JACK BECKMAN BRINGS WINNING WAYS TO HOUSTON-AREA RACE
BAYTOWN, TEXAS, April 25, 2011 -- This coming weekend's 24th annual NHRA Spring Nationals at Royal Purple Raceway here cannot come quickly enough for Jack Beckman, who drove the Aaron's Dream Machine/Valvoline Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car into the winner's circle at the last race of the 2011 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series season.
Consistently both quick and fast during the entire 4-Wide Nationals two weeks ago in Charlotte, Beckman hopes to continue the momentum from his first win of the young season.
"If you have a terrible outcome on race day, you can't wait to get to the next race to try and redeem yourself," said the 44-year-old Southern California native. "And if you have a great day like the Aaron's/Valvoline team had in Charlotte during the 4-Wide race, then you can't wait to keep it going!
"And I am so confident in how well Rahn (Tobler, crew chief) has this car running, I can't wait to get to the track and do it again."
Beckman was quickest in all three rounds of eliminations and fastest in two of the three. (He was edged out in the speed category by Bob Tasca III, who finished second, in the finals 311.05 miles per hour to 309.63. Beckman took the win light, blasting down the 1,000-foot zMAX Dragway track in 4.120 seconds versus 4.137 by Tasca.)
He credited a day of testing following the season's third race earlier this month in Las Vegas, as a key to the Charlotte success, as well as being significant going forward.
"It was important to figure out what our car wants on a hot race track," he explained. "We are now getting into that part of the year with few cool tracks and a whole lot of hot ones, so it is more important to have a solid hot-weather setup. We made big strides during testing in Vegas and it paid off in Charlotte.
Getting those wins puts crew chiefs and drivers into the record books and it's what gets bonus money for the crew.
"The jury is still out about when it is REALLY hot, but I think we've got it. And our success in Charlotte is one indication of this and we hope to carry it over this weekend in Baytown, where it can be warm."
The win, which broke a string of five-consecutive victories by a John Force Racing Funny Car, allowed Beckman to jump from sixth to third place in the 2011 NHRA Full Throttle Funny Car championship standings, but he said accumulating points are not significant at this point in the season.
"At this point of the year, we don't care about points," Beckman said. "We want wins, Wallys; that's what we are shooting for on Sunday. Right now, nobody remembers who was runner up; nobody takes pictures of the runner up. Getting those wins puts crew chiefs and drivers into the record books and it's what gets bonus money for the crew.
"And winning is very important for our sponsors and their customers. We have a lot of big sponsors like Aaron's and Valvoline at Don Schumacher Racing; it's important to keep them happy and what keeps them happy is winning and being competitive."