BECKMAN BANKING ON MOMENTUM IN MEMPHIS SOMEWHERE IN THE U.S.A. (Oct. 1, 2009) - As Jack Beckman, wife Jenna and son Jason travel the United States in their motor coach between NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series events, visiting as many state...
BECKMAN BANKING ON MOMENTUM IN MEMPHIS
SOMEWHERE IN THE U.S.A. (Oct. 1, 2009) - As Jack Beckman, wife Jenna and son Jason travel the United States in their motor coach between NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series events, visiting as many state capitals as they can, Beckman's thoughts do not stray far from his goal of winning the 2009 NHRA Funny Car championship.
Because of his runner-up finish in Ennis, Texas, last Sunday, the driver of the Valvoline/Mail Terminal Services Dodge has vaulted into third place in the Countdown to 1 playoffs standings, with four races remaining to determine this year's champion. This weekend's NHRA Mid-South Nationals in Memphis is the third in a string of four back-to-back events before the final two complete the season in Las Vegas and Pomona, Calif.
"Everybody on the team is upbeat," he said. "We moved up in the points, we made it to the final round, which is what we have to do. But, you don't want to make it into the final round and lose.
'I think sometimes losing in the semis is better than losing in the finals because that's the one round where everything is on the line. It's more money, more points, and that's where you earn the Wally (the NHRA winner's trophy named for NHRA founder Wally Parks).
"When you lose that one, there's a letdown of being so close. We've had that exact same feeling in Memphis in 2007, when I lost by one thousandth of a second to Gary Scelzi. I think that we have the right mindset and the right tune-up now to get back into the final round.
"We have 16 rounds of competition left and I think we're going to have to win eight or nine of them to be a factor in the championship.
"What it basically means is getting at least one win in the next four races and pretty much reaching the semis or better everywhere you go if you want to have a shot at winning this. And I think right now we don't have to change a thing.
"This is one of those rare instances where we can load our car up, take it to the next race, unload it and run it and have pretty good confidence that we're going to be at the top of the pack."
Mail Terminal Services continues 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 125,000-card record for one season.