Gainesville: Jack Beckman preview

VALVOLINE/MTS TEAM IS 'ONE BREAK AWAY FROM WINNING,' SAYS BECKMAN NORTH HILLS, Calif. (March 10, 2009) - With two quarterfinal finishes scored in the first two events of the 2009 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series, Jack Beckman is confident...

VALVOLINE/MTS TEAM IS 'ONE BREAK AWAY FROM WINNING,' SAYS BECKMAN

NORTH HILLS, Calif. (March 10, 2009) - With two quarterfinal finishes scored in the first two events of the 2009 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series, Jack Beckman is confident that the Valvoline/Mail Terminal Services Dodge Funny Car team is just one break away from winning its first race of the season, as the team heads to the 40th annual NHRA Gatornationals at Gainesville (Fla.) Raceway this weekend.

"We're OK," said Beckman, whose six career victories do not include the Gatornationals in two full seasons of pro Funny Car competition. "If you get down at the end of the season and you look back at a review of all the winners in all 24 races, more often than not someone is going to tell you they had a break to get that win, whether it was something they found in qualifying or something in eliminations. And I think we're just one break away from winning our first race.

"We're not at the point quickness-wise where we ultimately want to be. We're pretty darned close consistency-wise to where we were last year, and that really was our strength." Beckman claimed three victories in seven final rounds in 2008 to earn No. 3 in the season point standings.

"But, I think that it is very plausible for us to walk out of Gainesville with the Wally (winner's trophy) and it might take one lucky break. I do think we're performing well enough right now that within the next three races we're going to see our first win of the season.

"Gainesville's got a lot of tradition," he added. "I think if you averaged out per-day attendance, Gainesville might be the best-attended race on the tour. It's almost always a sell-out there, it's the first taste of pro drag racing that fans get in the Southeast for the year, and they treat us really well there. I mean, there are so many hard-core fans there that it's impossible not to love going to that race."

Mail Terminal Services will continue 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.

-credit: dsr

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Series NHRA
Drivers Jack Beckman