Tuesday, February 17, 2009

For Beckman, first things first in Phoenix

The NHRA visits Firebird International Raceway near Phoenix this weekend. It was the site of Jack Beckman's first win of the 2008 season. It was also the beginning of a roller coaster season for Beckman.
He went from winning the second race of the NHRA season to dropping out of the top 10 in the Funny Car standings and out of the Countdown to One championship field.
But Beckman recovered in time to win a couple more races before the end of the season, qualify for the Countdown and finish third in the Funny Car standings.
"Last year, even though we did win Phoenix, we didn’t really hit our stride until Denver," said Beckman, a driver from North Hills and a driver for Don Schumacher Racing. "And there's no panic right now. We’ve had a couple of minor hiccups with the tune-up that I think we're close to getting worked out, but the way the Countdown format goes, you can take four or five races to work them out."

Beckman is coming off a wet week in the season opening event at Auto Club Raceway in Pomona. He beat the reigning Funny Car champion, Cruz Pedregon, in the first round, but had to wait two days before racing resumed because of rain. Beckman lost in the second round and enters the Phoenix event eighth in the Funny Car standings.
His teammate, Ron Capps, came away as the winner in Pomona.
"I don't see anybody showing any signs of dominance this year, although I'm very thankful that my DSR teammate Ron Capps and the NAPA car are back to being one of the top cars again," Beckman said. "That will be a lot of fun."

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