Phoenix: Jack Beckman preview

BECKMAN POISED FOR ACCELERATED PERFORMANCE IN PHOENIX NORTH HILLS, Calif. (Feb. 19, 2008) - With the first of 24 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series national events of 2008 in the books, "Fast" Jack Beckman is poised for an improved performance of...

BECKMAN POISED FOR ACCELERATED PERFORMANCE IN PHOENIX

NORTH HILLS, Calif. (Feb. 19, 2008) - With the first of 24 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series national events of 2008 in the books, "Fast" Jack Beckman is poised for an improved performance of the Valvoline/Mail Terminal Services Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car he drives for Don Schumacher Racing in this weekend's second national event of the year.

Beckman advanced to the quarterfinals at the season-opener in Pomona, Calif., and left tied in fifth place in the point standings with three other drivers. Not a bad way to start off a season, despite experiencing some new-car glitches. This weekend's NHRA Nationals at Firebird Raceway, just outside of Phoenix, should see a revitalized team effort.

"We're a top-10 team right now," said Beckman, who still holds the national speed record of 333.66 mph he set in 2006. "We didn't run as well as we would have liked to have run in Pomona, which is the bad news. The great news is that before the Valvoline/MTS guys loaded the car to leave we found what the problem was in that second round. We had a fuel control valve that was sticking. We could make a good, hard, fast run and get good data on the computer, but in the next run it would go out and drop a cylinder, and the data wouldn't match. We trouble-shooted that with the help of the other DSR crew chiefs and the Valvoline/MTS guys narrowed it down.

"So, we should be back in good shape for Phoenix. We've already had 12 runs there earlier this year in testing. During the tests, however, the track was not prepped by NHRA's outstanding Safety Safari, which preps the track for each national event. When the Safety Safari does its thing this week, this track is going to be great. Robert Hight reeled off the quickest run in history there last year (4.636 seconds).

"We have a great opportunity with four cars on the DSR Funny Car team to stay at the head of the pack all year long," added Beckman, looking towards the rest of the season. "We started off very slow last year and came on like gangbusters. If we can gain some early-season momentum, especially with the different Countdown format this year, it should be pretty exciting. We want to be in a position in Indy (U.S. Nationals on Labor Day weekend) that we're solid in the top 10, not clinging to the top 10 and fighting our way back up like we did last year."

Mail Terminal Services will continue its "Mail from Home" program in 2008. Fans at each NHRA national event will have the opportunity to sign special cards at the DSR hospitality area and at the U.S. Army Racing Zone in the midway area, which MTS will then ship, free of charge, to the troops in war zones overseas.

-credit: dsr

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Series NHRA
Drivers Jack Beckman , Robert Hight