ENGLISHTOWN, N.J. (June 11, 2017) - Terry Chandler's Infinite Hero Foundation Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car advanced to its first final round of the season at this weekend's 48th annual NHRA Summernationals and brought home the NHRA trophy when driver Jack Beckman defeated his Don Schumacher Racing teammate, Ron Capps.
It was a very hot racetrack at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park in Englishtown, N.J. but crew chiefs Dean Antonelli, John Medlen and Neal Straughsbaugh tuned the Infinite Hero Dodge to four win lights on Sunday, giving them their first win as a team.
"We had a whole team change in the offseason, we've had three crew members change during the season," Beckman said of the team.
"So, it's been a lot of variables there. And let me tell you, we're not where we want to be. We're where we like to be today, we still have to work on this car."
In round one of eliminations, No. 5 qualified, Beckman faced No. 13 of Jim Campbell. Beckman drove to a 4.082-second lap at 306.60 mph as Campbell went into smoke.
During the second round, Beckman had to pedal and ran a 4.285 at (290.94) to give him the win over Cruz Pedregron's smoking 4.286.
It was an odd round in the semifinals when Beckman lined up against Courtney Force. Force run the lowest run of the day but fouled out when she red lit - giving Beckman the win who smoked the tires and coasted to a 9.145 (72.26).
"I didn't see Courtney's red light," Beckman said. "I was coming up to congratulate her and our body guy Jessie beats on the car twice, which he always does when we win and I thought, 'boy, he didn't see it,' she was about 38 bus lengths ahead of us. And wow, some days it's your day.
Finally, Beckman lined up against the NHRA points leader and his DSR teammate Capps.
Beckman got off the starting line first and made it to the finish line first with his time of 4.100 (312.42) over Capps' 4.143.
The win in Englishtown marked the Infinite Hero team's first win as a group and Beckman's 25 career victory.
"It was an odd race weekend. It was a very, very hot racetrack. It became a crapshoot in a lot of races down there in a pedal fest.
"We dodged a huge bullet when Courtney red lit against us in the semis, but we're the ones holding the trophy. When I go down there and stand next to that Infinite Hero Charger with our seven crew guys and three crew chiefs, they're going to realize they were the best today. And we needed to get that one so they know that we can do this.
"The first one is always the toughest one. It's 25 Funny Car wins for me, plus two more in Super Comp, but it's one for this iteration of the Infinite Hero team."
Next weekend, the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing series travels to Bristol, Tenn. for the 17th annual Thunder Valley Nationals; the 11th event of the season and the third of the four-race Eastern Swing.
JACK BECKMAN, Terry Chandler's Infinite Hero Foundation 2017 Dodge Charger R/T
Crew chiefs: Dean Antonelli, John Medlen, Neal Strausbaugh
Qualified: No. 4
First round: BECKMAN (4.082 sec., 306.60) def. Jim Campbell (23.920, 130.73)
Second round: BECKMAN (4.285, 290.94) def. Cruz Pedregon (4.286, 291.76)
Semifinals: BECKMAN (9.145, 72.26) def. Courtney Force (3.993, 317.49-RED LIGHT DQ)
Final: BECKMAN (4.100, 312.42) def. Ron Capps (4.143, 299.66)
FRIDAY: 3.895 sec., 323.04 mph, (Session 1); 3.907, 328.30, (Session 2)
SATURDAY: 4.442, 174.82, (Session 3); 4.589, 184.37, (Session 4)
Best Time, Speed: 3.825 sec., (2016 Pomona 2); 334.15 mph (Seattle 2016)
Last event (June 2-4, Epping, NH): Qualified No. 5, lost in first round to Del Worsham
A year ago at Englishtown: Qualified No. 10, lost in championship round to Ron Capps
Career at Englishtown: Wins 0, Runner-ups 2 (2013, 2016), Poles 0
2017 NHRA MELLO YELLO DRAG RACING SERIES FUNNY CAR STANDINGS
(Official after Englishtown, N.J.; 10th of 24 events; wins in parenthesis; DSR drivers in CAPS)
1. RON CAPPS (4) 931 -----
2. MATT HAGAN (3) 802 -129
3. JACK BECKMAN (1) 652 -279
4. Courtney Force 648 -283
5. Robert Hight 645 -286
6t. TOMMY JOHNSON JR. (1) 587 -344
6t. John Force (1) 587 -344
8. J.R. Todd 444 -444
9. Tim Wilkerson 427 -504
10. Del Worsham 372 -559