Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Competition Plus: BECKMAN EXCITED ABOUT HIS CREW CHIEF TRIO

When Don Schumacher Racing announced its crew chief trio that will serve as the tuners for Terry Chandler's Infinite Hero Foundation Dodge Charger nitro Funny Car in 2017 it turned some heads.

Jack Beckman
Jack Beckman, the driver of the Funny Car, for one is thrilled to have the threesome – John Medlen, Dean Antonelli and Neal Strausbaugh – calling the shots for him.

“I think Medlen is absolutely the cornerstone of the team, and I think that guy is the cornerstone of any team because of his character, and his demeanor, he’s the guy you look to when you are having a bad day,” said Beckman, who won the 2012 nitro Funny Car world championship driving for DSR. “He brings such high class and rock solid morals and character that I think he’s a perfect nucleus to build the team around. I have not ever worked with Dean Antonelli and there’s a guy who spent 22 years at John Force Racing and that in of itself tells you a lot about him. Clearly, he’s dedicated, motivated and loyal. The only constant in life is things change and I’m so pleased he’s decided to make this change. He was very successful the last time he was a Funny Car crew chief on Ashley (Force’s) car. He and (Medlen) have worked together before and I think they have some similar personality traits, they both are very low profile, always deep in thought and I can’t wait to see what Dean’s going to bring to our team.”

Beckman acknowledged Strausbaugh coming onboard was a surprise to him.

“I didn’t see that one coming, and I like Neal,” he said. “We have been teammates under the DSR umbrella, but we’ve never been teammates wearing the same shirt at the races, but I think there is the guy who is going to add an interesting dynamic to our team. Here’s a Top Fuel guy who has been in the crew chief lounge for years, helping make calls on the Army car. The Funny Car isn’t a Top Fuel car, but I firmly believe that having a slightly different perspective on this coming from Neal is going to make us a better car.”

John Medlen
Medlen will begin his third season in 2017 working on Beckman’s Funny Car. This will be the 10th season for Strausbaugh at DSR and Antonelli’s first.

Antonelli was the general manager at John Force Racing the past two seasons after being a crew chief and assistant crew chief at that company where he spent 12 years working under Austin Coil and Bernie Fedderly. Antonelli was an assistant crew chief on four world championship Funny Car teams.

Beckman’s first opportunity to work in action with his co-crew chiefs will be at the test session at Wild Horse Motorsports Park in Phoenix, Ariz., the week before NHRA’s season-opening Winternationals Feb. 9-12 in Pomona, Calif.

“Our plan will be to do the three-day test (in Phoenix) and I think will probably drag our (NHRA) Finals combo there, which includes the 6-disc clutch, which we put in for Vegas and Pomona,” Beckman said. “Now, we are also going to do some things that we think are going to make it more predictable. At Pomona (the 2016 season-ending race in November), we made seven runs and on four of them our car hauled, and on three of them, it didn’t make it 10 feet. You can’t race like that. We’re going to have to find something that makes this car much more stable the first 50 feet of the run. I think that’s going to be our biggest target for the first four or five races, to get this thing to launch consistently well because I think once it gets to 50 feet, it’s just going to fly. I will sacrifice some ultimate performance to have more predictability out of the car. We ought to be able to make 12 runs at Phoenix and get a good beat on the car and you throw in another four qualifying runs at Pomona, assuming the weather cooperates, and we ought be able to have 16 runs under our belt.”

Those runs will be critical since Beckman pointed out only he, Medlen and Matthew Archer, who was a mechanic on the car last season, are the only three people returning to the Infinite Hero Foundation Dodge from 2016.

“There will be seven people who didn’t work on the Infinite Hero car last year,” Beckman said. “I think that those three test days in Phoenix are going to be really important for getting this new team working in a coordinated effort, and also be really essential for us getting some sort of baseline to drag to Pomona.”

Despite the wholesale changes to his team Beckman is brimming with optimism about the upcoming season.

