Sunday, October 15, 2017

DSR: Beckman, Infinite Hero team move up to fifth in Mello Yello points after semifinals finish at the Texas Motorplex near Dallas; Vegas next



ENNIS, Texas (Oct. 15, 2017) - Jack Beckman and Terry and Doug Chandler's Infinite Hero Foundation Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car team had a few lucky runs at the 32nd annual NHRA FallNationals near Dallas but their luck ran out when they ran into Don Schumacher Racing teammate and points leader Ron Capps in the semifinals.

During an odd first round when several cars lost traction and smoked the tires, Beckman won a pedalfest over Kalitta Motorsports' J.R. Todd with 4.590-second pass at only 229.70 mph. In the next round, he had a solo run when part-time racer Daniel Wilkerson broke on his burnout past the starting line. Beckman went into tire smoke but got the win light with his 5.082 (145.89).

Beckman then lined up against Capps. With another smoking lap by Beckman, Capps got the win with a 3.905 (329.10).

"We went up there and smoked the tires in what was of the oddest first rounds I've seen in a long time," Beckman said. "And then we could've been beaten in the second round too."

Despite their semifinal finish, the Infinite Hero team led by crew chiefs Dean Antonelli, John Medlen and Neal Strausbaugh moved from sixth to fifth in the NHRA points standings and are 186 behind Capps.

"I'm going to take the silver-lining approach to this," Beckman said. "Yeah, it's crushing to not leave here with the trophy, especially but we picked up a position in the standing. We could've left here having closed the gap on first and second quite a bit. We let those (Capps and event winner Robert Hight) pull away from us. But our day could've ended in the first round.

"The fact of the matter is we're going to leave here with 40 points, we're going to leave here fourth in points, within one round of third. So, we checked a bunch of things off our list except getting that darn trophy at Texas. We'll just have to settle for one at Vegas and one at Pomona."

In two weeks, Beckman and the Infinite Hero team will compete at the NHRA Nationals at Las Vegas for the penultimate race of the season.

JACK BECKMAN, Terry and Doug Chandler's Infinite Hero Dodge Charger R/T
Crew chiefs: Dean Antonelli, John Medlen, Neal Strausbaugh
SUNDAY ELIMINATIONS
First round: BECKMAN (4.590 sec., 229.70 mph) def. J.R. Todd (5.140, 190.78)
Second round: BECKMAN (5.082, 145.09) def. Daniel Wilkerson (broke)
Semifinals: Ron Capps (3.905, 329.10) BECKMAN (4.468, 196.13)
QUALIFYING
Qualified: No. 3
FRIDAY: 3.914 sec., 329.50 mph, (Session 1); 3.873, 332.34, (Session 2)
SATURDAY: 6.907, 89.47, (Session 3); 3.971, 317.19, (Session 4)

                  Pts      Events       Wins      Rup      Semi      Qtr     1st rd      Poles      DNQ         W/L
2017          4th               22            2           2              6         9             3              0            0       34-20
CAREER                     274          26         27            51       82           81            21            7   366-241
Career best time, speed: 3.825 sec., (2016 Pomona 2); 334.15 mph (Seattle 2016)
BY THE NUMBERS
A year ago at Dallas: Qualified No. 2, lost in second round to Ron Capps,
Career at Dallas: Wins 0, Runner-ups 2 (2009, 2015), Poles 0

Funny Car                                                                 
  1. RON CAPPS (8)                     2495     -----
  2. Robert Hight (4)                      2471       -24
  3. Courtney Force                       2324      -171
  4. JACK BECKMAN (2)             2309      -186
  5. MATT HAGAN (3)                   2269      -226
  6. John Force (1)                         2252      -243
  7. TOMMY JOHNSON JR. (1)   2224       -271
  8. Tim Wilkerson                         2206       -289
  9. J.R. Todd (2)                           2199       -296
10. Cruz Pedregon                        2128      -307

About Don Schumacher Racing
Don Schumacher Racing, headquartered in Brownsburg, Ind., fields seven 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 and the Papa John's Pizza/Mopar Top Fuel dragster driven by Leah Pritchett; and in Funny Car, 2016 world champion Ron Capps in the NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge Charger R/T; 2011 and 2014 world champion Matt Hagan in the 80th anniversary Mopar/ Express Lane Dodge Charger R/T, and 2012 NHRA world champion Jack Beckman in the Infinite Hero Foundation Dodge and the Make-A-Wish Dodge driven by Tommy Johnson Jr., both of which are funded by the late Terry Chandler.
DSR has won 316 NHRA national event titles and 16 world championships.
Follow Don Schumacher Racing at ShoeRacing.com, on Twitter at @shoeracing and Facebook.com/shoeracing.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

DSR: Beckman hopes to win at Motorplex for dad, Infinite Hero team at critical juncture of NHRA Countdown to Championship playoff



BROWNSBURG, Ind. (Oct. 11, 2017) - As a former Funny Car world champion, Jack Beckman knows championships are not easily won.

With only three events left in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season, Beckman and Terry and Doug Chandler's Infinite Hero Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car need a big weekend at the Texas Motorplex near Dallas for a chance at a second Funny Car world title.

But when Beckman strapes into the Chandler's 11,000-horsepower Funny Car, his main goal is to win this weekend's 32rd annual NHRA FallNationals a reason bigger that the championship.

"I went to the first national event there in 1986 and at the 21 venues we race at, there is no location that I want an NHRA Wally trophy from more than Dallas," Beckman said. "I've won in Super Comp at Pomona. I've won at Indy. Dallas is 100 percent at the top of my list. That's the one that I want the most. I don't care about points. I want to win Dallas."

