Pomona II: Jack Beckman preview

Beckman still in championship chase entering season finale NORCO, Calif. (Nov. 10, 2009) - Jack Beckman is still in the running for his first Funny Car championship as the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series comes down to its final event of...

Beckman still in championship chase entering season finale

NORCO, Calif. (Nov. 10, 2009) - Jack Beckman is still in the running for his first Funny Car championship as the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series comes down to its final event of 2009 at this weekend's 45th annual NHRA Finals in Pomona, Calif.

The driver of the Valvoline/Mail Terminal Services Dodge Funny Car stands fourth in the rankings, 114 points behind first-place Robert Hight. And, while mathematically it appears doable, it's a high mountain to climb and he admits it.

"It's not over for the championship, but I think the fat lady is warming up her vocal chords," said Beckman, a two-time national-event winner this season. "We would pretty much have to have an act of Congress and God would need to be a member of Congress right now for us to win the championship.

"I think the realistic goal for us is to get right back into the final round and this time get the win," he said, referring to his runner-up finish at the last event in Las Vegas. "And if we win the final round, unless somebody sets an elapsed-time record (for 20 bonus points), we're going to finish second."

"I think that is a very attainable goal for us," added Beckman, who is nine markers out of second place. "And to close the year out on a positive note just makes the off-season go so much better for everybody on the Valvoline/MTS team.

"If we can win in Pomona I know the Valvoline/MTS guys are going to be champing at the bit to go out and test for next year. It's been a very interesting season. You look at the guy who is most likely going to win the championship (Robert Hight), and he was in 12th place going into the last race before the Countdown (the final six races of the year for the top 10).

"But nobody really made a run this year like a couple of the cars including ours did at times during last year. Last year you saw Tim Wilkerson surge at one point, we surged at one point, and Cruz Pedregon surged at one point, which gave him the championship. We never really saw that this year. Hight did do well once the Countdown started, but nobody truly dominated and had a strong overall season like we've seen in years past.

"So, I think if we can win Pomona then the writing's on the wall. I think that everybody does know that we will be listed as one of the contenders for next year. If we can win, it will make us a favorite for 2010 going into the off-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 125,000-card record for one season.

-credit: dsr

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Series NHRA
Drivers Cruz Pedregon , Jack Beckman , Robert Hight