NHRA U.S. Nationals: Funny Car driver Jack Beckman perfect in biggest career weekend

(Photo courtesy NHRA)

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.

MORE — NHRA: Final results, updated standings after U.S. Nationals

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.”

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Vicki Golden and 805 Beer tell a unique story from an Inverted Perspective


Vicki Golden has earned a career worthy of a thousand stories and 805 Beer tells at least one of them, as “Inverted Perspective” premiered March 30 on the company’s website and YouTube channel.

Golden did more to break the glass ceiling in SuperMotocross than she ever thought possible. She knows this because riders have never felt the need to explain any of her accomplishments with the disclaimer, “for a girl”. 

At this point in Golden’s career, she’s been the first woman to finish top 10 in AMA Arenacross Lites, the first woman to qualify in the Fast 40 in Monster Energy AMA Supercross and the first woman to compete in freestyle Moto X competition, earning a bronze medal by doing so.

Her love for moto came from childhood while she watched her dad and brother ride. By seven she was on her bike and making waves throughout Southern California. 

Golden, 30, is still madly in love with the sport and has no plans on moving away but her career is already one to talk about. 805 Beer’s film series wanted to do exactly that.

“I’m taken aback by it all,” Golden told NBC Sports about the documentary. “It’s just crazy to see your story, it’s one thing to live your life and battle everything that comes about but it’s another to just sit there and talk about it.”

805 approached Golden about the feature by asking, “Do you even realize that what you do, and your story is special?”

Golden took the question as a blank canvas to map out the highs and lows of her career and life. 

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The title “Inverted Perspective” came from a brainstorming session with Dominick Russo and it highlights Golden’s outlook on the sport of SuperMotocross and her life in general. 

“My whole life, my whole career was thinking differently and looking at things that shouldn’t be done and aren’t there, while being able to make a place for myself, where no one thought there should be a place,” Golden said.  “It’s inspiring someone to think in different ways. It sums up my life.”

Vicki Golden is not “fast for a girl”; she’s just fast. – 805 Beer

While Golden is no stranger to the spotlight, this was the first time she’s been fully involved with the storytelling and creation of a feature about herself. 

“It’s not like a full new experience,” Golden said. “Obviously, you get your standard questions about your upbringing and accomplishments, but I’ve never really put into perspective things that happened in my past with my dad and putting that to light. Also, certain other things that maybe got overlooked in previous interviews or films. I wanted to touch on these and Dom wanted to create a story. It’s just cool to see it come to light, it’s a nearly impossible thing to tell somebody’s life story in 40 minutes.”

Golden’s father was left paralyzed after an ATV accident, robbing him the opportunity to ride again. This happened a few months before the father-daughter duo was set to compete in the Loretta Lynn’s Amateur Nationals when Vicki was 12. While she might have been unable to grasp the severity at the time, it’s something she carries with her. Golden continues to ride in his honor.

Years later, an accident in 2018 nearly sidelined the then 25-year-old Vicki when a freestyle accident almost resulted in the amputation of her lower leg. 

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Golden 805 Beer
Vicki Golden has ridden a variety of disciplines in SuperMotocross, which gives her a unique perspective. – 805 Beer

“Inverted Perspective” highlights her father’s diligence in helping Vicki continue with her career and the kindness and strength he carried while fighting his own battle. 

“My dad was the entire reason that I started riding in the first place,” Golden said. “So, to honor his memory and to honor what we went through and how hard he pushed to keep our dream alive and keep everything going – in that sense then, it was really special to be able to honor him and talk about him.”

The 40-minute feature was filmed entirely in black and white, a stark contrast from the oversaturated world of motocross where the brighter the suit the easier it is for fans to find their rider and follow him in the race. By filming in monochrome Russo and Golden had the chance to focus on the race and track from a different perspective. 

“It was cool to be able to film it differently,” Golden said. “It created a challenge in the sense of what was going to be more visually impactful for the film.

“I couldn’t be here without the companies that back me but at the same time, it’s not like the logos or colors disappeared, it’s just different lights shed on different spots. It’s just a cool way to do it and to take color away and still be impactful. When you think of black and white, you think of old school, the OG way of doing things.”