Gainesville: Jack Beckman preview

BECKMAN BOLSTERED BY PHOENIX WIN, TARGETS GATORS NORTH HILLS, Calif. (March 10, 2008) - Fresh off his first season Funny Car victory in the 2008 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series at Firebird Raceway (outside of Phoenix) three weekends ago and ...

BECKMAN BOLSTERED BY PHOENIX WIN, TARGETS GATORS

NORTH HILLS, Calif. (March 10, 2008) - Fresh off his first season Funny Car victory in the 2008 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series at Firebird Raceway (outside of Phoenix) three weekends ago and holding onto second in the point standings, "Fast" Jack Beckman returns to the NHRA Gatornationals this weekend to avenge his 2007 result.

The driver of the Valvoline/Mail Terminal Services Dodge Charger R/T for Don Schumacher Racing failed to qualify last year at the Gators, the first time in his professional career. In a season fraught with DNQs among each of the top Funny Car championship contenders under the new Countdown to the Championship format, Beckman DNQ'd a second time in 2007, and missed earning a spot in the final Countdown to One playoff by just one round.

Beckman is buoyed by the Valvoline/MTS Dodge's performance in Phoenix where, except for one less-then-stellar lap, he posted four solid, consistent passes to win his fourth career national event in six final rounds since joining Don Schumacher Racing for the last five races of 2006. The popular Frank Hawley Drag Racing School instructor is in his second full season in the Funny Car class with DSR.

"That DNQ last year in Gainesville was my first in the pro ranks and it was very disappointing," said the former Air Force sergeant, cancer survivor and holder of the national top-speed record of 333.66 mph. "We had debuted a new chassis, and it required a different tune-up, so we went and tested afterwards and sorted it out.

"This year we're coming into Gainesville under totally different circumstances. We've got a chassis that we've run over 100 runs and we just won Phoenix, where we ran really consistently. We have every reason to believe that the Valvoline/MTS Dodge can make another charge for the winner's circle at the prestigious Gatornationals."

Mail Terminal Services will continue its "Mail from Home" program in 2008. Fans at each NHRA national event will have the opportunity to sign special cards at the DSR hospitality area and at the U.S. Army Racing Zone in the midway area, which MTS will then ship, free of charge, to the troops in war zones overseas.

-credit: dsr

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Series NHRA
Drivers Jack Beckman , Don Schumacher , Frank Hawley