“I can’t wait to start this year,” he said. “You have no idea how thrilled I am that Medlen is back because Infinite Hero is doing some pretty special stuff. As a drag racer, you want to go out and win races and you just want to destroy everybody on the race track, but with Infinite Hero we get to do a lot of things for some people who are beyond deserving when the car is not running. To have John back as a crew chief is awesome, but to have John back as a representative of the Infinte Hero race team is going to be amazing and I think (Dean) and Neal will fit into that role fantastically as well.”

 Written by Tracy Renck    Wed, 2016-12-28 18:00

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Antonelli, Medlen, Strausbaugh to lead Infinite Hero Funny Car

BROWNSBURG, Ind. (Dec. 22, 2016) – A triumvirate of nitro tuning talent will serve as co-crew chiefs in 2017 for Terry Chandler’s Infinite Hero Foundation Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car with driver Jack Beckman at Don Schumacher Racing.

Dean Antonelli joins John Medlen and veteran U.S. Army Top Fuel assistant Neal Strausbaugh at DSR. It will be the 10th season for Strausbaugh, third for Medlen and first for Antonelli at DSR.

Antonelli, 52, served as general manager at John Force Racing the past two seasons after being a crew chief and assistant crew chief at that company where he spent 12 years working under Austin Coil and Bernie Fedderly. Antonelli was an assistant crew chief on four world championship Funny Car teams.

“We’re very excited to have Dean join DSR,” said Don Schumacher, whose DSR organization owns 293 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series event titles and 16 series championships.

“John Medlen is one of the smartest guys in drag racing and he’s worked with Dean for many years. Terry and I expect very big things from our Infinite Hero team.”

Strausbaugh, 34, will start his 17th season in professional drag racing and 10th at DSR. He has spent his tenure at DSR working as the assistant to DSR crew chief Mike Green with the U.S. Army team that won the 2009 and 2014 Top Fuel world championships.

Strausbaugh, a native of Hillsboro, Ill., lives in Danville, Ind., with his wife, Lacey, and their children, Camden, 6, and Kinlee Mae, 1. He worked with Green on the Funny Car driven by Tommy Johnson Jr. at Don Prudhomme Racing and Darrell Gwynn’s New York Yankee dragster. He also worked on crews for Chuck Etchells and Cory McClenathan.

“Neal has learned from the best and is one of the brightest there is in the pits,” Schumacher said. “He has earned the opportunity to be a crew chief and he will get even better working with Dean and John.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Don Schumacher Racing's Make-A-Wish, Infinite Hero Funny Cars will return in 2017 with continued support from Terry Chandler


BROWNSBURG, Ind. (Dec. 12, 2016) - New Mexico philanthropist and drag racing enthusiast Terry Chandler has funded the Make-A-Wish and Infinite Hero Funny Cars at Don Schumacher Racing for the past three seasons. During that time, the teams have combined to win a remarkable 15 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series events and 16 No. 1 qualifying spots.

Chandler and her teams have just barely missed the championship in each of the past two seasons; in 2015, Jack Beckman finished No. 2 in the nation in the Infinite Hero Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car, and in 2016, it was Tommy Johnson Jr. and the Make-A-Wish Dodge team that finished the year in second place.

Those impressive statistics, however, pale to the impact Chandler's racing programs have made on countless lives through her support of Make-A-Wish and Infinite Hero.

Chandler, the 2015 recipient of the NHRA Blaine Johnson Award for her dedication to helping others, has announced with DSR owner Don Schumacher that the two race programs designed to raise awareness for foundations very dear to her heart will continue through 2017.

In 2013, Chandler and her brother, Johnny Gray, partnered to sponsor the DSR Funny Car he then drove for DSR. For his final full­ time season of driving, the pair funded the car in honor of their father, the late John R. Gray.

At the end of that season, Johnny retired from full-time driving, but he knew that his sister had found her home away from home. He encouraged her to continue as the sponsor of the team if it was in her heart, and it didn't take long for her to agree. In Gray's absence, Johnson was added to the roster as the new driver.

Chandler and her husband, Doug, own and operate Chandler Aviation at the Cavern City Air Terminal in Carlsbad, N.M. Instead of flying the colors of Chandler Aviation on Johnson's Dodge Charger, however, she chose to use the racecar as a platform to promote awareness for a great cause. The car was painted and the transporters were wrapped with a striking Make-A-Wish design.

