FOR BECKMAN, RICHMOND IS A STRATEGIC RACE NORTH HILLS, Calif. (Oct. 3, 2007) - Jack Beckman and the Mail Terminal Services Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car team are ready for the battle at this weekend's Torco Racing Fuels NHRA Nationals at Virginia...
FOR BECKMAN, RICHMOND IS A STRATEGIC RACE
NORTH HILLS, Calif. (Oct. 3, 2007) - Jack Beckman and the Mail Terminal Services Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car team are ready for the battle at this weekend's Torco Racing Fuels NHRA Nationals at Virginia Motorsports Park as they aim to win the war in their first full season in the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series.
Beckman's been hot this season, especially when it counted. In the last 11 races, he jumped from 10th, to eighth, to seventh, to fifth and into second in the Countdown to Four playoffs. Coming into this weekend's final event to name the four to compete in the Countdown to One, Beckman stands third in the rankings. He knows well the importance of a good result this weekend.
"I think it's pretty cool having this playoff format," said Beckman, a two-time winner this season. "Technically our strategy doesn't change. We race to win every race. That being said, if you're one of the top eight, and fighting for a spot in the top four, everything this weekend is based on how you do relative to the other cars that are vying for those four positions.
"And I think most people would agree that, if given the choice of winning the race versus making the Countdown to One, this might be the first time in history that somebody would say that winning the race is the battle but not the war.
"Coming into a track that the NHRA cars have only run once since 2000, which could be markedly different than it was last year, is going to be very, very interesting. It means that we have the potential of basically not having a whole lot of usable data. And I think a lot of the crew chiefs are going to have to make the tune-up calls more by feel than by going over past notes.
"So, it really seems like a strategic weekend and, that being said, we just want to go win the race. That will guarantee we stay in the top four."
As for fourth-place John Force's absence this weekend while he recovers from injuries sustained in a crash at the last event in Dallas, "Force is superman," said Beckman. "This has reinforced that to a lot of us other racers. He's absolutely superman. There was talk of him trying to come back to race this season. I think John needs to heal completely to come back to challenge again for another championship. I think that's more important than trying to rush to get back into the car. Obviously, we want him to recover as close to 100 percent and come back and race with us. And that might mean it's a better idea to take two or three months off to recuperate."