BROWNSBURG, Ind. (Feb. 22, 2017) - Jack Beckman and the Infinite Hero Foundation Funny Car team didn't have time to waste on Super Bowl Sunday by watching all the pre-game hoopla.
They extended their preseason testing to that Sunday as Super Bowl parties weren't in their plans until work was done at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park near Phoenix.
Beckman expects that effort to translate into good results this weekend when the Don Schumacher Racing 2017 Dodge Charger R/T funded by Terry Chandler returns to the track for this weekend's NHRA Arizona Nationals in the Mello Yello Drag Racing Series.
"This will be the first time our new tuning trio get to go back to a track where they have worked together on our Infinite Hero Dodge," said Beckman, the 2012 NHRA Funny Car champion. "They'll have a lot of data from testing. We have a lot of new things this season and we want to get back to our winning ways."
Joining returning co-crew chief John Medlen to make up the triumvirate are veteran Dean Antonelli and Neal Strausbaugh, formerly the assistant crew chief on DSR's U.S. Army championship team. Additionally, the crew is new except for returning car chief Matt Archer.
"Three weeks ago at Phoenix we made 12 test runs and that gives us a comfort zone going back," Beckman said. "We even stayed over on Super Bowl Sunday to make a couple more laps just because of all the personnel and clutch changes that have been made. They wanted a greater level of confidence after testing.
"Phoenix has been very good to me. I've won there three times (2008, 2010, 2011) and that's as many times that I've won at any track. For whatever reason, I'm prolific at some tracks and can't win at others. But that's completely random."
Ten days ago at the opener in Pomona, Calif., Beckman qualified fifth before losing in the second round to teammate and eventual event winner Matt Hagan in what was one of the best races of the weekend. Beckman's impressive 3.893-second run at 328.30 mph was edged by Hagan's 3.882 (329.18).
"That level of performance will continue with our new team," Beckman said. "We had a successful maiden voyage at Pomona and our Infinite Hero team will hit its stride soon."
|Photo Credit: Auto Imagery|
Last event (Feb. 9-12 at Pomona): Qualified No. 8, lost in second round to event winner Matt Hagan of DSR
2016 Phoenix: Qualified No. 6, lost in second round to John Force
Career at Phoenix: Wins 3 (2010-11, 2008); Runner-ups 0; Poles 0
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 Papa John's Top Fuel dragster driven by Leah Pritchett and 2013 Top Fuel world champion Shawn Langdon and in Funny Car, 2011 and 2014 world champion Matt Hagan in the Mopar Express Lane 2015 Dodge Charger R/T, 2012 NHRA world champion Jack Beckman in the Infinite Hero Foundation Dodge, the NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge of Ron Capps and the Make-A-Wish Dodge driven by Tommy Johnson Jr.
DSR has won 295 NHRA national event titles and 16 world championships.