JACK BECKMAN TO DRIVE MAIL TERMINAL SERVICES DODGE FUNNY CAR FOR DSR IN '07 AND BEYOND INDIANAPOLIS (Jan. 9, 2007) - Jack Beckman will return to Don Schumacher Racing for the 2007 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series to drive the Mail Terminal ...
JACK BECKMAN TO DRIVE MAIL TERMINAL SERVICES DODGE FUNNY CAR FOR DSR IN '07 AND BEYOND
INDIANAPOLIS (Jan. 9, 2007) - Jack Beckman will return to Don Schumacher Racing for the 2007 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series to drive the Mail Terminal Services Dodge Funny Car, team owner Don Schumacher announced today. Schumacher also confirmed that he has signed Beckman to drive for DSR through the 2009 season.
Beckman, a former Top Fuel racer who joined DSR after the U.S. Nationals in 2006 to replace Whit Bazemore in the Matco Tools Dodge Charger, went from Funny Car rookie to the fastest and quickest Funny Car pilot on the planet after posting national-record passes at the season finale in Pomona: 4.662 seconds, and 333.66 mph. He also claimed his first NHRA pro victory in only his fourth Funny Car race, at the season's penultimate event in Las Vegas.
For 2007, the Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car Beckman powered to these national records will take on a new look, as Mail Terminal Services comes on board as primary sponsor. Todd Okuhara will continue as crew chief, along with assistant crew chief Phil Shuler.
Mail Terminal Services is a business-to-business mail sorting and forwarding company, which has a strategic partnership with the U.S. Post Office and DHL Globalmail. Headed by President and CEO Rodger Comstock, MTS is headquartered in Weston, Fla., and operates 23 terminals throughout the United States.
As part of its partnership with the U.S Post Office to handle the processing of the U.S. Military Mail to troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, MTS will announce later this month a new "Mail from Home" program, by which NHRA fans may send post cards of encouragement to war-zone troops directly from racing events.
"I am proud to have Jack back with DSR for 2007," said Schumacher. "Despite his 'rookie' status in the Funny Car class, he demonstrated a lot of heart, gumption and talent to establish those national records, as well as a victory, without a lot of time behind the wheel of a Funny Car.
"It's also a testament to the outstanding tuning ability of Todd Okuhara. He has done a terrific job for DSR since he joined the team in 2005, and I look forward to continued success for Beckman, Okuhara and Shuler in 2007.
"Having Mail Terminal Services join our family is also a great honor. Rodger and Karen Comstock have long supported Jack Beckman and we're pleased that they will continue to back Jack under the DSR umbrella."
"We really weren't even counting on driving necessarily in 2006," said Beckman, 40, of North Hills, Calif., "and the momentum was so strong ending the season that it's breathtaking to recognize that we will absolutely be one of the cars vying for the championship this year. I know everybody says that in the off season, and I appreciate that everybody has a positive attitude. But had we been one of the final four cars with this year's (Countdown to the Championship) points format last year we would have won the championship. At Vegas and Pomona we almost scored the maximum amount of points, so no one would have beaten us. I think we are definitely one of the favorites to win the championship in 2007.
"To get to fulfill a lifelong dream of being a full-time pro driver is something I have worked for my whole life and yet I still find it tough to believe," added Beckman, the 2003 NHRA Super Comp world champion.
"To say that Rodger and Karen Comstock of MTS helped make this all possible is the understatement of the decade. Rodger's given me the ability to go out and vie for the NHRA POWERade championship this year. How many people are going to step up and help give you the opportunity to drive a car for Don Schumacher? I'm not just getting back into a top-10 Funny Car, I'm getting back into the quickest and fastest Funny Car in the history of drag racing.
"And I can't even begin to tell you how great it is to have Todd Okuhara and Phil Shuler continuing to tune this rocket ship they created, and to be a part of the Don Schumacher Racing team for a full season."
Said Comstock, "We're very proud to continue our association with Don Schumacher Racing and we're especially happy that Jack Beckman will be continuing on as a driver of the Mail Terminal Services Funny Car for DSR. In my opinion, Jack is, first, a tremendous person and, second, a great driver. in 2006 he exceeded our expectations and I think he will represent MTS and DSR very well in 2007."
Associate sponsors on the Mail Terminal Services Dodge Charger Funny Car include Freightliner, Gates Belts and Hose, Valspar, among others.
The 23-event 2007 NHRA season opens at the Auto Club Raceway at Pomona (Calif.), Feb. 8-11, 2007.