Make-A-Wish provides memorable events for children with life-threatening medical conditions, and Chandler's vision was to expand on that to make a great impact. Chandler and DSR host "Wish Kids" and their families to the VIP hospitality pavilion next to the race team's pit area on Saturdays at each of the 24 Mello Yello events held in 21 markets across the country. The Make-A-Wish crew has the opportunity to engage with the children, giving them a tour of the pit area and racecar each weekend.

In 2014,Chandler's desire to give back grew even more, and she began funding a second team at DSR with 2012 Funny Car world championship driver Jack Beckman behind the wheel. The branding for the racecar was dedicated to another organization that touched Chandler's heart: the Infinite Hero Foundation, a non-profit organization that combats the most difficult front line issues - mental and physical - facing returning military heroes and their families.

In addition to exposing millions of television viewers and hundreds of thousands of Mello Yello series spectators to the worthy causes, there are other benefits.

Although she funds the operation, Chandler insists that the racecar truly belongs to each one of the Make-A-Wish children. Each weekend, she points to the Make-A-Wish Dodge and tells them, "This is YOUR racecar."

While she enjoys being part of the extraordinarily fast-paced world of drag racing,the true reward for Chandler is meeting the families and seeing the smiles of Wish Kids as they share an experience that won't soon be forgotten.

Chandler and her Infinite Hero team with Beckman, a former U.S. Air Force sergeant, have hosted scores of Americans who, through military service, gave more than anyone could have asked.

A generous amount of funds have been raised in two years through Chandler's various Infinite Hero events, including nearly $250,000 through the Infinite Hero challenge coin program. Beckman carries Infinite Hero-themed challenge coins on each of his Funny Car passes down the racetrack during a national event, and afterwards, he autographs them and exchanges them with fans for a $100 donation to Infinite Hero.

In all, Chandler's program has raised nearly $500,000 for Infinite Hero and has brought tremendous awareness to some of the most difficult issues facing our returning military heroes and families.

In the season ahead, Chandler hopes to raise even more awareness for Make-A-Wish and the Infinite Hero foundations.

Look for both cars during the 2017 season of NHRA's Mello Yello Drag Racing Series, which is scheduled to begin with the Feb. 10-12 NHRA Winternationals in Pomona, Calif.

About Don Schumacher Racing
Don Schumacher Racing, headquartered near Indianapolis in Brownsburg, Ind., fields eight professional NHRA teams in the Mello Yello Drag Racing Series.

In Top Fuel, the U.S. Army dragster driven by 8-time world champion Tony Schumacher, the reigning and 3-time world champion Matco Tools/U.S. Army dragster driven by Antron Brown, the Red Fuel/Sandvik Coromant dragster driven by 2013 world champion Shawn Langdon and the Papa John's Pizza/FireAde 2000/Pennzoil/Mopar dragster with driver Leah Pritchett.

In Funny Car,  two-time world champion Matt Hagan in the Mopar Express Lane 2016 Dodge Charger R/T, reigning world champion Ron Capps' NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge, 2012 NHRA world champion Jack Beckman in the Infinite Hero Foundation Dodge,  and the Make-A-Wish Dodge driven by Tommy Johnson Jr.
    
DSR has won 293 NHRA national event titles and 16 world championships.
    
Follow Don Schumacher Racing at ShoeRacing.com, on Twitter at @shoeracing and Facebook.com/shoeracing.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

DSR: Beckman adds two more NHRA records to Infinite Hero resume but semifinals loss drops DSR Dodge to fifth in final standings


POMONA, Calif. (Nov. 13, 2016) - Jack Beckman and the Infinite Hero Dodge Charger R/T team led by crew chief Jimmy Prock and funded by Terry Chandler had a very good year.

But there was some disappointment Sunday in the season-finale of the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season when Beckman lost in the semifinals to eventual event runner-up John Force, who was defeated by Don Schumacher Racing teammate Tommy Johnson Jr. for the NHRA Finals event title.

