Bandimere Speedway last week,” Said the 45-year-old Don Schumacher Racing driver. “We are a lot more confident going into this weekend in our ability to perform, despite what happened last week in Denver (a first-round exit from the MOPAR Mile-High NHRA Nationals following a ninth qualifying position).
“We are going back to a track where last year we qualified number one and were one win light away from a trophy.”
En route to capturing the pole position, Beckman set both the track’s elapsed-time (4.063 seconds) and speed (311.56 miles per hour) records.
Jeff Diehl, Robert Hight and Bob Tasca III were then race-day victims before a final match with DSR teammate Ron Capps. Capps took the Wally in a tight battle – the margin of victory .017 seconds.
“We just performed so well in Sonoma, I can’t wait,” he said. “And I’ll get home (Norco) between the two events to see my expanded family!”
Jenna Beckman gave birth July 12th to six-pound, four-ounce, 18.5-inch Layla May, who joined four-year-old Jason under the Beckman roof.
When he gets back to Infineon for the 13th stop on the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series schedule, Beckman will be in third place of the Funny Car standings, with four races left before the beginning of the Countdown to 1 playoffs.
“I’m still more concerned about winning races, winning the trophy than accumulating points toward where we stand,” he said. “That’s because I’m confident we’ll keep performing at the consistent pace we’ve been at throughout the season, which becomes more important during the Countdown. Thanks to the work of Rahn (Tobler, crew chief), John (Collins, assistant crew chief) and the entire team, I am confident our success will continue and we’ll be ready.
“But I’d sure like to put the new-look car into the winner’s circle this weekend.”
The NextGen graphics, which will be part of the Valvoline/Aaron’s look the remainder of the season, coincides with the recent introduction by Valvoline of this new product – motor oil combining recycled and fresh oil for a reduced environmental impact.
A consumer product, NextGen motor oil technology has proven it can stand up to the stress of nitro drag racing by gaining round wins in both Beckman’s Funny Car and DSR teammate’s Antron Brown’s Matco Tools Top Fuel dragster.
According to Beckman, using NextGen is a winning proposition, “There’s zero downside. In NextGen we’re able to use a recycled oil product that delivers the engine protection we expect from Valvoline in a product that’s better for the environment. That helps make us a winner on and off the track.”
By: don schumacher racing