Wednesday, February 22, 2017

DSR: Beckman wants past success at Wild Horse Pass near Phoenix to continue in desert when Infinite Hero Dodge races this weekend


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
JACK BECKMAN: Infinite Hero 2017 Dodge Charger R/T
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.



FULL ARTICLE

Sunday, February 12, 2017

DSR: Beckman, Infinite Hero team remain confident in their Dodge Funny Car as they head to second race

POMONA, Calif. (Feb. 12, 2017) - Jack Beckman and the Infinite Hero Foundation team, sponsored by Terry Chandler, came to the Winternationals as a newly assembled group ready to bring home their first victory as a team.

Unfortunately, they will have to try again for their first win in Phoenix.

"I'm not the first one of the DSR Funny Car squad to say the cars we fear the most in the other lane are the other Dodges," Beckman said. "We know what parts and aerodynamics they have. I tell you what's very satisfying out here, this is a team sport."

Beckman was referring to his second round lost against Don Schumacher Racing teammate, Matt Hagan who later won the event.

"You've got 11 guys on a team, all working for a singular goal. But we can also go next door. When I needed another parachute, I went over to our Mopar teammate's car and they helped us out. And we had to race them the next round. You always say, 'from burnout to turnout there are no teammates,' it's every team for themselves."

In the first round of competition, Beckman ran a 3.867-second lap at 330.63 mph to give him the win over Cruz Pedregon. Then in round two, Beckman lined up against Hagan. Beckman ran a 3.893-second lap (323.30 mph) but Hagan was quicker with his 3.885.

"It's nice to know that when the fans are making betting odds on who they think will win a Mopar is always going to be near the top of the heap."

Beckman and the Infinite Hero team will have a weekend off before heading to the NHRA Arizona Nationals for the second event of the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing season.

Photo Credit: Auto Imagery

Event winner:
No. 1 qualifier: Matt Hagan (Don Schumacher Racing), 3.822 sec., 335.57 mph (both match Hagan's national records set in 2016)

JACK BECKMAN, Infinite Hero Dodge Charger R/T
Crew chiefs: John Medlen, Dean Antonelli, Neal Strausbaugh
First round: BECKMAN (3.867 sec., 330.63 mph) def. Cruz Pedregon (13.004, 67.39)
Second round: Matt Hagan (3.882, 329.18) def. BECKMAN (3.893, 328.30)
Qualified: No. 8
QUALIFYING
FRIDAY: 4.153 sec., 295.14 mph, (Session 1); rained out, (Session 2)
SATURDAY: 5.937, 123.42, (Session 3); 3.853, 327.43, (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 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.
Follow Don Schumacher Racing at ShoeRacing.com, on Twitter at @shoeracing and Facebook.com/shoeracing.

FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Jeff Wolf (wolfj@shoeracing.com), 702.524.1368
Leah Vaughn (vaughnl@shoeracing.com), 618.516.1988

Saturday, February 11, 2017

DSR: Beckman, new Infinite Hero Foundation crew chiefs, team start 2017 with confidence, patience at NHRA Winternationals

POMONA, Calif. (Feb. 11, 2017) - Jack Beckman and the Infinite Hero Foundation team, funded by Terry Chandler, enter the first race of the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing series with a new team but the same goal.

"I'm confident - and I truly am - and I'm not just saying that!" said Beckman, the 2012 Funny Car champion. "I think every driver should think that, but I have every reason to believe that.

"There's a lot of fire power on this team. Nobody is a newbie on the team, it's just the first time we've worked together as a group."

The team is definitely new, starting with the crew chiefs. Don Schumacher Racing veteran assistant Neal Strausbaugh joined the team after serving on the U.S. Army Top Fuel team for several years. Strausbaugh is joined by DSR newcomer Dean Antonelli. John Medlen is one of only two holdovers from last year's team.

Aside from the trio of crew chiefs, there are several new faces on the crew as well, the majority of which came onboard from within DSR from varies teams.