Beckman, the 2012 Funny Car world champion, had every reason to advance further after his Infinite Hero Dodge with crew chief Jimmy Prock closed qualifying Saturday with a track-record time of 3.825 seconds to secure the team's sixth No. 1 qualifying position of the season.

In addition to the elapsed time record, the Infinite Hero Dodge set the track speed record at 332.84 mph. In all, the team set four time and seven speed records in 24 Mello Yello events.

"We did some amazing things this year on the track and with the Infinite Hero Foundation for our veterans," Beckman said.

"I'm reflective on the year, and it's disappointing to not be able to close it out with a win. But I love this group of people I'm surrounded with. We've changed some lives for the better and we'll just continue moving forward.

"We wanted to have the trophy and that was a really important round against John Force. If we won that round, we would be no worse than third in the points. If we lost, and he moved around us and we dropped to fifth.

"But it was a top-5 finish and that is incredibly hard to do in a nitro car. I think at the outset of the year, we felt our chances were going to be a little bit better. Nobody is going to hang their heads on this."

FULL ARTICLE

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Drag racing legend 'Jungle Pam' guides Beckman to Finals pole as Infinite Hero Dodge enjoys second quickest Funny Car run ever

POMONA, Calif. (Nov. 12, 2016) - Jack Beckman enjoyed a historic day Saturday in the NHRA Finals at the L.A. County Fairgrounds.

It started with the first qualifying session when he invited "Jungle Pam" Hardy (formerly Liberman), a drag racing icon,  to guide him back to the starting line after his burnouts.

Then he ended the day with the second quickest run ever in a Funny Car when crew chief Jimmy Prock with assistants John Medlen and Chris Cunningham and the Infinite Hero Dodge Charger R/T team funded by Terry Chandler produced a run of 3.825 seconds at 332.10 mph to lock up the No. 1 qualifying position for Sunday's championship eliminations in the NHRA Finals that will end the 2016 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season.

"It's just a number," he said of what earned his team its sixth pole of the year.

"It's interesting how excited people can get over a number. We were the last car down the racetrack, so let's face it - people are rushing to try to get home. But you hear how fanatical the people were who stuck around."

Beckman seemed more impressed to have a drag racing legend be his "back-up girl."

"Pam's heyday in drag racing was 40 years ago, and she was part of that scene. From my youngest memory in drag racing, everything about this sport touched my heart. A lot of people are passionate about football but they'll never be able to participate in the sport. I'm absolutely passionate about drag racing and able to participate in the sport. To be able to circle back and include someone like (Jungle Pam), somebody that I just thought was so iconic.

"I still have to wrap my head around it that these are all just normal people who have to go to work. She has bills to pay. But to  me, she is Jungle Pam. She was part of the team where I just thought, short of taking a rocket to the moon, it's the coolest thing that I thought a kid could get involved in.

"I'm 50 now and I'm involved in it."

FUNNY CAR
No. 1 qualifier: Jack Beckman (Don Schumacher Racing), 3.825 sec.-track record, 332.84 mph-track record

JACK BECKMAN, Infinite Hero Dodge Charger R/T
Crew chief: Jimmy Prock; assistants: John Medlen, Chris Cunningham
Qualified: No. 1
SUNDAY ELIMINATIONS
First round: John Bojec
QUALIFYING
FRIDAY: 3.921 sec., 326.32 mph, (Session 1); 3.865, 332.84-track record, (Session 2)
SATURDAY: no time, (Session 3); 3.825 sec.-track record, 332.10, (Session 4)

About Infinite Hero Foundation
A 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, Infinite Hero Foundation combats the most difficult front line issues - mental and physical - facing returning military heroes and their families.  The Foundation funds programs that drive innovation and the accessibility of effective treatments for military heroes and their families dealing with service-related mental and physical injuries.  For more information, visit: www.infinitehero.org.

