Jack Beckman, driver of the Aaron’s Dream Machine/Valvoline NextGen Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car, believes the Texas Motorplex here owes him and he would like restitution this week at the AAA Texas NHRA FALL Nationals here.
“I made my Funny Car debut here in ’06 and, besides the runner-up finish in 2009, I’ve not had much success,” explained the 45-year-old Don Schumacher Racing driver. “I think Dallas owes me something and I’d like to collect this weekend to help our championship effort.”
Beckman holds third (less than three rounds behind the leader) in the 2011 NHRA Full Throttle Countdown to the Championship standings after a close side-by-side semifinal loss to DSR teammate Matt Hagan in last week’s initial contest of the six-race playoffs.
“We have every reason to be optimistic right now; the Aaron’s/Valvoline Funny Car is really close to reaching the winner’s circle again,” said the two-time 2011 victor. “The way this car is running – it took a great pass on a monster day by Hagan to beat us in Charlotte – is making everyone on the team more confident, which helps me as the driver, which makes us a tough car to beat.”
The weather might be a challenge this week, said the veteran drag racer, who holds licenses in 12 NHRA classes.
“The late summer/early fall weather might be hot, which means we probably won’t get the kind of performance numbers we saw in Charlotte,” explained Beckman, whose 318.99-mile-per-hour run in last Sunday’s second round set the Funny Car speed record. “But we all get the same race conditions to work with; I’m just blessed to have Rahn Tobler (crew chief) and John Collins (assistant crew chief) making the calls and setting up the car.
“I think, considering my history, Dallas would be a perfect place to get our third victory of the year and make the Championship competition even more interesting. I’ve been saying throughout the year: we always want to win the race, for our sponsors, our team and ourselves, but the real prize we are after is the championship.”
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