"Remember, this is a bunch of dragster guys. We shortened the car up, put the motor on the other side of the driver and slapped a body on it and I think they're doing a fantastic job of getting up to speed with the adjustment," Beckman said.

During the first round of qualifying, Beckman had to pedal his Funny Car and coasted to a 4.1.53-second lap at 295.14 mph. Later Friday night, rain cancelled the second session for most teams.

On Saturday, Beckman ran into problems again and his car quit before the finish line, resulting in a 5.937 (123.42). Finally, during the final qualifying session, Beckman clocked a 3.894 at 333.99 mph to earn the No. 8 seed and will race former world champion Cruz Pedregon in the opening round of eliminations.

"That 3.89 was far from a perfect run," Beckman said. "The speed showed some potential. We actually softened (the tune-up) up but it was a little weak on ET (elapsed time).

"We tested well a week ago, we had a lot of good time slips from that. But they don't count. They're not for points, they're not for a trophy, they're not during a race."
Photo Credit: Auto Imagery
JACK BECKMAN, Infinite Hero Dodge Charger R/T
Crew chiefs: John Medlen, Dean Antonelli, Neal Strausbaugh
First round opponent: Cruz Pedregon
Qualified: No. 8
QUALIFYING
FRIDAY: 4.153 sec., 295.14 mph, (Session 1); rained out, (Session 2)
SATURDAY: 5.937, 123.42, (Session 3); 3.853, 327.43, (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 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 293 NHRA national event titles and 16 world championships.
Follow Don Schumacher Racing at ShoeRacing.com, on Twitter at @shoeracing and Facebook.com/shoeracing.


FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Jeff Wolf (wolfj@shoeracing.com), 702.524.1368
Leah Vaughn (vaughnl@shoeracing.com), 618.516.1988

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

New crew chiefs, crew doesn't slow Beckman during testing, expectations high for Chandler's Infinite Hero Dodge at DSR



BROWNSBURG, Ind. (Feb. 7, 2017) - Jack Beckman walked into his pit area to start testing last week and had a lot to learn, mainly the names of his Don Schumacher Racing crew.

He knew he was in the right place when he saw that Terry Chandler's purple Infinite Hero Foundation 2017 Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car was still the center of attention but the only returning crewmen working on it from last year's team in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season were John Medlen and Matt Archer.

Once he began wheeling the sleek Charger funded by Chandler down the track he also realized his new group led by crew chiefs Medlen, Dean Antonelli and Neal Strausbaugh had provided the 2012 Funny Car world champion with something he has become very familiar with at DSR: high performance.

"We had a fantastic test session last weekend," Beckman said of three runs in the 3.8-second range along with four in the 3.90s and a 4.03 that he shut off at halftrack at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park near Phoenix.

"It exceeded all of our expectations. I'm pleased as punch. Honest to goodness I can't wait for the season to get started."
The resident of Norco, Calif., knows when he makes the short drive from his home to Pomona Friday to open the 2017 Mello Yello season with the NHRA Winternationals that his team is still growing together.

"What impressed me at testing was how well our three crew chiefs bounce things off each other, how the crew continually got more efficient after each run and how, overall, we had one of the best test sessions of any team there."

Change isn't new to Beckman. He lost his entire team after the fourth race of the 2012 season and that worked out well as he went on to win the championship that year.

Beckman is coming off a season that featured two event titles in five final rounds along with six poles and holding NHRA track records for elapsed time (four tracks) and speed (six). The best run of his career was three months ago at Pomona in the season-finale when he recorded a time of 3.825 seconds, which is the second quickest Funny Car run ever. His best speed of 334.15 mph was set last summer near Seattle.

He's seeking his first win at Pomona but has been the No. 1 qualifier at the last two races at the legendary track near Los Angeles.

"The best development in the off-season is that Terry Chandler and the Infinite Hero Foundation has stayed with us," said Beckman, a former U.S. Air Force sergeant. "They recognize the importance of our campaign with Infinite Hero on the side of our car. We're making a difference for injured vets."

FULL ARTICLE

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."


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