Beckman's father, known to many as "Slow Bob" Beckman in contrast with his son's "Fast Jack" handle, has been a Texas resident for nearly 30 years. The younger Beckman would like nothing more than to present his dad with the Wally and the coveted black cowboy hat for winning the FallNationals.

"Obviously there's a componet to move up in the standings, but I won't care about points when we pull into the Motorplex. I want to win Dallas more than any other race."

In 2016, Beckman entered the event qualified second with a time of 3.843 seconds at 333.66 mph. He advanced to the quarterfinals before losing to Don Schumacher Racing teammate Ron Capps.

"We can't control what Capps and (Robert) Hight are going to do these next three races. Those two are in the catbird seat," he said of points leader Capps and No. 2 Hight. "They've done the best at getting qualifiying bonus points and round wins after the Countdown reset after Indy."

Beckman and the Infinite Hero team, led by crew chiefs Dean Antonelli, John Medlen and Neal Strausbaugh, are fifth but 167 out of first.

"They were at the top going into the Countdown and they've maintaned that adventage over the rest of us. If we have any shot at Championship, those two really have to lose first round. Since we can't control that, I don't think there's any point to dwell on that. We just need to win the race. We need to win Dallas."

JACK BECKMAN, Terry and Doug Chandler's Infinite Hero Dodge Charger R/T
Crew chiefs: Dean Antonelli, John Medlen, Neal Strausbaugh
                 Pts      Events       Wins      Rup      Semi      Qtr     1st rd      Poles      DNQ         W/L
2017          5th            21            2           2              5         9           3              0            0          32-19
CAREER                 273           26         27           50       82           81            21           7       364-240   

Career best time, speed: 3.825 sec., (2016 Pomona 2); 334.15 mph (Seattle 2016)
BY THE NUMBERS
Last event: Sept. 29-Oct. 1: Qualified No. 6, lost in second round to Ron Capps
A year ago at Dallas: Qualified No. 2, lost in second round to Ron Capps,
Career at Dallas: Wins 0, Runner-ups 2 (2009, 2015), Poles 0

FUNNY CAR                                                    
  1. RON CAPPS (8)                    2395     -----
  2. Robert Hight (3)                      2349     -46          
  3. Courtney Force                       2287   -108
  4. MATT HAGAN (3)                  2238   -157
  5. JACK BECKMAN (2)             2228   -167    
  6. John Force (1)                        2197   -198
  7. TOMMY JOHNSON JR. (1)   2191    -204     
  8. J.R. Todd (2)                          2168    -227
  9. Tim Wilkerson                        2130    -265
10 Cruz Pedregon                        2096   -299

About Don Schumacher Racing
Don Schumacher Racing, headquartered in Brownsburg, Ind., fields seven 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 and the Papa John's Pizza/Mopar Top Fuel dragster driven by Leah Pritchett; and in Funny Car, 2016 world champion Ron Capps in the NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge Charger R/T; 2011 and 2014 world champion Matt Hagan in the 80th anniversary Mopar/ Express Lane Dodge Charger R/T, and 2012 NHRA world champion Jack Beckman in the Infinite Hero Foundation Dodge and the Make-A-Wish Dodge driven by Tommy Johnson Jr., both of which are funded by the late Terry Chandler.
DSR has won 316 NHRA national event titles and 16 world championships.
Follow Don Schumacher Racing at ShoeRacing.com, on Twitter at @shoeracing and Facebook.com/shoeracing.



Sunday, October 1, 2017

DSR: Valiant effort by Beckman, Chandlers' Infinite Hero Dodge team not enough to beat points leader Sunday at Gateway near St. Louis



MADISON, Ill. (Oct. 1, 2017) - Last year at Gateway Motorsports Park, Jack Beckman in Terry and Doug Chandler's Infinite Hero Foundation Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car took home the NHRA Wally trophy.

Unfortunately, Beckman's day ended much earlier at this year's sixth annual NHRA Midwest Nationals.

"I'm just going to be a realist, let's just look at facts and separate the emotion," Beckman said.

"That round was our championship round. If we won that round, we stay in the race, keep earning points, and move closer to the top cars. We lost against the No. 1 car and it increased the spread. That was the biggest round of the year for us."

That loss was to Beckman's Don Schumacher Racing teammate and NHRA points leader Ron Capps, who went on to win the event title and move 167 points ahead of Beckman who remains seventh.

It was a great drag race as Beckman clocked a 3.895-second pass at 332.34 mph but he couldn't outrun Capps' 3.885.

"We did everything very well, they did it a little better. There's nothing to do but go over and shake their hands.

"But that's what we do at DSR. You give the fans those sort of incredible side-by-side runs with two drivers performing well under pressure and two crews doing everything right, and two groups of crew chiefs making all good calls.

"Unfortunately, somebody had to come out on the losing end and that was us. So that one stings bitterly. We can't control what the cars ahead of us do in the points from here on out. We can still win 12 rounds and that's absolutely our goal."

The NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing series will take a weekend off before traveling to Dallas for the NHRA FallNationals.

