Championship Drag Racing

Torco Racing Fuels Route 66 NHRA Nationals
Chicago, Ill.
(June 5-8)

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Driver Profile
Jack Beckman
Valvoline/MTS Dodge Charger

Beckman looking for a win in his 50th pro appearance

Chicago, pre-race:  The three Don Schumacher Racing Funny Car teams scored a win, a runner-up and a semifinal finish at the 2007 Route 66 NHRA Nationals. "Fast" Jack Beckman was the semifinalist while Gary Scelzi and Ron Capps were the winner and runner-up, respectively. For Beckman, in his first full Funny Car season in the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series, it was a strong performance.

This year, with a full NHRA tour and four victories in six final rounds behind him and entering his 50th pro event of his career, the driver of the Valvoline/Mail Terminal Services Dodge Charger R/T is more experienced and probably even hungrier to surpass his teammates. He'd like to take home a victory at this weekend's event at the outstanding Route 66 Raceway, where he lost the semis in '07 to Capps.

"It's all going to depend on the weather," said Beckman, who is 11th in the point standings, just 11 markers out of the coveted top 10. "It is one of the best race tracks that NHRA has out there.

"Last year was odd. Friday and Saturday it was like a different race track than on Sunday. And, hopefully, with the excellent way the NHRA has been prepping the race tracks these last few races it's going to be the Chicago that we all know and remember. If it's cool weather, look out.

"But, I think we're going to have some tricky conditions. I think we're going to have some heat and humidity. It's (team owner) Don Schumacher's hometown, and he's going to have tons of family and friends out there. So, if we've got that comeback race this year, this would be the time for us to make the move."

Beckman has won once this season, but also DNQ'd (did not qualify) for two events. A strong performance at last weekend's Topeka event has buoyed the Valvoline/MTS team's spirits.

"I'm actually excited," he said. "It looks like all four of the Schumacher cars this season (Jerry Toliver came on board for 2008) are starting to run consistently well. Last year at this event the three DSR Funny Cars finished strong and hopefully we can get close to that again this year.

"Route 66 is an awesome facility. I love going there and I'm a little bit more excited about going there after getting our consistency back a little bit."

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