Beckman looking to duplicate early-season success

in Las Vegas


Six months after making his professional debut behind the wheel of the Menards/Mail Terminal Services Top Fuel dragster, "Fast Jack" Beckman will be returning to the place where it all began;  The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway for this weekend's AC Delco Las Vegas Nationals. Technically he's still a rookie, but Beckman comes into this weekend's NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series event wiser, more experienced, and more determined than ever before.

"I have learned so much in the last six months it's hard to comprehend it all," said Beckman. "When I ran my first Top Fuel race in Las Vegas in April, I had barely made ten runs in the Menards/Mail Terminal Services dragster. I don't know if one can ever fully master one of these cars, but I do feel so much more comfortable in the car than I did six months ago. I have enjoyed it every step of the way."

In his debut at the NHRA Nationals, Beckman, the 2003 national champion in the Super Comp division, qualified in the top half of the quick field and beat fellow rookie Ben Marshall to win his first elimination round as a professional. Since then, Beckman has made one semifinal appearance in Englishtown, N.J, run a career best 4.56 in Brainerd, Minn. He has climbed to 15th in the POWERade points standings despite competing in just ten of 21 events.

"This entire year has been incredible, but some of my fondest memories are still from our first race in Las Vegas," Beckman continued. "Being a part of the pre-race ceremonies and then being strapped into the Menards/Mail Terminal Services dragster while they played the National Anthem is a feeling that I will never forget. It was very special. I'm looking forward to making some more great memories this weekend." 

Beckman, who was recently nominated for the prestigious Automobile Club of Southern California Road to the Future award along with fellow rookies Robert Hight, Erica Enders and Chip Ellis, will have a busy weekend in Las Vegas. On Wednesday, October 19, he is scheduled to play in the Speedway Children's Charities Texas Hold 'Em poker tournament at the Cannery Casino. On Thursday, Beckman plans to visit service men and women at a Las Vegas Veteran's Hospital before heading to the Hard Rock Casino and Hotel for the Budweiser Fan Fest and autograph party. Professional qualifying for the fifth annual AC Delco NHRA Las Vegas Nationals begins Friday afternoon, Oct. 21, at 1 p.m.