JACK BECKMAN, Terry and Doug Chandler's Infinite Hero Dodge Charger R/T
Crew chiefs: Dean Antonelli, John Medlen, Neal Strausbaugh
SUNDAY ELIMINATIONS
First round: BECKMAN (3.850 sec., 333.49 mph) def. Del Worsham (5.167, 153.11)
Second round: Ron Capps (3.885, 328.86) def. BECKMAN (3.895, 332.34)
QUALIFYING
Qualified: No. 6
FRIDAY: 3.873 sec., 331.77 mph, (Session 1); 3.877, 331.12, (Session 2)
SATURDAY: 4.107, 239.10, (Session 3); 10.074, 69.65, (Session 4)
              Pts      Events       Wins      Rup      Semi      Qtr     1st rd      Poles      DNQ        W/L
2017          5th          21            2           2              5         9             3              0           0          32-19
CAREER                273           26         27           50       82           81            21           7       364-240
Career best time, speed: 3.825 sec., (2016 Pomona 2); 334.15 mph (Seattle 2016) 
BY THE NUMBERS
A year ago at Gateway: Qualified No. 2, won in championship round over Tommy Johnson Jr.
Career at Gateway: Wins 2 (2012, 2016), Runner-ups 2 (2010, 2013), Poles 1 (2012)

FUNNY CAR                                                     
  1. RON CAPPS (8)                    2395     -----
  2. Robert Hight (3)                      2349    -46 
  3. Courtney Force                       2287  -108
  4. MATT HAGAN (3)                  2238   -157
  5. JACK BECKMAN (2)             2228   -167
  6. John Force (1)                        2197   -198
  7. TOMMY JOHNSON JR. (1)   2191   -204
  8. J.R. Todd (2)                          2168    -227
  9. Tim Wilkerson                        2130    -265
10 Cruz Pedregon                        2096    -299


About Don Schumacher Racing
Don Schumacher Racing, headquartered in Brownsburg, Ind., fields seven 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 and the Papa John's Pizza/Mopar Top Fuel dragster driven by Leah Pritchett; and in Funny Car, 2016 world champion Ron Capps in the NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge Charger R/T; 2011 and 2014 world champion Matt Hagan in the 80th anniversary Mopar/ Express Lane Dodge Charger R/T, and 2012 NHRA world champion Jack Beckman in the Infinite Hero Foundation Dodge and the Make-A-Wish Dodge driven by Tommy Johnson Jr., both of which are funded by the late Terry Chandler.
DSR has won 316 NHRA national event titles and 16 world championships.
Follow Don Schumacher Racing at ShoeRacing.com, on Twitter at @shoeracing and Facebook.com/shoeracing.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

DSR: Infinite Hero's Beckman looks for third win near St. Louis, move Chandlers' Dodge higher in NHRA playoff standings



BROWNBURG, Ind. (Sept. 27, 2017) - Every NHRA racer would like to win at a racetrack in consecutive years and this weekend at the sixth annual NHRA Midwest Nationals near St. Louis driver Jack Beckman can accomplish that in Terry and Doug Chandler's Infinite Hero Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car.

"I think we have a great running car," Beckman said. "We are within striking range of the top spot in the Countdown to the Championship. I don't think we can take over first place at the next race but we can chip away at that lead if we execute well."

Beckman and the team led by crew chiefs Dean Antonelli, John Medlen and Neal Strausbaugh are ranked fifth and 100 points behind Don Schumacher Racing teammate Ron Capps.

In 2016 at Gateway, the Infinite Hero team definitely executed well. Beckman defeated Dale Creasy Jr., John Force and Capps before meeting another teammate, Tommy Johnson Jr., in the final round.

It was a battle of the Chandlers' "Giving Cars,' as Johnson's Dodge is also funded by the Chandlers and banners the Make-A-Wish foundation.
Johnson went up in tire smoke and Beckman got the round win and the NHRA Wally Trophy.

Beckman has won at Gateway twice (2012, 2016) and finished as the runner-up twice (2010, 2013).

The event this weekend marks the third event of the NHRA Countdown to the Championship playoff. In a little over two months, NHRA will crown the 2017 Funny Car world champion and Beckman would love nothing more than to wear that crown for the second time in his career.

"I recognize that there are a lot of things that we have no control over: the weather, the way the eliminations ladder stacks up on Sunday and what the car in the other lane does. All we can manage is our team, our attitude and our race car. If we do that to the best of our ability, no matter what the result is, we can hold our heads high."

JACK BECKMAN, Terry and Doug Chandler's Infinite Hero Dodge Charger R/T
Crew chiefs: Dean Antonelli, John Medlen, Neal Strausbaugh
                 Pts      Events       Wins      Rup      Semi      Qtr     1st rd      Poles      DNQ         W/L
2017          5th           20            2           2              5         8             3              0            0          31-18
CAREER                272           26         27           50       81           81            21           7       363-239    
Career best time, speed: 3.825 sec., (2016 Pomona 2); 334.15 mph (Seattle 2016) 
BY THE NUMBERS
Last event: Sept. 22-24, Reading, Pa.: Qualified No. 5, lost in semifinals to Courtney Force
A year ago at Gateway: Qualified No. 2, won in championship round over Tommy Johnson Jr.
Career at Gateway: Wins 2 (2012, 2016), Runner-ups 2 (2010, 2013), Poles 1 (2012)

COUNTDOWN TO THE CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS                                                      
(Standings after Reading, 2nd of 6 events in the Countdown playoff; wins in parenthesis; DSR drivers in CAPS) 
Funny Car                                                           
  1. RON CAPPS (7)                    2273       -----
  2. Robert Hight (3)                     2265          -8
  3. Courtney Force                      2234        -39
  4. MATT HAGAN (3)                 2183        -90
  5. JACK BECKMAN (2)            2173       -100
  6. TOMMY JOHNSON JR. (1)  2159       -114
  7. J.R. Todd (2)                         2135       -138
  8. John Force (1)                       2116       -157
  9. Tim Wilkerson                        2098       -175
10. Cruz Pedregon                      2065        -208


