BECKMAN'S COMFORT ZONE INCLUDES SONOMA SONOMA, Calif. (July 15, 2010) - Jack Beckman heads to this weekend's FRAM-Autolite Nationals in Sonoma, Calif., with a comfortable feeling. He's raced at Infineon Raceway many times in his career,...
BECKMAN'S COMFORT ZONE INCLUDES SONOMA
SONOMA, Calif. (July 15, 2010) - Jack Beckman heads to this weekend's FRAM-Autolite Nationals in Sonoma, Calif., with a comfortable feeling. He's raced at Infineon Raceway many times in his career, competing in the Sportsman and Top Alcohol classes.
His comfort zone also includes the cockpit of the Valvoline/Mail Terminal Services Dodge Charger Funny Car he races for Don Schumacher Racing in the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series. The new chassis is now five races old and improving with age, he says, similar to the wine found at the vineries surrounding Infineon Raceway. This weekend's event is the second of three races that make up the Western Swing (Seattle, Sonoma, Denver).
"We're going into Sonoma, which used to be the last race of the Western Swing, and now it's the pivot race," said Beckman, fourth in the point standings and looking for his first pro NHRA win at Infineon Raceway. "I don't think it changes our philosophy any; it just changes our geography.
"I've raced in Sonoma so many times that I'm very comfortable there, and this new car is starting to feel really good. We've gone rounds every single race since Chicago with this new chassis (three semifinals, two quarterfinals)."
As for claiming a spot in the Countdown to 1 playoffs before they begin in the final six races of the season, "Clinching a spot in the Countdown isn't going to be a surprise or necessarily a relief to anybody on our Valvoline/MTS team," said Beckman, "because we're going to keep going at it as business as usual. We're trying to win races right now and we won enough rounds throughout the year that it's just inevitable that we're going to get in the Countdown. We'd like to be in the top three, but we're in a good place right now.
"The other thing I can't wait to do in Sonoma is go to the Eric Medlen Nitro Night Charity Dinner on Thursday. I've been to every one since Eric passed away and I think it's just a great way to spend time with his family and friends and remember him in a fond way.
"Unfortunately, with the nature of this sport we occasionally lose people and this has been an exceptionally tough year. So, getting to unwind and laugh about the great times in Eric's life is something I very much look forward to.
"And I would love on Sunday before the Eric Medlen ice cream tribute on the race track to hoist up that trophy and think of him."