NHRA U.S. Nationals: Funny Car driver Jack Beckman perfect in biggest career weekend
BROWNSBURG, Indiana – “Fast Jack” Beckman just keeps getting faster.
Oh, and better, too.
Beckman had the best weekend ever of his long drag racing career. Not only did Beckman win $100,000 for capturing Sunday’s Traxxas Funny Car Shootout, he doubled-up with a win from the No. 1 qualifying spot in the Monday’s final round of the 61st Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals at Lucas Oil Raceway.
In addition, Beckman begins the six-race Countdown to the Championship as the No. 1 seed in Funny Car.
“Yeah, other than that, it wasn’t a very good weekend,” Beckman laughed.
Beckman earned the U.S. Nationals title when he defeated Robert Hight for only the second time in nine career final round meetings between the pair – and the first time Beckman has beaten Hight since Phoenix seven years ago.
In addition, Beckman is now 15-0 in round wins vs. all three John Force Racing Funny Car drivers (High, and John and Courtney Force) in 2015.
It’s also Beckman’s series-leading sixth win of the season (in 18 races) as he bids for his second NHRA Funny Car championship (he also won in 2012).
The key to Monday’s win for Beckman – who races for Don Schumacher Racing – was to stay consistent through all four elimination rounds, particularly his final round battle with Hight.
“You have to treat it as if (the possibility winning such a prestigious race) it doesn’t matter any more than any other round,” Beckman said, growing more serious. “
Beckman is 6-1 in final rounds this season and Monday’s triumph is the 21st of the California native’s Funny Car career.
That’s a big contrast to Beckman’s winless season in 2014.
“I had it in the back of my head, ‘Are you ever going to be able to win again,’” Beckman said. “You could have the best car on race day – and one hiccup and your day’s over, it’s done.
“Sometimes, just getting there is the battle and you have to capitalize on it in the final round. You just have to keep showing up, have a good attitude, smile when you feel like crying and get your head straight when you get in that car and the engine fires up.
“And then, wow, look what happened.”