About Don Schumacher Racing
Don Schumacher Racing, headquartered in Brownsburg, Ind., fields seven 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 and the Papa John's Pizza/Mopar Top Fuel dragster driven by Leah Pritchett; and in Funny Car, 2016 world champion Ron Capps in the NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge Charger R/T; 2011 and 2014 world champion Matt Hagan in the 80th anniversary Mopar/ Express Lane Dodge Charger R/T, and 2012 NHRA world champion Jack Beckman in the Infinite Hero Foundation Dodge and the Make-A-Wish Dodge driven by Tommy Johnson Jr., both of which are funded by the late Terry Chandler.
DSR has won 315 NHRA national event titles and 16 world championships.
Follow Don Schumacher Racing at ShoeRacing.com, on Twitter at @shoeracing and Facebook.com/shoeracing.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

DSR: Beckman, Infinite Hero team look forward to repeating at St. Louis after a tough loss Sunday in NHRA Dodge Nationals at Maple Grove



MOHNTON, Pa. (Sept. 24, 2017) - It is very easy to place the blame on someone else when mistakes happen, especially when racing an 11,000-horsepower nitro burning Funny Car.

But, Jack Beckman, driver of Terry and Doug Chandler's Infinite Hero Dodge Charger R/T, was quick to take full responsibility for his team's semifinals lose on Sunday in the 33rd annual NHRA Dodge Nationals at Maple Grove Raceway near Reading, Pa.

"I'm not going to candy-coat it. It's 100 percent driver error," Beckman said. "It was my worst light of the year. It was a very inopportune time to have my worst light of the year."

In the semifinals, Beckman lined up against Courtney Force. Beckman's reaction time of 0.148 seconds negated a quicker run at 3.948 seconds at 327.74 mph but that wasn't enough to catch Force's slower 3.968.

"We had a great car. I've always said we may not be the quickest car in (ideal) conditions, but throw a little bit of heat on the track and this Infinite Hero car's right at the top of the heap," he said of temperatures in the low 90s. "We showed it today."

The Infinite Hero Dodge made three great passes in the heat ranging from 3.93 to 3.95.

"I let the team down. That's a bitter feeling," he said. "That's tough, knowing everybody did their best and if I'd have done any other light this year it would have won that race. So I'm going to shake it off, I'm going to think positive, we are going to take this thing to St. Louis with a winning mindset and see if we can get the trophy there."

The bright note of the day was Beckman racing in the 600th round of his career in the opening round.

"That's 590 more rounds than I thought I'd be driving in a nitro Funny Car," Beckman said after the run.

Next weekend he'll look for four round wins to add to his tally when the NHRA travels to Gateway Motorsports Park where the Infinite Hero team won the AAA Insurance NHRA Midwest Nationals last year.

JACK BECKMAN, Terry and Doug Chandler's Infinite Hero Dodge Charger R/T
Crew chiefs: Dean Antonelli, John Medlen, Neal Strausbaugh
SUNDAY ELIMINATIONS
First round: BECKMAN (3.938 sec., 330.63 mph) def. Cruz Pedregon (4.027, 318.39
Second round: BECKMAN (3.952, 326.40) def. Jonnie Lindberg (11.160, 95.71)
Semifinals: Courtney Force (3.968, 329.50) def.  BECKMAN (3.948, 327.74)
QUALIFYING
Qualified: No. 5
FRIDAY:3.914 sec., 330.55 mph, (Session 1); 3.925, 327.82, (Session 2)
SATURDAY: 4.527, 186.67, (Session 3); 3.936, 331.20, (Session 4)
BY THE NUMBERS
A year ago at Reading: Qualified No. 11, lost in semifinals to Tommy Johnson Jr.
Career at Reading: Wins 2 (2008, 2015), Runner-ups 0, Poles 1 (2012)

                Pts      Events       Wins      Rup      Semi      Qtr     1st rd      Poles      DNQ       W/L
2017          7th           20            2           2              5         8             3              0            0          31-18
CAREER                  272           26         27           50       81           81            21           7       363-239
Career best time, speed: 3.825 sec., (2016 Pomona 2); 334.15 mph (Seattle 2016)

Funny Car                                                                         
  1. RON CAPPS (7)                    2273       -----
  2. Robert Hight (3)                     2265          -8
  3. Courtney Force                      2234        -39
  4. MATT HAGAN (3)                 2183        -90
  5. JACK BECKMAN (2)           2173       -100
  6. TOMMY JOHNSON JR. (1)  2159       -114
  7. J.R. Todd (2)                         2135       -138
  8. John Force (1)                       2116       -157
  9. Tim Wilkerson                        2098       -175
10. Cruz Pedregon                      2065        -208




About Don Schumacher Racing
Don Schumacher Racing, headquartered in Brownsburg, Ind., fields seven 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 and the Papa John's Pizza/Mopar Top Fuel dragster driven by Leah Pritchett; and in Funny Car, 2016 world champion Ron Capps in the NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge Charger R/T; 2011 and 2014 world champion Matt Hagan in the 80th anniversary Mopar/ Express Lane Dodge Charger R/T, and 2012 NHRA world champion Jack Beckman in the Infinite Hero Foundation Dodge and the Make-A-Wish Dodge driven by Tommy Johnson Jr., both of which are funded by the late Terry Chandler.
DSR has won 315 NHRA national event titles and 16 world championships.
Follow Don Schumacher Racing at ShoeRacing.com, on Twitter at @shoeracing and Facebook.com/shoeracing.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Competition Plus: THUS SAYETH THE REV. FAST JACK

One thing is for sure at any NHRA event; the drivers know how to show their appreciation for the fans, whether it is through autograph signing, posing for photographs… or helping a couple tie the knot.


