Seattle: Jack Beckman preview

WINNER IN 2007, BECKMAN WANTS TO REPEAT IN SEATTLE KENT, Wash. (July 15, 2008) - Jack Beckman entered the NHRA Nationals at Pacific Raceways last year on a roll for the Western Swing (Denver, Seattle and Sonoma, Calif.) after having won the...

WINNER IN 2007, BECKMAN WANTS TO REPEAT IN SEATTLE

KENT, Wash. (July 15, 2008) - Jack Beckman entered the NHRA Nationals at Pacific Raceways last year on a roll for the Western Swing (Denver, Seattle and Sonoma, Calif.) after having won the Denver event the weekend before. He left this Northwest-area facility with his second consecutive victory of the season. The driver of the Valvoline/Mail Terminal Services Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car came close to repeating this year at last weekend's Mopar Mile-High Nationals by reaching his second final round of 2008.

Although he didn't take home his second season win in Denver, he catapulted himself into No. 10 in the standings. Beckman needs to remain there or move up higher if he's to vie for a Funny Car crown in the Countdown to the Championship playoffs for the top 10 following the U.S Nationals in Indianapolis on Labor Day weekend.

"It's interesting," said the California native who has four career victories in seven final rounds in his short barely two-year Funny Car career. "We waited until this time last year to make our move and we made a huge move after that.

"We ran good in a few races this year and didn't get any results from it," said Beckman. "I think we have put most of our struggles behind us and we have a consistent hot rod again. And we took advantage of that in Denver.

"Coming into Seattle is going to be our first experience at sea level with the new Goodyear tire and the new 1000-ft. distance," added Beckman of NHRA's decision until further notice to shorten the tracks to 1000 feet as an interim step to slow down the cars following Scott Kalitta's fatal crash in Englishtown, N.J., on June 21. "So, this will be the first time on a real fast track to see how these Goodyears respond. And Seattle won't have the cooling system (under the surface of the first 200 feet of the track) like Bandimere Speedway in Denver had, so that actually might make it a little more challenging for all the teams.

"I tell you, if we have a few more successful races like we had in Denver, the NHRA may think twice about going back to 1320 feet (quarter-mile), but I think the reason they will eventually go back to the quarter-mile is because using two different finish lines in a season is going to be so complicated.

"We're back in the top 10 again," Beckman continued. "That's awesome, but we're closer to 14th than we are to ninth right now. We just have to keep winning rounds."

Beckman welcomes the support of Dodge dealerships at certain racing venue this season. This weekend Rairdon Chrysler Jeep of Kirkland, Wash., is on board. "The great thing about having a sponsor like Mopar is all the dealerships, all the employees and all the muscle-car fanatics just get so behind us," he said. "They are so supportive of us, and having Rairdon Chrysler Jeep backing us is this weekend is just another example."

-credit: dsr

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Scott Kalitta , Jack Beckman