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NHRA’s No. 2 Funny Car racer hits Firebird this weekend

His nickname is “Fast Jack” — and he’s considered the fastest Funny Car racer in NHRA history. His real name is Jack Beckman, and he’s the marquee driver at the 44th annual Pepsi Nightfire Nationals on Thursday through Sunday at Firebird Raceway.

Beckman, who is ranked No. 2 in the season-long NHRA national Funny Car standings, is racing this weekend in a Bracketeer Series dragster owned by Dick VanderMeer of Nampa. He has won two of the last three national events, in Denver and Sonoma, Calif., and last week in Seattle turned in the fastest 1,000-foot run in NHRA Funny Car history (3.912 seconds at 322.88 mph).

Firebird gates open daily at 9 a.m.; pro finals are scheduled to start at 2 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are available at Stinker Stores ($5 discount), by going to firebirdonline.com, calling (208) 938-8986 or at the track.

The Nightfire Nationals include a $185,000 purse, more than 400 racers from 15 states and Canada, and nightly exhibition runs and Jet Dragsters.

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