JACK BECKMAN: "IT'S PUT UP OR SHUT UP TIME" NORCO, Calif. (Oct. 26, 2010) - With all the hoopla surrounding the Matt Hagan-versus-John Force battle for the 2010 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series Funny Car championship, Jack Beckman is...
JACK BECKMAN: "IT'S PUT UP OR SHUT UP TIME"
NORCO, Calif. (Oct. 26, 2010) - With all the hoopla surrounding the Matt Hagan-versus-John Force battle for the 2010 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series Funny Car championship, Jack Beckman is sitting quietly in third place behind the duo, aiming for that same championship. The series heads to The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway this weekend for the 10th annual NHRA Las Vegas Nationals, the penultimate national event of the year.
The 46th annual NHRA Finals in Pomona, Calif., Nov. 11-14, will complete the season.
Racing the Valvoline/Mail Terminal Services Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car for Don Schumacher Racing, Beckman is 93 markers behind his DSR teammate Hagan, and 29 back of Force in third. That makes him five rounds short of No. 1 and two rounds out of second place. With eight rounds of racing remaining in the final two events of the Countdown to the Championship playoffs, Beckman faces a tough challenge to earn his first Funny Car crown.
"It's put up or shut up time," said Beckman, who has won one national event in 2010. "There's no question. I said it at the beginning of the year: Whenever a reporter asked me what was the goal for the season, I would always say I would like to win a few races and come into Pomona with a legitimate shot at the championship.
"Matt Hagan is five rounds ahead of us, not counting qualifying or potential national records, and there's eight rounds of racing left. If we don't make up at least two rounds on Matt at the Vegas race it's going to be almost insurmountable in Pomona.
"To have a realistic shot at the championship, we have to win Vegas. I got my first Funny Car win there (in 2006), I race my Sportsman car all the time there. It's one of the tracks that I have the most amount of laps at, counting my Sportsman career. So, it gets me back in my home turf.
"If you're going to make the baseball analogy, we're down three games to one right now," added Beckman, who was also the 2009 runner-up at this event. "It's a must-win for us. We're still very much in this and I hope to be able to say that going into Pomona, and I think the only way I'm going to be able to say that is if we win Vegas."