BROWNSBURG, Ind. (April 19, 2017) - The Infinite Hero Foundation Funny Car piloted by Jack Beckman and sponsored by Terry Chandler want a long day on Sunday when they compete in the NHRA SpringNationals near Houston in the fifth race of the 2017 season.
"I wouldn't bet against our Infinite Hero Foundation team," Beckman said. "I wouldn't be surprised if we were able to take our first trophy from Houston. But I'm looking at this a long process that's going to combinate at the Finals in Pomona. We're just going to keep picking away at this thing until we're satisfied by the predictability of the car."
Beckman, the 2012 NHRA Funny Car world champion with Don Schumacher Racing, has advanced to the championship round three times and most recently in 2015.
So far this season, the Infinite Hero Foundation team has been traveling on a learning curve with a newly assembled team led by crew chiefs Dean Antonelli, John Medlen and Neal Strausbaugh. After the national event in Las Vegas two weeks ago, the team stayed on Monday for a test sessions to get a better understanding of their hot rod.
"It's going to take us 30 more runs to truly get a good understanding on the clutch package and the tune-up changes that our car needs relevant to what we ran last year," Beckman said. "Now keep in mind, last year we won two races and were in contention for the championship and we still weren't as good as we were in 2015, when we won seven races.
"Sometimes it's just that little one-tenth of 1 percent that makes all the difference. I think that's what keeps fuel racing interesting from the driver and crew standpoint; it's that pursuit of perfect. You're never going to be perfect in a fuel car but our goal is to be close to that."
Beckman said the Infinite Hero Foundation team looks for a win in Houston as not only their first win of the season but also a win for their sponsor Terry Chandler.
"It's not like you ever need any extra motivation or incentive to win a race. It's not like you don't try your hardest every single time you go out there. But for our team, it's a bit bittersweet."
Chandler, who also funds DSR's Make-A-Wish Funny Car, is recuperating at home after surgery two weeks.
"This is going to be the second race in a row where Terry isn't going to be standing on the starting line. I know it must be tearing her apart to not be able up there with her teams when her cars run. There's nothing that can make that better until the day when she's back out her on the starting line than to send her a trophy."
JACK BECKMAN, Infinite Hero Foundation 2017 Dodge Charger R/T
Pts Events Wins Rup Semi Qtr 1st rd Poles DNQ W/L
2017 6th 4 0 0 0 3 1 0 0 3-4
CAREER 256 24 25 45 76 79 21 7 335-225
Best Time, Speed: 3.825 sec.-second quickest ever, (2016 Pomona 2); 334.15 mph (Seattle 2016)
Last event (March 31-April 2): Qualified No. 5, lost in quarterfinals to event finalist Jonnie Lindberg
A year ago at Houston: Qualified No. 12, lost in semifinals Tim Wilkerson
Career at Houston: Wins 0; Runner-ups 3 (2015, 2014, 2009); Poles 1 (2015)
2017 NHRA MELLO YELLO DRAG RACING SERIES FUNNY CAR STANDINGS
1. MATT HAGAN (2) 368 -----
2. TOMMY JOHNSON JR. (1) 324 -44
3. John Force (1) 314 -54
4. RON CAPPS 275 -93
5. Courtney Force 218 -150
6. JACK BECKMAN 205 -163
7. Robert Hight 201 -167
8. Jonnie Lindberg 183 -185
9. Jim Campbell 180 -188
10. J.R. Todd 170 -198