BROWNSBURG, Ind. (June 12, 2012) - Jack Beckman is a frugal man but buying a Father's Day gift is something he always can work into his budget.
But the perfect gift for his dad, Bob, would be a "Wally" trophy from winning this weekend's NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals at Bristol Dragway in Tennessee.
It would be priceless.
Beckman came close to leaving Bristol with the trophy a year ago. After qualifying fourth, the Don Schumacher Racing driver advanced to the championship round where he lost to Robert Hight.
Winning this Sunday, however, would be extraordinary.
"My dad gets to come to about eight races a year and it will be special having him at Bristol on Father's Day," Beckman said of the visit. "It also will help me because I won't be able to be with my kids on Sunday."
Free gift aside, Beckman recalls growing up seeing his dad proudly displaying a trophy he had won drag racing on a motorcycle.
"After we moved to the West Coast dad had two kids to raise and started a new career so he's been racing vicariously through me."
Despite being 75, Bob Beckman often rides his motorcycle to races from his home in Arlington, Texas. While he shares his son's spunk, he proudly calls himself "Slow Bob" in contrast to his son's moniker, "Fast Jack."
The Beckmans will enjoy Father's Day, but the younger Beckman's 14th NHRA Funny Car title of his career and second of the season would be a nice touch to add.
Jack always has looked forward to his annual visit to Bristol Dragway for the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series event. He says calling it "Thunder Valley" could not be a better way to describe the picturesque setting with the grandstands carved into the sides of a valley that reverberates with the cacophony of horsepower.
"It's a unique experience at Bristol whether you're racing or being a spectator. No racetrack captures the sound like Bristol. When you whomp the throttle the sound of 8,000 horsepower echoes three times off the sides of the canyon walls.
"It's the ultimate place to see and hear our cars."
And Father's Day would be the ultimate day to win.
June 15-17, NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals; Bristol (Tenn.) Dragway
FULL THROTTLE NITRO SCHEDULE
Friday: Qualifying, 5:30 p.m., 8 p.m.
Saturday: Qualifying, 12:30 p.m., 3 p.m.
Sunday: Eliminations, Noon
Qualifying: 7:30 p.m. (ET) Saturday, (delayed)
Eliminations: 7 p.m. (ET) Sunday (delayed)
NHRA FULL THROTTLE FUNNY CAR STANDINGS
(DSR drivers in CAPS)
Driver (Wins) Points
1. Robert Hight (4) 857
2. RON CAPPS (1) 700
3. Mike Neff (1) 615
4. JOHNNY GRAY (1) 558
5. JACK BECKMAN (1) 543
6. Cruz Pedregon 477
7. Bob Tasca III 451
8. John Force (1) 438
9. Courtney Force 429
10. Jeff Arend 388
12. MATT HAGAN 342
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