BROWNSBURG, Ind. (March 14, 2017) - The Infinite Hero Foundation Funny Car team sponsored by Terry Chandler and piloted by Jack Beckman, travels south to Gainesville, Fla., this weekend for the 48th annual Gatornationals.
Gainesville marks the third event of the 2017 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing series. Two weeks ago, in Phoenix, the Infinite Hero Foundation team had a parts issue during the opening round of competition on Sunday.
"I'm a southern California guy and I've always thought Gainesville was the closest thing there is to Pomona (Calif.) that's not Pomona," Beckman said. "It's big. It's packed. It's the season opener for the folks out on the East Coast and it has a lot of prestige that goes with it.
"We had a parts issue (in Phoenix). The silver lining in that cloud is that it didn't happen during the run. If this thing had thrown the clutch out at halftrack, it could have gotten really expensive and could have gotten risky. And it didn't happen during the Countdown (to the Championship).
"There's no such thing as a good loss, but I think everybody is realistic about this and keeping correct perspective that this was a very minor setback for a very good team."
Despite their setback at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park near Phoenix, Beckman remains positive in the team led by crew chiefs John Medlen, Dean Antonelli and Neal Strausbaugh.
"I still think we're probably still ahead of some people's expectations. We lost to a 3.89 in Pomona. Then we go out there and throw the clutch out of the car in Phoenix. It is not a maintenance issue. It was not a tune-up issue. It was a parts issue and we've rectified that so we'll just move on."
Last year in Gainesville, Beckman entered race day as the No. 1 qualifier with a time of 3.879 seconds at 329.26 mph. He advanced to the semifinals before being defeated by Don Schumacher Racing teammate Ron Capps.
JACK BECKMAN: Infinite Hero 2017 Dodge Charger R/T
Last event (Feb. 24-26 at Phoenix): Qualified No. 6, broke in first round against Gary Densham
2016 at Gainesville: Qualified No. 1, lost in semifinals to Ron Capps
Career at Gainesville: Wins 0; Runner-ups 0; Poles 1
Pts Events Wins Rup Semi Qtr 1st rd Poles DNQ W/L
2017 8th 2 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 1-2
2016 5th 24 2 3 4 10 5 6 0 35-22
CAREER 254 24 25 45 74 79 21 7 333-223
Best Time, Speed: 3.825 sec.-second quickest ever, (2016 Pomona 2); 334.15 mph (Seattle 2016)
2017 NHRA MELLO YELLO DRAG RACING SERIES STANDINGS
(Official after Phoenix; 2 of 24 events; wins in parenthesis; DSR drivers in CAPS)
1. MATT HAGAN (2) 240 -----
2. RON CAPPS 178 -62
3. Courtney Force 140 -100
4. TOMMY JOHNSON JR. 134 -106
5. John Force 112 -128
6. J.R. Todd 105 -135
7. Jim Campbell 102 -138
8. JACK BECKMAN 90 -150
8. Tim Wilkerson 90 -150
10. Robert Hight 88 -152
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