Reading: Jack Beckman preview

BECKMAN ON PRECARIOUS PERCH HEADING INTO READING NORTH HILLS, Calif. (Aug. 13, 2008) - Although he's moved into ninth place in the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series Funny Car point standings following his runner-up finish in Brainerd, Minn., on...

BECKMAN ON PRECARIOUS PERCH HEADING INTO READING

NORTH HILLS, Calif. (Aug. 13, 2008) - Although he's moved into ninth place in the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series Funny Car point standings following his runner-up finish in Brainerd, Minn., on Sunday, Jack Beckman knows he's still in a precarious position heading into the 24th annual NHRA Nationals at Maple Grove Raceway this weekend, outside of Reading, Pa.

The driver of the Valvoline/Mail Terminal Services Dodge Charger R/T is five points ahead of Mike Neff in 10th, 84 markers in front of Bob Tasca III in 11th, and 83 points behind his Don Schumacher Racing teammate Ron Capps in ninth.

So, while it may appear that he's perched solidly in the top 10 in order to make it into the Countdown to 1 playoffs which begin following the U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis on Labor Day weekend, he is well aware that there is no guarantee with two events remaining before the top 10 are sealed.

"You might say eighth is safe," said Beckman, "but ninth and 10th are definitely not, because there can be a four-round swing any given weekend in drag racing. So, you want to have an eight-round cushion if you have two races to go.” Twenty points are awarded for each round win during eliminations.

"I said this before the Western Swing, that we were going to need to get 10 or 11 round wins minimum to have a good shot at staying in the top 10. And we have eight round wins so far with two more races before the Countdown. So, we're on a pretty good pace right now. I think we've really turned things around on the Valvoline/MTS Dodge team.

"After going nine races without a round win, to get round wins at every race of the last four is very rewarding," added Beckman, who debuted in the Funny Car class for DSR at Maple Grove Raceway in 2006. "It's interesting. The goal is always to win races, but, really, a more important goal for the next two races is to win rounds and preserve that top 10 spot. We'd just like to win four rounds each race."

In his two visits to Maple Grove to compete in the Funny Car class for DSR, he lost to John Force. In 2006 he qualified No. 8 and lost to Force in the opening round, and in 2007, after qualifying No. 2, he again lost to Force in the first stanza. However, career-wise, Beckman leads the 14-time champion in head-to-head round wins: 5-4.

Mail Terminal Services continues its "Mail from Home" program in 2008. Fans at each NHRA national event have the opportunity to sign special cards at the Don Schumacher Racing hospitality area and at the U.S. Army Racing Zone in the midway, which MTS then ships, free of charge, to the troops in war zones overseas.

-credit: dsr

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Series NHRA
Drivers John Force , Jack Beckman , Don Schumacher , Mike Neff