Beckman happy to return to Atlanta for this weekend's race
Past success combined with recent strong performances leads Jack Beckman, driver of the Aaron’s Dream Machine/Valvoline Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car, to believe good things can happen at this weekend’s 31st annual NHRA Southern Nationals here at Atlanta Dragway.
The 44-year-old Southern Californian believes the solid results of late, which have resulted in his moving up to third place in the 2011 NHRA Full Throttle Funny Car championship standings, can be indicative of good things to come.
In addition, a win in the 2009 race, topping Ashley Force-Hood in the final round, adds to his feeling of southern comfort.
“A win and a semifinal finish in the last two races [of 2011], so there is no reason we can’t be back in the winner’s circle here,” said the Don Schumacher Racing driver. “I can’t wait to get to the track because I know we have a great championship-caliber team and championship-caliber race car.
“When I’m on my game, and I believe I am now, it gives the crew confidence. When Rahn Tobler and John Collins (crew chief and assistant crew chief) are on theirs, like they’ve been, it gives me and everyone else on the Aaron’s/Valvoline team more confidence.
“They’re both very humble, conservative, intelligent guys and when they are working together, it’s magical watching them analyze the data and come up with a plan.”
The plan worked in Charlotte where Beckman won the 4-Wide event with a consistent weekend from the beginning of qualifying through the finals. A solid performance followed two weeks ago in Houston where he made it into the semifinals.
He knows, winning is not easy with the quality found throughout the Funny Car category.
“The diversity in Funny Car and the ability of any car which qualifies potentially winning is what makes this class so much fun to watch,” said the veteran driver. “For the past several years, there have been eight to 11 different winners in the Funny Car class. My goal is to prevent that by winning most of the races.”
And a win here would be even more special, according to Beckman.
“The Atlanta area is Aaron’s headquarters and there will be about 100 of the management staff here rooting us on,” he said. “In addition, there will be a huge display in the Midway – there will be entire living rooms of furniture set up, as Aaron’s is going all out.
“I could not think of a better time to give them a winner’s circle with 100 people from the company joining us.”