Jack Beckman Wants To Be The "Lucky Dog" At NHRA Northwest Natonals
Jack Beckman heads into this weekend’s 24th-annual NHRA Northwest Nationals here at Pacific Raceways determined to change the luck of his Aaron’s Dream Machine/Valvoline NextGen Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car team and break out of his recent string of early race-day exits.
“We’re going with the Aaron’s (primary-sponsor) body in Seattle and we hope the ‘Lucky Dog’ will be riding with us,” said the 45-year-old Don Schumacher Racing driver after suffering a first-round defeat last week in Sonoma, a week after going out in the initial frame in Denver. “We had not lost back-to-back first-round races since Pomona-Pomona – that’s the final race of last year and the first race this season.
“The good news is that we’re not lost despite the first-round losses. Two weeks ago in Denver – well Denver is Denver and anything can happen there. Last weekend in Sonoma we used the same basic setup we used to earn a solid qualifying position (sixth) and a very similar one to what Johnny (Gray, DSR teammate who went right down the track in defeating Beckman) had in his car, and we smoked the tires.
“Regardless, by Monday the disappointment was gone and we started looking ahead.”
Further encouragement comes from past successes in the Northwest where nitro qualifying gets under way at 2:30 p.m. PT Friday.
“We won there in 2007 and whenever you race on a track where you’ve done well in the past, you are naturally more confident going back,” he explained. “Seattle’s not a unique track like Denver, which is outside a crew-chief’s normal range; it’s just another good track for racing.”
Including this weekend’s contest, three races remain in the regular season before the points are reset for the top 10 drivers who will enter the Countdown to 1 playoff for the Funny Car championship.
Beckman retained his number-three spot in the standings, behind points leader Mike Neff and Robert Hight, and ahead of Cruz Pedregon and DSR teammate Matt Hagan. Hight (five points ahead), who went to the quarterfinals, and Pedregon (23 behind), the semifinals, improved their position relative to Beckman, gains he looks to reverse this weekend.
“We left Sonoma still in third place (in the 2011 NHRA Full Throttle Funny Car standings) so we’ll just have to get back in the groove in Seattle,” he explained.
By: don schumacher racing