NORCO, Calif. (Feb. 8, 2010) - "Fast" Jack Beckman is eager to get back to racing in the 2010 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series, which opens this weekend at the 50th annual Winternationals in Pomona, Calif.

"Local boy" Beckman is looking for his first win at this historic event, having amassed eight national-event victories in 17 final rounds in his short, four-year professional career as the driver of the Valvoline/Mail Terminal Services Dodge Funny Car for Don Schumacher Racing.

He ended the 2009 season fifth in the standings after winning two events in five final rounds, with a season round-win record of 29-22.

"Everybody on the Valvoline/MTS team is so excited," said Beckman, who still holds the national speed record of 333.66 mph, racing to the quarter-mile. "We had a great test in Florida in January, which meant that we could take everything back to the DSR shop in Indy, get it serviced, get it fresh, and get the crew guys a couple of three-day weekends off so they would be well rested coming into Pomona.

"We have new paint schemes for the year, a new fire suit, new crew outfits, and five of the same crew members from last year. We've added crew chief Rahn Tobler and three others, so the entire unit hadn't worked together before this year.

"But in preseason testing within two and a half days I could already see everybody was on the same page and working well together. And I've talked to Tobler, assistant crew chief John Collins and several of the crew guys many times at the test session, and everybody is so excited about getting the season started.

"The Winternationals has always been the kickoff of the season. It's the race where you get to see all of the new paint schemes, but for me it's always been the local race too. When you think about it, for a Southern California boy, it's triply exciting to be at my home race track, at the opening season of the year, and where there are so many new things to see.

"I think, right out of the box, we're going to be a contender. I think every pro team has a couple of races during every season where they stumble or lose the handle on the combination. And I'm not saying that we won't be in that position one or two times this year, but I feel, with the talent on our team, and on DSR's other five nitro teams, with whom we can sound ideas back and forth, we're going to be phenomenal this year."

Beckman's best results at Pomona is a Pomona 2 No. 1 qualifier and runner-up finish in 2006.

-source: dsr