About Don Schumacher Racing
Don Schumacher Racing, headquartered in Brownsburg, Ind., fields eight professional NHRA teams. In Top Fuel, the U.S. Army dragster driven by eight-time world champion Tony Schumacher, the Matco Tools dragster driven by three-time world champion Antron Brown; the Sandvik Coromant/Red Fuel Powered by Schumacher dragster driven by Shawn Langdon and the FireAde Top Fuel dragster driven by Leah Pritchett; and in Funny Car, 2016 Funny Car world champion Ron Capps in the NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge Charger R/T, 2011 and 2014 world champion Matt Hagan in the Mopar Express Lane/Rocky Boots 2015 Dodge Charger R/T, 2012 NHRA world champion Jack Beckman in the Infinite Hero Foundation Dodge and the Make-A-Wish Dodge driven by Tommy Johnson Jr.

DSR has won 292 NHRA national event titles and 16 world championships.
Follow Don Schumacher Racing at ShoeRacing.com, on Twitter at @shoeracing and Facebook.com/shoeracing.

Please visit Don Schumacher Racing for additional information.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

NHRA season wraps up this weekend but Beckman, Infinite Hero Dodge Charter R/T team hopeful to end season with win at Pomona

BROWNSBURG, Ind. (Nov. 8, 2016) - Jack Beckman and the Infinite Hero Foundation Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car team, sponsored by Terry Chandler, travel to Pomona, Calif., this weekend for the final event of the 2016 NHRA season.

"The season begins and ends almost in my backyard," said Beckman, a resident of Norco, Calif. "I'm 30 miles from the racetrack. Pomona is the track where I have spent the most time. For 10 years, I stood on the starting line flipping the switch for the students we were teaching at the Frank Hawley School.

"I have a deep, personal relationship with that track and it goes back to my childhood. Going there as an 8-year-old to watch the races. What I haven't done there is win in a nitro car. I've taken two Super Comp trophies from Pomona but neither of those were at the Finals."

At the NHRA Finals in 2015, Beckman qualified No. 2 with a 3.890-second pass at 327.90 mph.

He advanced to the semifinals when he defeated Chad Head and Cruz Pedregon but lost to eventual champion Del Worsham.

A win in Pomona is a win the Infinite Hero Foundation team and Beckman would love to mark off their to-do list.

The Infinite Hero Foundation team is currently No. 4 in the NHRA points standings. Although they are not mathematically able to win the championship title, a win at the 52nd annual Auto Club NHRA Finals could advance them to No. 2.

In 2015, Beckman battled for the championship with Worsham of Kalitta Motorsports throughout NHRA's Countdown to the Championship playoffs..

"The year for the Infinite Hero team really didn't stack up to our preseason expectations. We've won two races so far. We posed for at least a top-five finish and could finish as high as second. I think we and a lot of other people expected more out of our results this year. It's not for lack of trying.

"One thing that's a great salve for this would be leaving Pomona with a trophy. It's the one trophy that I think would shine the brightest for two months because you can't lose a race in the offseason.

"If you win the Finals, until we roll around back to the Winternationals again, you're technically undefeated in that time span. I'd like to say I was the guy to do that with the Infinite Hero Dodge at this race."


FULL ARTICLE

Sunday, October 30, 2016

DSR: Beckman, Infinite Hero Dodge team shift focus toward finishing Mello Yello season strong at Pomona finale in two weeks

LAS VEGAS (Oct. 30, 2016) – The Infinite Hero Foundation Funny Car team, sponsored by Terry Chandler and piloted by Jack Beckman, may be out of the hunt for the 2016 Championship title but they’re already aiming their focus to 2017.

The Infinite Hero Foundation team was officially eliminated from the Championship chase on Sunday during the16th annual NHRA Nationals the Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

They entered race day as the No. 1 qualifying team at the Strip with their pass of 3.871 at 327.43 mph.

In round one, Beckman lined up against Jeff Arend and made a 3.890-second pass at 326.95 mph. He then advanced to the second to face Courtney Force.

Beckman went into immediate tire smoke and coasted to 7.852-second pass at 78.74 mph to give Force the win.

Entering race day, Beckman trailed the points leader and Don Schumacher Racing teammate, Ron Capps, by 131 points. But due to their second round lose, Beckman fell back to 151 points behind Capps, who advanced to the semifinals.
Photo Credit: Auto Imagery
“We knew realistically we weren't going to be able to win the championship coming into this race. But now it's official,” Beckman said.

