BECKMAN TO TAP INTO HIS SPORTSMAN SUCCESS IN SONOMA SONOMA, Calif. (July 23, 2009) - Jack Beckman, the two-time season Funny Car winner in the 2009 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series, will be tapping into what he's learned from his Sportsman...
BECKMAN TO TAP INTO HIS SPORTSMAN SUCCESS IN SONOMA
SONOMA, Calif. (July 23, 2009) - Jack Beckman, the two-time season Funny Car winner in the 2009 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series, will be tapping into what he's learned from his Sportsman racing success here at Infineon Raceway at this weekend's FRAM-Autolite NHRA Nationals.
In only his third full season competing in the Funny Car category driving the Valvoline/Mail Terminal Services Dodge for Don Schumacher Racing, Beckman's eight national-event wins in 15 final rounds do not include a victory here. He has, however, won here in the Sportsman category, in which he claimed the 2003 Super Comp world championship.
"As a Sportsman I raced a lot in Sonoma," said Beckman, who stands fourth in the Funny Car class points rankings. "It's got a lot of meaning for me, not just for that but we're going to take part in the Eric Medlen Tribute dinner tonight and meet all his friends and family form Oakdale, his hometown. That's always sad, but it will be a warm evening as a tribute to a lost friend.
"I've won at Sonoma in my Sportsman car several times. My last divisional win there was in 2004 over 'Hot Rod' Fuller in the final round in Super Comp. That was while I was going through my chemotherapy," added Beckman, who survived his battle with cancer and is in remission.
"What always gave us fits in Sportsman in Sonoma in trying to dial our cars in was the way the wind direction changed and the way the micro-currents would come in. So, you'd get cool and warm pockets of air coming in, which I'm sure is going to give similar trouble to the nitro cars. The difference is, in a Sportsman car we had to try to dial a time in, in a nitro car you have to try to dial the horsepower to the track. They're two different challenges from a similar cause.
"In Denver (where he reached the semifinals in the first race of the Western Swing, which includes Denver, Seattle and Sonoma), we had a great tune-up, but we knew it wouldn't necessarily translate to sea level. We changed some things around with our horsepower in Seattle and we could just never back it down enough. So, we think that we've got a baseline now very similar to what we started the weekend with in Norwalk (Ohio) (where he won). We just hope we have the same results."
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 120,000-card record for one season.