NHRA Funny Car driver Jack Beckman has now performed his services as an ordained minister at several NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series events, the latest of which were wed Saturday afternoon behind the Don Schumacher Racing hospitality units at zMAX Dragway.

“A lot of people want that highly religious, God-surrounding type of wedding, and I’m not that guy,” explained Beckman. “I married a couple in Reading two or three years ago and they asked me if I would do it. And I said, ‘Well, I can’t, I wouldn’t know how to do something like that.’ And they go, ‘Well, it’s easy.’ They gave me the website to go to. You log in, you become an ordained minister, and away you go.

“Well I think that was my sixth or seventh wedding now. I did one for friends of mine, a formal type of ceremony, indoors, everything you would think a wedding would be, minus the church. And then the majority of them have been in Don Schumacher hospitality, and it’s just folks who typically they’re their second marriage, or they’re older. They don’t necessarily want the fanfare. They’re hardcore drag race fans. They’re having a fun weekend, they think it’d be a wonderful way to incorporate the wedding.”

Beckman wed Mike and Helen Thompson Saturday in front of a small crowd in the zMAX Dragway pit area. For both Mike and Helen, a couple in their 50s who met at the speedway two years ago, it was their first marriage.

“This is the only one I’ve ever done that I never spoke to them until the day of the wedding,” said Beckman. “Every other one, some of them asked me a year in advance, and then we’ll communicate a couple times and I say, ‘OK, give me some background.’ I figure if I’m going to do this and it’s going to tie them together legally and hopefully emotionally, I want to be able to say some things about them. This one I literally had about 10 minutes of prep time. But as it turns out, it was a good 10 minutes. They met here at the race two years ago, and I love their vows. They read vows to each other that they had written, and they were really sincere and heartfelt. So a lot of people say, ah it’s a gimmick that people want to get married at a racetrack. Well, to each their own. This is what they decided to do for that, but they’re taking it very, very seriously.”

Something else Beckman is taking very seriously is the NHRA Funny Car championship, where he enters the countdown fourth in the points. While Ron Capps, Robert Hight and Matt Hagan have been making the headlines in the top three in points, Beckman hasn’t been flying far under the radar as he enters the countdown in fourth.

““I’ve got my share of time in the limelight here,” says Beckman. “I don’t do this for the limelight, but we’re not done having the spotlight shined on us, and that’s fine. You know, the NAPA car really has been the class of the field this year, they won a third of the races. They just saw a big lead evaporate. Dickie Venables and Hagan, they set the world on fire, they run huge numbers. Same with Jimmy Prock and Robert Hight. So I actually don’t mind kind of being in the shadows and making that surge at the last minute. I don’t think anybody’s overlooking us.”

by Samuel Reiman     Wed, 2017-09-20 14:21
Competition Plus
Article Link


DSR: Beckman, Infinite Hero team travel to Reading for second event of Countdown playoffs after first-round upset near Charlotte



BROWNSBURG, Ind. (Sept. 20, 2017) - Despite an early exit at Sunday's NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series event, driver Jack Beckman with Terry and Doug Chandler's Infinite Hero Foundation Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car team remain optimistic for this weekend's NHRA Dodge Nationals at Maple Grove Raceway near Reading, Pa.

"Coming off a gut punch lose like that it would be really easy as a team to get down and get discouraged, but that's not what we're about," said Beckman.

Last weekend near Charlotte, Beckman was taken out in the opening round by the lower qualified Jim Campbell of Jim Dunn Racing. Beckman and Infinite Hero team understand the importance of every round win during the NHRA Countdown to the Championship playoffs.

"Historically, Reading has always been a pivotal race mainly because it was always a little later in the Countdown. For us, it's going to be a pivotal race because we've dug a big hole in the first race of the Countdown.

"So even though they moved Reading earlier into the schedule to try to avoid dicey weather, I think for the Infinite Hero team it's as important or more important for any team."

The Dodge Nationals was moved a week earlier, from the third to second race in the six-event Countdown. In the past several years, weather conditions were chilly and often spiced with rain. This weekend the forecast is for the high 80s with a very slight chance of rain.

The team has ground to make up at this weekend's 33rd annual national event at the picturesque facility.

"You just can't go out early multiple times in the Countdown and hope to win the championship," said Beckman, the 2012 Funny Car world champ who has won two titles at Maple Grove.

"If you look at the last couple season, it takes 14 to 15 round wins in the Countdown to have a legitimate shot at the championship.

"Right now, that would mean us averaging a final round finish so I think we need to take all four round wins at Maple Grove to get right back in the hunt. It's possible that cars in front us could all go out early the next few races but it's not likely. You sure can't depend on your opponents failing for you to succeed."

Beckman currently sits No. 7 in the NHRA points standings, 102 points behind new points leader, Robert Hight of John Force Racing who won the title Sunday near Charlotte.

"I think it's imperative for us to unload with a good run (Friday) and really that preparation started right after we lost at Charlotte. It's the three crew chiefs digging into the data and looking at the hard parts. We think we have some horsepower consistency issues that we're going to address. And it's me getting into that mind set of winning."