“I really thought we’d put down some numbers good enough to have a car that could go out and win the race, and to go out and smoke the tires second round, nobody was expecting that out of the Infinite Hero car.

“We're staying and we're testing tomorrow, and we're not testing so much to get an advantage for Pomona, we're testing to get a head start for next year. We'll go back to our regular combination for Pomona and go out there and try to be smart about it and turn on four win lights Sunday there.”

In two weeks, the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing series returns to Auto Club Raceway at Pomona for the final race of the 2016 season.

“I gotta tell ya, a trophy makes the off-season go by really, really well. Right now, everybody is staying positive, we'll focus on Pomona, we'll unload there and on Friday we'll go to work.”

FULL ARTICLE

Saturday, October 29, 2016

DSR: Beckman takes fifth Funny Car pole of Mello Yello season; Brown can clinch Top Fuel title Sunday while Capps extends lead

LAS VEGAS (Oct. 29, 2016) – Jack Beckman and the Infinite Hero Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car barely ran fast enough Friday to get a speeding ticket on the Interstate 15 and were ranked 22nd in qualifying for the NHRA Toyota Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

But the pace quickened Saturday night when the Beckman’s Dodge tuned by crew chief Jimmy Prock with assistants John Medlen and Chris Cunningham produced a track-record time of 3.871 seconds at a speed of 327.43 mph to edge Don Schumacher Racing teammate Matt Hagan (Mopar Express Lane/Rocky Boots) for the pole by one-thousandth of a second.

“We got our act together and went the 3.871. That was a sigh of relief, and I thought that would keep us in the top-four but no way I thought it would keep us on the pole,” said Beckman, who earned his fifth No. 1 qualifying spot and set his fourth elapsed time track record.

“The conditions were phenomenal and about as good as you're going to see, but we're still fighting altitude here. It's tough, even with a nitro car, to make that sort of horsepower. I didn't think it was going to stay.

Ron Capps and the NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge with crew chief Rahn Tobler and assistant Eric Lane qualified fourth and were the most consistent team with four runs between 3.881 and 3.910 seconds.

More importantly for the NAPA team heading into Sunday, Capps was able to extend his lead over DSR teammate Tommy Johnson Jr. (Make-A-Wish) by nine points to 73. But Hagan, ranked third, was able to pull within 83 of Capps and 10 of Johnson.

It’s been a challenge for Capps not to think about his pursuit his first world championship after being the runner-up a record four times, but nothing could have been further from his mind when his brother, Jon Capps, slammed his Funny Car into the guardwall moments before he was to make his last run.

“I feel so safe in my own car when I have control of it. Watching him from the outside was very hard,” he said.
Photo Credit: Auto Imagery
“I did the burnout I could see the marks from where he came down from his wheelstand and it kind of played in my head a little bit. I can’t thank Tobler enough for giving me such a confidence boost all weekend. It’s so much fun right now. We just need a big day tomorrow. We’re treating it like it’s the last race of the season. We’ll keep doing what we’ve been doing and if Tobler gives me a great race car and makes me look good like he has all year we’ll be alright.”

In Top Fuel, Leah Pritchett and the Pennzoil team led by crew chief Todd Okuhara and assistant Joe Barlam started the last session as the No. 1 qualifier and despite running its quickest time of the weekend at 3.700, Clay Millican of Stringer Performance posted a 3.689 to take the pole and prevent the Pennzoil team from earning its second pole in three events.

"This girl cannot complain at all," said Pritchett, who earned her third top-two qualifying spot in three races.

"We were planning to throw down out there, thinking we were either going to be up and smoke or .68 or better – but I can't complain at all. We're just going to keep rolling and do what we do."

DSR’s Antron Brown, the reigning and two-time Top Fuel champ, will start Sunday with a 148-point lead over Doug Kalitta, who outscored Brown in qualifying points 3-2 and qualified one spot higher in third to narrow the gap from 150.

“We made some great, quality laps today and that sets us up really good for tomorrow,” said Brown, who can clinch his third world championship in five years if he leaves Las Vegas with a 130-point lead over Kalitta.

