Seattle: Jack Beckman preview

DENVER WINNER BECKMAN MAKES SEATTLE RETURN KENT, Wash. (July 18, 2007) - "Fast" Jack Beckman, his wife Jenna and son Jason Russell are touring the country between Denver, Colo., where he won his first NHRA Funny Car national event of the season...

DENVER WINNER BECKMAN MAKES SEATTLE RETURN

KENT, Wash. (July 18, 2007) - "Fast" Jack Beckman, his wife Jenna and son Jason Russell are touring the country between Denver, Colo., where he won his first NHRA Funny Car national event of the season last Sunday, and Kent, Wash., where he'll be competing in the Schuck's Auto Supply NHRA Nationals this weekend.

The "Wally" he earned for his Denver victory is tucked away in the motor coach and Beckman plans to take it out of the closet, he says, to photograph it, a la "The Roaming Gnome," at various tourist sites en route. We'll share those photos with you at a later date.

In his first full season in the Funny Car class and visiting venues where he's never competed in an NHRA pro category, Frank Hawley Drag Racing School instructor and 2003 Super Comp champion Beckman can claim he's raced at Pacific Raceways before, during his brief stint in the Top Fuel class in 2005.

"Yes, I actually raced a Top Fuel dragster in '05 here," he said." It was the only time I had ever been here, and we lost first round."

His focus is not on the past, however, but on the future and to maintain his place in the top eight in points and to earn a spot in the Countdown to the Championship playoff, which begins after the next four races, at the U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis.

In the last six races, Beckman has moved from 11th to seventh in the standings after scoring 11 round wins, including a victory!

"Coming off this momentum, our goal is to try to keep the win streak going," said Beckman, who drives the Mail Terminal Services Dodge Charger R/T for Don Schumacher Racing. "Rodger (Comstock, CEO of MTS) and Karen (Comstock) will both have their own Super Comp cars in Seattle that they'll be racing. And because Rodger missed Denver it's going to be exciting to see him with 'Wally' for the first time.

"Also, in Seattle, a lot of the legends of the early days of Top Fuel and Funny Car raced here, such as Jerry Ruth and Wayne King. And having those guys come up and even acknowledge you, much less say they're watching you race and enjoying it, is just huge to me.

"I still can't believe when people say to me, 'Yeah, we watch you on TV and we root for you.' Like, what? You mean me?"

Coming off the mile-high mountain in Denver to the sea level of Washington Sate will also have its advantages. "This might be the most dynamic shift of the season from Denver to Seattle," said Beckman."You're going from the worst air to one of the places with the best air. And, the last few years Pacific Raceways has been a fairly tricky race track. So, it could be an interesting combination. The conditions are fantastic for horsepower and it's a tuner's race track, for sure."

Mail Terminal Services will be featuring Camp Stryker this weekend in Seattle, in its "Mail from Home" program. Postcards will be available to send to this war-zone camp at the Don Schumacher Racing hospitality area as well as at a kiosk in the U.S. Army "Racing Zone," the U.S. Army Interactive area located in Nitro Alley.

Current DSR Countdown to the Championship stats: All seven Don Schumacher Racing team drivers, with the exception of Antron Brown (who is ninth in Pro Stock Motorcycle, just three points out of eighth) are in the top eight in points in the Countdown to the Championship after 13 events:

-credit: dsr

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Series NHRA
Drivers Antron Brown , Jack Beckman , Don Schumacher , Frank Hawley