Sonoma: Jack Beckman preview

SONOMA IS FAMILIAR TERRITORY TO BECKMAN SONOMA, Calif. -- "Fast Jack" Beckman may be new to Top Fuel, but he's very familiar with Infineon Raceway, site of this weekend's NHRA Fram Autolite Nationals. Beckman, the driver of the Menards/Mail ...

SONOMA IS FAMILIAR TERRITORY TO BECKMAN

SONOMA, Calif. -- "Fast Jack" Beckman may be new to Top Fuel, but he's very familiar with Infineon Raceway, site of this weekend's NHRA Fram Autolite Nationals. Beckman, the driver of the Menards/Mail Terminal Services dragster has many fond memories of the picturesque facility, located in the famous Napa Valley area of Northern California. The last time Beckman raced in Sonoma in mid-2004, he was fighting Lymphoma, and undergoing chemotherapy, yet he managed to win the Super Comp title at the track's Division 7 Lucas Oil Series event. The victory gave Beckman the necessary points to earn a berth on the prestigious Jeg's Sportsman All-stars team.

"I certainly have a lot of fond memories of racing here in Sonoma," said Beckman, who has been in remission for more than six months. "It has always been one of my favorite tracks. This will be my first race here as a professional and I'm really looking forward to seeing my friends and meeting the fans."

At last week's CARQUEST Nationals in Seattle, Beckman drove the Jimmy Walsh-tuned Menards/MTS dragster to a career best run of 4.60 seconds at over 322-mph, and he believes he can run even quicker in Sonoma.

"We had a new injector on the car last week and it seemed to really improve our performance," Beckman continued. "We made three consistent runs between 4.60 and 4.64, but Jimmy believes we've just scratched the surface of what the car is capable of. I know it's just a matter of time before I make my first 4.50 run. Hopefully it will happen this weekend. I do believe we have the potential to qualify in the top half of the field."

While in the Bay Area, Beckman will join Super Comp racer Jenna Lucy and Karen Comstock of Mail Terminal Services, to make a visit the Oakland Children's Hospital on behalf of the Jeg's Cancer Foundation.

"It's very important to me that I get out and meet other people, especially children, who have cancer," said Beckman. "I want to show kids that there is always hope, and that you can not only live through this disease, but also lead a normal life. I believe it makes a positive impact when they see someone like me who is currently fighting cancer, but is also fulfilling my dreams by racing a Top Fuel car."

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Series NHRA
Drivers Jack Beckman