Norwalk: Jack Beckman preview

BECKMAN BENT ON GETTING BACK ON TRACK IN NORWALK NORTH HILLS, Calif. (June 24, 2009) - "Fast" Jack Beckman, driving the Valvoline Engine Guarantee Dodge Funny Car at the NHRA Nationals at Summit Racing Equipment Motorsports Park in Norwalk,...

BECKMAN BENT ON GETTING BACK ON TRACK IN NORWALK

NORTH HILLS, Calif. (June 24, 2009) - "Fast" Jack Beckman, driving the Valvoline Engine Guarantee Dodge Funny Car at the NHRA Nationals at Summit Racing Equipment Motorsports Park in Norwalk, Ohio, this weekend, is bent on getting back on track after early exits at the last two events.

He hopes a return to one of the premier racing facilities on the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series schedule will help him and his Don Schumacher Racing team return to the top of the Funny Car pack.

Beckman has won one national event this season so far (Atlanta), and has enjoyed a points placing as high as No. 2. Following two first-round losses in the last two events, however, he now stands No. 6 in the rankings, 11 markers out of the top five. Norwalk this weekend could be a turning point for the team that saw marked improvement in the car's performance at the last event, despite the early dismissal.

"It's the first time NHRA will run at 1000 feet here at Norwalk," Beckman commented. "Love the facility. The Baders are phenomenal promoters. They know how to pack the grandstands and it will be interesting to see how it will fare with the current economy. But I'd bet, if there's any track on the tour that can pack the stands, it's Norwalk. They always put on an amazing show.

"It's also going to be interesting because they're putting in brand-new asphalt past the eighth mile and that always makes it tricky for the tuners, especially since Norwalk is a relatively new race on the NHRA tour," added Beckman, whose team is also backed by Mail Terminal Services.

"We're coming off back-to-back first-round losses, which is the only time that's happened for us this season, and we're in the dense part of the schedule this year. So, this really is the time to put up or shut up. We have to start going rounds consistently to keep this Valvoline Engine Guarantee/MTS car solid in the Countdown and we really want to be top five when Indy rolls around." The Countdown to 1 for the top 10 in points begins following the U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis on Labor Day weekend. It will be contested in the final six races of the year.

"We go into every race confident we have a car capable of winning," said Beckman, who qualified No. 5 in Norwalk last year. "We lost first round the last two races, but we had a good race-day car. Our problem is we struggled in qualifying, and that's what we have to fix. As soon as we get back to qualifying solidly in the top half I think the round and race wins are going to start coming on a regular basis, like last year."

Following last year's Norwalk event, Beckman went on to reach six more final rounds (he had won earlier in the year in Phoenix), winning twice, for a total of three national event wins for the season.

Mail Terminal Services continues its popular "Mail From Home" campaign in 2009, supporting the U.S. troops serving in the war zones. In the past two NHRA seasons the campaign has sent over 195,000 post cards overseas signed by fans and supporters at each NHRA national event with messages of support for the troops, along with numerous NHRA National Dragster issues and other automotive magazines. Photos of cars and drivers were also included.

In 2009 the "Mail From Home" program has been challenged to exceed the previous records of cards distributed to hit a 120,000-card record for one season.

-credit: dsr

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Series NHRA
Drivers Jack Beckman