JACK BECKMAN, Terry & Doug Chandler's Infinite Hero Foundation 2017 Dodge Charger R/T
Crew chiefs: Dean Antonelli, John Medlen, Neal Strausbaugh
BY THE NUMBERS
Last event: Sept. 15-17, Charlotte: Qualified No. 4, lost in first round to Jim Campbell
A year ago at Reading: Qualified No. 11, lost in semifinals to Tommy Johnson Jr.
Career at Reading: Wins 2 (2008, 2015), Runner-ups 0, Poles 1 (2012)
                Pts      Events       Wins      Rup      Semi      Qtr     1st rd      Poles      DNQ       W/L
2017          7th        19            2           2              4         8             3              0            0          29-17
CAREER              271           26         27           49       81           81            21           7     361-238      
Career best time, speed: 3.825 sec., (2016 Pomona 2); 334.15 mph (Seattle 2016)
COUNTDOWN TO THE CHAMPIONSHIP - FUNNY CAR                                               
(Through Charlotte, 19 of 24 events, 1 of 6 in Countdown playoff; wins in parenthesis;  DSR drivers in CAPS)
  1. Robert Hight (3)                    2197     -----    
  2. Ron Capps (6)                     2153      -44
  3. Courtney Force                     2141      -56  
  4. Tommy Johnson Jr. (1)      2107      -90
  5. Matt Hagan (3)                     2102      -95
  5. J.R. Todd (2)                         2102      -95
  7. Jack Beckman (2)               2095     -102
  8. John Force (1)                      2085     -112
  9. Tim Wilkerson                       2046     -151
10. Cruz Pedregon                     2033     -164

About Don Schumacher Racing
Don Schumacher Racing, headquartered in Brownsburg, Ind., fields seven 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 and the Papa John's Pizza/Mopar Top Fuel dragster driven by Leah Pritchett; and in Funny Car, 2016 world champion Ron Capps in the NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge Charger R/T; 2011 and 2014 world champion Matt Hagan in the 80th anniversary Mopar/ Express Lane Dodge Charger R/T, and 2012 NHRA world champion Jack Beckman in the Infinite Hero Foundation Dodge and the Make-A-Wish Dodge driven by Tommy Johnson Jr., both of which are funded by the late Terry Chandler.
DSR has won 314 NHRA national event titles and 16 world championships.
Follow Don Schumacher Racing at ShoeRacing.com, on Twitter at @shoeracing and Facebook.com/shoeracing.


Sunday, September 17, 2017

DSR: Frustrating first-round loss for Infinite Hero Dodge team motivates Beckman for remaining five NHRA Countdown playoff races




CONCORD, N.C. (Sept. 17, 2017) - No NHRA driver wants to lose in the first round during a national event but losing the opening round of the Countdown to the Championship playoff is one that Jack Beckman hopes will not hurt a chance at a championship.

"I just hope that this one doesn't come back to bite us at the end of the year," said Beckman, the 2012 Funny Car champion and driver of Terry and Doug Chandler's Infinite Hero Foundation Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car for Don Schumacher Racing.

"You can't not take advantage of that big of an opportunity."

No round of the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing series is easy but when Beckman entered the event as the No. 4 qualifier and was matched against No. 13 Jim Campbell, the team had to like their chances of a round win.

When the two lined up for the first round, Beckman left the starting line nearly three tenths of a second before Campbell but he had issues down track and Campbell drove around him. Beckman slowed to a 4.534-second lap at 225.82 mph to Campbell's 4.189 effort.

"If someone had told me that you're going to race the No. 13 car and you're going to have a reaction time of more than three tenths better than them, you get a free head start, I would have thought it's a 100 percent shot that we win the race and we smoked the tires.

"I pedaled, and it started to move over towards the center line and I didn't want to take the cones out, so I lifted early and we lost by 16 thousandths of a second. If we would have lost by a second, it wouldn't have stung this bad because I feel like if I would have done a better job of pedaling the car, we would have been 17 thousandths ahead and we would have still been able to salvage the win light.

"It's a team effort. When we win, we win as a team of 11 plus all the folks back at the Don Schumacher shop and when we lose, it's the same thing. I don't know what this does. It's a big hole at we've dug ourselves into. We just need to move forward and figure out what this thing needs on a hot race track. We just never quite zeroed in on our horsepower numbers this weekend. We either other shot it or under shot it. We are going to make sure that we get all of our hard parts at the same power level so that this doesn't bite us again."

The 10th annual Carolina Nationals marks the first event of the NHRA's six-race playoffs. The next race begins next week at Maple Grove Raceway at the Dodge NHRA Nationals.

JACK BECKMAN, Doug & Terry Chandler's Infinite Hero Foundation 2017 Dodge Charger R/T
Crew chiefs: Dean Antonelli, John Medlen, Neal Strausbaugh
SUNDAY ELIMINATIONS
First round: Jim Campbell (4.189 sec., 295.85) def. BECKMAN (4.539, 225.82)
QUALIFYING RESULTS
Qualified: No: 4
FRIDAY: 5.820 sec., 117.11 mph, (Session 1); 3.906, 330.47, (Session 2)
SATURDAY: 4.565, 187.60, (Session 3); 3.988, 325.92, (Session 4)
                Pts      Events       Wins      Rup      Semi      Qtr     1st rd      Poles      DNQ      W/L
2017         7th               19            2           2              4         8             3              0        0     29-17
CAREER                     271           26         27           49       81           81            21      7      361-238
Career best time, speed: 3.825 sec., (2016 Pomona 2); 334.15 mph (Seattle 2016)
BY THE NUMBERS
Last event: Sept. 1-4, Indy: Qualified No. 5, lost in semifinals to Ron Capps
2016 Fall at zMAX: Qualified No. 5, lost in first round to Del Worsham
2017 Four-Wide: Qualified No. 10, runner-up to Ron Capps
Career at Four-Wide: Wins 2 (2011, 2015); Runner-ups 0; Poles 0 

