Richmond: Jack Beckman preview

BECKMAN CONTINUES ON LEARNING CURVE FOR RICHMOND DINWIDDIE, Va. (Oct. 3, 2006) - Jack Beckman is continuing on his Funny Car learning curve as he heads to the Torco Racing Fuels NHRA Nationals this weekend at Virginia Motorsports Park and his ...

BECKMAN CONTINUES ON LEARNING CURVE FOR RICHMOND

DINWIDDIE, Va. (Oct. 3, 2006) - Jack Beckman is continuing on his Funny Car learning curve as he heads to the Torco Racing Fuels NHRA Nationals this weekend at Virginia Motorsports Park and his third career Funny Car event.

Beckman replaced Whit Bazemore following the U.S. Nationals in the Matco Tools Iron Eagle Dodge Charger R/T and is improving every round as he makes the transition from having last raced in the Top Fuel class on a limited basis to the Funny Car category. He's already made a huge leap by posting a solid Funny Car career-best 4.756-second pass at 325.45 mph in Reading, Pa., last weekend, out-qualifying veterans such as John Force, Cruz Pedregon and eventual event winner Phil Burkart Jr. He also ran quicker than his first-round opponent Force, but lost to the 13-time champion on a holeshot advantage in eliminations.

Weather has been the No. 1 topic of conversation even for Richmond since the teams had to return to Reading last weekend following a washout two weeks before, delaying Beckman's debut from the first Reading event until Dallas Sept. 22.

"I hope it is good weather in Richmond because we're still on the early part of the learning curve," says Beckman, who also serves as an instructor at Frank Hawley's NHRA Championship Drag Racing School. "I've really only had seven full passes in the Matco Tools Dodge, and I don't know what the magic number is, but I imagine it's 25 to 30 runs to the finish line before you're ever getting remotely caught up with the race car.

"I'd like to be there before the end of the season, and with only three races left, we need all of the qualifying passes we can get.

"The seat time at this point in my Funny Car career is my No. 1 priority. Having these three races back-to-back-to-back is very helpful. I get to play back the runs and watch them on TV, then hop right back into the car."

The NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series has not competed at VMP since 2000. "I think that since nobody has any computer data from here, it will very much favor the multi-car teams," says Beckman. "I think it will be a big benefit to teams like Don Schumacher Racing that will have three or four shots at the track each qualifying session.

"These tracks are all green to me at this point, but maybe being new to some of the other drivers, it will level the playing field a little bit, and we can put on a strong performance for the Matco Tools team and the 1500 Matco Tools distributors that pull for us every weekend."

-credit: dsr

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Whit Bazemore , John Force , Cruz Pedregon , Jack Beckman , Phil Burkart , Don Schumacher , Frank Hawley