“We would’ve love to have gained some more points. We were shooting to go up there and be No. 1 qualifier, of course. The track’s just really, really tight. But, with that being said, we had some great laps this weekend. We literally ran four, great, quality laps. We’re just going to keep working like normal.”

FULL ARTICLE

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

DSR: No. 4-ranked Beckman, Infinite Hero team look for third event win of season, second in four Countdown playoff races at Las Vegas

BROWNSBURG, Ind. (Oct. 26, 2016) ­­- The Infinite Hero Foundation Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car team, piloted by Jack Beckman and funded by Terry Chandler, travel to Las Vegas for the 16th annual NHRA Nationals the Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway this week.

As the NHRA points stand, the Infinite Hero Foundation team is currently fourth, 131 points behind the leader and Don Schumacher Racing teammate Ron Capps.

"The championship is all but out of reach for us but the trophy certainly isn't," Beckman said. "We are not going to treat Vegas like a test session. We feel we have a realistic shot at winning that race.
"Mathematically, the championship is still possible but realistically I think second place might be doable for us. Really, our short-term goal is just a trophy on Sunday in Vegas."

Last year at the Las Vegas event, Beckman and the team, led by crew chief Jimmy Prock with assistants John Medlen and Chris Cunningham, began race day as the No. 4 qualifying team and finished in the quarterfinals round to Capps.

The Infinite Hero Foundation team is looking for its third event win of the season and second win of the NHRA Countdown to the Championship playoff.

"We need to execute well on Friday in qualifying. We just need to be smart about trying to make four quick runs before we even get to Sunday.

"We may make a radical change in the clutch department. We will either do it in qualifying to see if it gives us what we want or we will test it more extensively on Monday in preparation for the last race (in two weeks at Pomona, Calif.) and start getting ready for 2017.
Photo Credit: Auto Imagery
FULL ARTICLE

Sunday, October 16, 2016

DSR: Beckman falls in second round to DSR teammate, points leader Capps as Infinite Hero team leaves Texas fourth in points standings

ENNIS, TX, (Oct. 16, 2016) - Despite second round exit at the 31st annual AAA Fallnationals, Jack Beckman and the Infinite Hero Foundation team, funded by Terry Chandler, remain positive as they finish the 2016 NHRA season.

Beckman and the team led by crew chief Jimmy Prock with assistants John Medlen and Chris Cunningham, entered race day as the No. 2 qualifier. Their best qualifying effort came on Friday night during the second session when Beckman clocked a 3.843-second lap at 333.66 mph for the track speed record at Texas Motorplex.

"I don't have a crystal ball and I can't look to the last run at Pomona but I think if there was a must win race for the Infinite Hero car this season, I think it all boiled down to second round at Dallas," Beckman said.

During the opening round of competition on Sunday, the Infinite Hero Dodge Charger R/T lined up against Dave Richards. Beckman got the win with his 3.908, 325.92 effort.

Beckman moved onto round two when he matched up against Don Schumacher Racing teammate and NHRA Countdown to the Championship points leader, Ron Capps.

Beckman made a great run at 3.938- (320.51) but Capps left the starting line first and got the win light.

"That was a must win against that NAPA car," Beckman said. "That represents a 40-point swing and they already had a pretty significate lead in the points and they just stretched it even further. That's a real gut check for everybody.

"That's a huge let down - especially to be that close of a race. But, we're paid professionals and we do some great things for the injured veterans through the Infinite Hero Foundation and that's definitely something for us to hang our hats on."

Aside from their performance on the racetrack, the team was part of helping the Infinite Hero Foundation issue grants to the ReBOOT program (BootCampaign.org) and Airpower Foundation (AirPowerFoundation.com).

"The foundation was able to donate $200,000 in grants because of the challenge coin program."

Beckman carries challenge coins inside his Funny Car during every pass down the racetrack and all proceeds go back to help veterans return to their everyday lives.

Beckman and the Infinite Hero team will have a weekend off before heading back to Las Vegas for the 16th annual NHRA Nationals the Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

"We're going to do our best to win that race then we're going to stay and test and start plans for the off-season and the 2017 season. But again, I don't see why we can't finish this year with two trophies."
Photo Credit: Auto Imagery
For additional information, please visit Don Schumacher Racing.