FUNNY CAR                                                                                        
  1. Robert Hight (3)                    2197     -----    
  2. Ron Capps (6)                     2153      -44
  3. Courtney Force                     2141      -56  
  4. Tommy Johnson Jr. (1)      2107      -90
  5. Matt Hagan (3)                     2102       -95
  5. J.R. Todd (2)                         2102      -95
  7. Jack Beckman (2)               2095     -102
  8. John Force (1)                      2085     -112
  9. Tim Wilkerson                       2046     -151
10. Cruz Pedregon                     2033      -164

About Don Schumacher Racing
Don Schumacher Racing, headquartered in Brownsburg, Ind., fields seven 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 and the Papa John's Pizza/Mopar Top Fuel dragster driven by Leah Pritchett; and in Funny Car, 2016 world champion Ron Capps in the NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge Charger R/T; 2011 and 2014 world champion Matt Hagan in the 80th anniversary Mopar/ Express Lane Dodge Charger R/T, and 2012 NHRA world champion Jack Beckman in the Infinite Hero Foundation Dodge and the Make-A-Wish Dodge driven by Tommy Johnson Jr., both of which are funded by the late Terry Chandler.
DSR has won 314 NHRA national event titles and 16 world championships.
Follow Don Schumacher Racing at ShoeRacing.com, on Twitter at @shoeracing and Facebook.com/shoeracing.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

DSR: Traxxas Shootout title gives Beckman, Infinite Hero Dodge team, momentum to start the Countdown playoff near Charlotte




BROWNSBURG, Ind. (Sept. 13, 2017) - As the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing series begins its six-race Countdown to the Championship playoff, Terry and Doug Chandler's Infinite Hero Foundation Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car team with driver Jack Beckman look to continue their momentum from the regular season as they compete for the NHRA Mello Yello Series championship.

"We have to eliminate parts failure, minimize tune up issues and maximize opportunities for points," said Beckman, the 2012 Funny Car World Champion.

"The issue with drag racing is that we run these 11,000-horsepower cars to the ragged edge. Any little issue can cause you problems in eliminations then you don't get to go back and make more laps for points. You're done for the day."

There are only 24 elimination rounds left in the 2017 NHRA season.

"You're only going to get a chance to compete in, at best, 24 rounds and I think that would be overly optimistic for anybody to think they're going to make it to six finals in a row, especially with how competitive Funny Car is right now. What you really need to avoid is the early exits. We can worry the points into the ground or we can keep plugging away like we have been for the past few months."

The Infinite Hero team, led by crew chiefs Dean Antonelli, John Medlen and Neal Strausbaugh, has advanced to the quarterfinals or better since the event at Englishtown, N.J. this summer where they earned their first title of the year. Two weeks later, they won at Norwalk, Ohio.

Over Labor Day Weekend during the U.S. Nationals near Indianapolis, the Infinite Hero team the "race within a race" Traxxas Nitro Shootout all-star event and earned Don Schumacher Racing the $100,000 grand prize.

"We've been heading in a positive direction. We have a good car and we have a quick car. It's just a matter that everybody has to do their job well and you better hope it's better than the team in the other lane.

"I would like to think that if we continue what we've done for the past few months and that's treat every single run, whether it's qualifying or eliminations, with a high level of significance. Then prepare, prepare, prepare and then go out there and execute."

JACK BECKMAN, Terry and Doug Chandler's Infinite Hero Dodge Charger R/T - won Traxxas Shootout
                Pts      Events       Wins      Rup      Semi      Qtr     1st rd      Poles      DNQ         W/L
2017          4th          18            2           2              4         8            2              0            0           29-16
CAREER                270           26         27           49       81           80            21           7        361-237

Career best time, speed: 3.825 sec., (2016 Pomona 2); 334.15 mph (Seattle 2016)
BY THE NUMBERS
Last event: Sept. 1-4, Indy: Qualified No. 5, lost in semifinals to Ron Capps
2016 Fall at zMAX: Qualified No. 5, lost in first round to Del Worsham
2017 Four-Wide: Qualified No. 10, runner-up to Ron Capps
Career at Four-Wide: Wins 2 (2011, 2015); Runner-ups 0; Poles 0 
Career at zMAX: Wins 3 (2008, 2011, 2015); Runner-ups 1 (2010): Poles 0

COUNTDOWN TO THE CHAMPIONSHIP                                                                    
(Reset for six-race playoff; wins in parenthesis;  DSR drivers in CAPS)
  1. RON CAPPS (6)                     2,100       -----
  2. Robert Hight (2)                      2,080        -20
  3. MATT HAGAN (3)                  2,070        -30
  4. JACK BECKMAN (2)             2,060        -40
  5. TOMMY JOHNSON JR.  (1)   2,050        -50
  6. Courtney Force                       2,040        -60
  7. John Force (1)                        2,030        -70
  8. J.R. Todd (2)                           2,020        -80
  9. Tim Wilkerson                         2,010        -90
10. Cruz Pedregon                       2,000      -100

About Don Schumacher Racing
Don Schumacher Racing, headquartered in Brownsburg, Ind., fields seven 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 and the Papa John's Pizza/Mopar Top Fuel dragster driven by Leah Pritchett; and in Funny Car, 2016 world champion Ron Capps in the NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge Charger R/T; 2011 and 2014 world champion Matt Hagan in the 80th anniversary Mopar/ Express Lane Dodge Charger R/T, and 2012 NHRA world champion Jack Beckman in the Infinite Hero Foundation Dodge and the Make-A-Wish Dodge driven by Tommy Johnson Jr., both of which are funded by the late Terry Chandler.

DSR has won 314 NHRA national event titles and 16 world championships.

Follow Don Schumacher Racing at ShoeRacing.com, on Twitter at @shoeracing and Facebook.com/shoeracing.


