Old Bridge Township Raceway Park
BECKMAN HOPES FOR SPECIAL RESULTS IN ENGLISHTOWN, A SPECIAL PLACE
ENGLISHTOWN, N.J. – Jack Beckman, winner in two of the last four races on the 2011 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series schedule, would like to add a victory here in the 42nd annual NHRA SuperNationals at historic Old Bridge Township Raceway Park, which would mean more than bolstering his position within the Funny Car rankings.
“Very few tracks mean as much in drag-racing history to Funny Cars than Englishtown,” said the Southern Californian coming into this weekend’s race holding second place in the 2011 Funny Car standings. “The trophies given out by the NHRA are the same size, same weight and look identical, no matter what race track you win at, but if the little plaque attached to the trophy’s base says ‘Englishtown,’ it carries a bit more weight. If it says ‘Englishtown’ it means you’ve won one of the majors.
“Jungle Jim Lieberman, a legend in Funny Cars from the 60s and 70s with a legacy as a match racer, won one NHRA national event, the 1975 SummerNationals here, further adding to the track’s historical significance.”
The Don Schumacher Racing driver has never won at the New Jersey facility, but hopes to carry the momentum generated by the Aaron’s Dream Machine/Valvoline Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car team, which included a number-one qualifier two weeks ago in Topeka, to the winner’s circle Sunday.
“I am so confident in the calls Rahn Tobler (crew chief) and John Collins (assistant crew chief) are making, I believe we have an even better chance of winning right now,” he said. “I’ve said it before, the way our team works together, the way we are performing, I look forward to every race.
“Every nitro driver will lose some races early, that’s the way it is in this sport. Rahn and John have minimized that in the way our car is running!”
The team was middle of the pack at the season’s onset, sitting sixth after three events, but a win at the Charlotte 4-Wide race catapulted them to third, with the move to second two races later after winning in Atlanta. Beckman trails leader Mike Neff by 36 points after a semifinals finish in Topeka. He is ahead of Robert Hight, Cruz Pedregon and DSR teammate Matt Hagan (respectively) in the championship standings. “We just want to keep on doing what we are doing,” Beckman said. “Unfortunately, nitro tends to be cyclical – one team gets on a roll, but it usually doesn’t last forever. When we struggled a bit at the beginning of the season, which is not unusual in this class, no one panicked, and this confidence in our approach is now paying off.
“I wouldn’t trade my seat for any other in Funny Car!”