St. Louis: Jack Beckman preview

BECKMAN NOT AIMING TO REPEAT HIS PAST ST. LOUIS RESULTS NORTH HILLS, Calif. (April 28, 2009) - While most successful race-car drivers say they aim to repeat their past performances at certain tracks, assuming they are victories or at least high...

BECKMAN NOT AIMING TO REPEAT HIS PAST ST. LOUIS RESULTS

NORTH HILLS, Calif. (April 28, 2009) - While most successful race-car drivers say they aim to repeat their past performances at certain tracks, assuming they are victories or at least high finishes, Jack Beckman says he'd rather not do that at this weekend's NHRA Midwest Nationals at Gateway International Raceway in Madison, Ill.

In only his third full season of Funny Car competition driving the Valvoline/Mail Terminal Services Dodge Funny Car, Beckman has the distinction of not having qualified at either of the two events he's entered while driving for Don Schumacher Racing at this facility located over the bridge from St. Louis.

In his short career, Beckman has won seven national events in 14 final rounds, including his first season win at the last event in Atlanta, set national elapsed-time and top-speed records and has battled for a championship each season. But, he's never been on the track on a Sunday at Gateway International Raceway.

"There's nowhere to go but up," said Beckman, who enters this weekend’s race second in the point standings. "It's always nice getting back in the car after a win because even though it doesn't make a difference mechanically, or to the race track, it's a mental high psychologically for the crew. We all can't wait to get back in there and try to continue our streak in St. Louis and break the so-called Gateway jinx.

"It's all good. It's nothing but positive going in there. I talked to the guys in the DSR shop and everybody is still standing eight feel tall after getting that first win. That's the first taste of blood for the year and you want it again and you want it quick.

"If you're going to make the analogy in sports, basketball is a pretty good one, because a team can go on a streak, build up a big lead and then it evaporates. So, if we're going to stick with the basketball analogy, we're just entering the second quarter.

"It's really too early to tell what's going to happen and how the season is possibly going to be. It's just gratifying from an emotional standpoint to have the first win checked off your list.

"And now the goal is to win another race or two before the Countdown starts and we would like to remain in the top five. It would be awesome to go into the Countdown as the leading car, but I think that anywhere in the top five or six puts us well within striking distance."

-credit: dsr

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Series NHRA
Drivers Jack Beckman , Don Schumacher