"FAST JACK" BECKMAN EARNS NHRA TOP FUEL LICENSE Super Comp champ prepares for Las Vegas debut LAS VEGAS, Nev. (April 2, 2005) -- "Fast Jack" Beckman, 38, the 2003 NHRA Lucas Oil Super Comp champion, completed his Top Fuel licensing requirements...
"FAST JACK" BECKMAN EARNS NHRA TOP FUEL LICENSE
Super Comp champ prepares for Las Vegas debut
LAS VEGAS, Nev. (April 2, 2005) -- "Fast Jack" Beckman, 38, the 2003 NHRA Lucas Oil Super Comp champion, completed his Top Fuel licensing requirements this past weekend at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Beckman, who works as an instructor at Frank Hawley's Drag Racing School in Pomona, Calif., became the student as tuner Jimmy Walsh guided him through his first runs in Dexter Tuttle's 8,000 horsepower Menards/Mail Terminal Services/DHL dragster.
Over a two week period, Beckman made a total of 10 passes in Las Vegas including a best of 4.750 at 299.33 mph to successfully upgrade his license from Top Alcohol Dragster to Top Fuel. He also made three other passes in the four second zone and two over 290 mph. Fellow Top Fuel drivers Rod Fuller and Steve Chrisman signed the license application making it official.
"What an incredible rush," said Beckman, "I thought I had driven some fast cars before, but nothing can compare to this. I'm still in awe of the power that thing has. It just never stops accelerating until you cross the finish line.
"On the 4.75, 299 run, the car moved towards the centerline a little but I knew it was a really strong run."
Now that he is officially a member of the Top Fuel fraternity, Beckman will now focus on his first competitive outing, which is scheduled for the upcoming NHRA Summitracing.com Nationals in Las Vegas, April 14-17.
"Since I was a kid, there's nothing I've wanted to do more than race in Top Fuel," said Beckman. "It still hasn't hit me that I'm actually going to do it. If I'm strapped in that car when they play the national anthem on Sunday morning [during the NHRA national event]in Las Vegas that's when the reality of all this will start to set in."
Beckman's new venture is part of a collaborative effort between car owner Tuttle and Beckman's longtime friends Rodger and Karen Comstock, who operate Mail Terminal Services. The team plans to compete in 12 events this season including the Mac Tools U.S. Nationals at Indy and the season-ending Auto Club of Southern California Finals in Pomona.
"We've got everything it takes to be competitive," said team owner Tuttle. "We've got one of the best crew chiefs in the business in Jimmy Walsh, we've got all the best parts, and now we've got a great driver in Jack Beckman. He's still getting used to the car, but in the last two weeks he's done everything we've asked him to do."