Phoenix: Jack Beckman preview

BECKMAN RETURNS TO PHOENIX WITH ONE GOAL: TO REPEAT NORTH HILLS, Calif. (Feb. 17, 2009) - Last year, Jack Beckman started off his NHRA Funny Car racing season with a victory at the second event of the year at Firebird International Raceway, then...

BECKMAN RETURNS TO PHOENIX WITH ONE GOAL: TO REPEAT

NORTH HILLS, Calif. (Feb. 17, 2009) - Last year, Jack Beckman started off his NHRA Funny Car racing season with a victory at the second event of the year at Firebird International Raceway, then backed that up with two more victories to finish the season No. 3 in the standings.

This year, the driver of the Valvoline/Mail Terminal Service Dodge Funny Car returns to Firebird, located south of Phoenix, with the same goal, following his quarterfinal finish at the season-opening event in Pomona, Calif., two weeks ago.

"It's always fun to go back to a race as the previous event champion," said Beckman, eighth in the standings after one event in the 2009 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series. "You usually get your name in the fan guide and in the program and the announcers talk about you a little bit more. So that's always cool.

"Last year, even though we did win Phoenix, we didn't really hit our stride until Denver. And there's no panic right now. We've had a couple of minor hiccups with the tune-up that I think we're close to getting worked out, but the way the Countdown format goes, you can take four or five races to work them out. I don't see anybody showing any signs of dominance this year, although I'm very thankful that my DSR teammate Ron Capps and the NAPA car are back to being one of the top cars again (Capps won the season-opener). That will be a lot of fun.

"I really think all three Schumacher Funny Cars (Beckman, Capps and Matt Hagan) are going to be challengers this year for the championship.

"I've done a lot of Sportsman racing at Firebird," added Beckman, the 2003 NHRA Super Comp champion in only his third full season of pro Funny Car competition. "I've also made a lot of passes there in testing, so I'm very comfortable at that race track. And it would be nice to get a win with the special Mail Terminal Services body on it and then we'll put the Valvoline-featured body back on it and go to Gainesville (Fla.) and try to win there."

Mail Terminal Services will continue 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 (90,000 and 100,000, respectively) to hit a 120,000-card record.

-credit: dsr

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Ron Capps , Jack Beckman