Monday, September 4, 2017

DSR: Beckman, Infinite Hero team advance to semifinals of U.S. Nationals to earn No. 4 Countdown seed after winning Traxxas Shootout



BROWNSBURG, Ind. (Sept. 4, 2017) - Sunday of the U.S. Nationals was a perfect day for Jack Beckman and Terry and Doug Chandler's Infinite Hero Foundation Funny Car Powered by Pennzoil as they won the Traxxas Nitro Shootout all-start event and $100,000 for Don Schumacher Racing.

Unfortunately, on Monday the team was defeated in a close race in the semifinals by DSR teammate and points leader Ron Capps with the NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car.

"We came within two win lights of having the most perfect drag racing weekend you can have," Beckman said.

"It's always frustrating to not close the deal, we just barely lost to our teammate out there and that's a tough loss coming off a day like we had and a car like we have."

Beckman entered the 63rd annual U.S. Nationals as the No. 5 qualifier with his 3.859 at 333.16 mph. He faced Tommy Johnson Jr. in the opening session, who is also funded by the Chandlers. Beckman ran a 3.890 (328.54) to win over Johnson's 3.923.

Beckman then faced NHRA underdog, Jim Campbell, in the second round and won with a time of 3.878 (327.35).

It was a very close race in the semifinals when Beckman ran a 3.948 (322.81) as Capps went 3.940.

The Infinite Hero Dodge Charger R/T led by crew chiefs Dean Antonelli, John Medlen and Neal Strausbaugh could not be too disappointed. They also secured the No. 4 seed for the six-race Countdown to the Championship that opens in two weeks near Charlotte.

As the NHRA heads into the Countdown and the points are reset, Beckman is 40 points behind Capps.

"But that is our silver lining," said Beckman, the 2012 Funny Car world champ who has won three Shootout titles. "This car has been fantastic, we're making good tune-up calls, I feel comfortable in the cockpit. Now when they re-set the points we are right on the NAPA car's rear bumper and I like our odds of winning the championship.

"Plus we did pocket a hundred thousand dollars on Sunday so it wasn't a bad weekend."

JACK BECKMAN, Terry and Doug Chandler's Infinite Hero Dodge Charger R/T - won Sunday's Shootout
Crew chiefs: Dean Antonelli, John Medlen, Neal Strausbaugh
MONDAY CHAMPIONSHIP ELIMINATIONS
First round: BECKMAN (3.890 sec., 327.03 mph) def. Tommy Johnson Jr. (3.925, 329.34)
Second round: BECKMAN (3.878, 327.35) def. Del Worsham (4.132, 252.90)
Semifinals: Ron Capps (3.940, 324.75) def. BECKMAN (3.948, 322.81)
QUALIFYING
Qualified: No. 5
FRIDAY: 3.900 sec., 330.08 mph, (Session 1 of 5)
SATURDAY: 4.869, 157.98, (Session 2 of 5); 3.859, 333.16, (Session 3 of 5)
SUNDAY: 3.872, 331.77, (Session 4 of 5); , (Session 5 of 5)
                  Pts      Events       Wins      Rup      Semi      Qtr     1st rd      Poles      DNQ      W/L
2017          4th            18            2            2            4           8            2              0          0       29-16
CAREER                  270           26         27           49         81           80          21         7      361-237     

Career best time, speed: 3.825 sec., (2016 Pomona 2); 334.15 mph (Seattle 2016)
INDY BY THE NUMBERS
A year ago at Indy: Qualified No. 2, lost in first round to Dave Richards
Career at Indy: Wins 1 (2015); Runner-ups 2 (2008, 2013); Poles 1 (2015);
All-star/Invitational event titles 4 (2007, 2013, 2015, 2017)

FUNNY CAR STANDINGS                                                          
2017 COUNTDOWN TO THE CHAMPIONSHIP
  1. RON CAPPS (6)                         2,100       -----
  2. Robert Hight (2)                          2,080        -20
  3. MATT HAGAN (3)                      2,070        -30
  4. JACK BECKMAN (2)                 2,060        -40
  5. TOMMY JOHNSON JR.             2,050        -50
  6. Courtney Force                           2,040        -60
  7. John Force (1)                            2,030        -70
  8. J.R. Todd (2)                               2,000        -80
  9. Tim Wilkerson                             2,010        -90
10. Cruz Pedregon                            2,000      -100

FINAL 2017 NHRA MELLO YELLO REGULAR SEASON
  1. RON CAPPS (6)                        1,530
  2. Robert Hight (2)                         1,344
  3. MATT HAGAN (3)                     1,280
  4. JACK BECKMAN (2)                1,275
  5. TOMMY JOHNSON JR. (1)       1,229
  6. Courtney Force                           1,072
  7. John Force (1)                             1,007
  8. J.R. Todd (2)                                 959
  9. Tim Wilkerson                               90210. Cruz Pedregon                            730


About Don Schumacher Racing
Don Schumacher Racing, headquartered in Brownsburg, Ind., fields seven 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 and the Papa John's Pizza/Mopar Top Fuel dragster driven by Leah Pritchett; and in Funny Car, 2016 world champion Ron Capps in the NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge Charger R/T; 2011 and 2014 world champion Matt Hagan in the 80th anniversary Mopar/ Express Lane Dodge Charger R/T, and 2012 NHRA world champion Jack Beckman in the Infinite Hero Foundation Dodge and the Make-A-Wish Dodge driven by Tommy Johnson Jr., both of which are funded by the late Terry Chandler.
DSR has won 314 NHRA national event titles and 16 world championships.
Follow Don Schumacher Racing at ShoeRacing.com, on Twitter at @shoeracing and Facebook.com/shoeracing.