BROWNSBURG, Ind. (July 19, 2017) - During the four-race June Swing in June, Jack Beckman and Terry Chandler's Infinite Hero Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car team claimed two of the titles. As the NHRA heads west, the team hopes to transition their success into the three-week Western Swing.
The annual Western Swing kicks off at this weekend's 38th annual Mopar Mile-High Nationals near Denver with races following at Sonoma, Calif., and near Seattle.
"I get asked a lot from friends, from fans and they say, 'Hey, listen. We want to pick a race to go to that we've never been to, do you have any recommendations?' And Denver is always right at the top of my list," Beckman said.
"You're not going to see record-breaking elapsed times you see at the sea level tracks, but it doesn't matter. It's so completely unique in every aspect of the facility. From the fact that it's carved into the side of the mountain, from the point that it's a mile above sea level, meaning that none of our tune-up data from the 20 other tracks seems to apply there, and the fact that it's family-owned and has been there for five decades.
"Every single aspect of that facility is perfect for drivers and a nightmare for crew chiefs. They have no other data to apply to that facility except from past years racing there. But for the fans and the drivers, it's a spectacle that no other facility can offer."
The goal of every NHRA team is to "sweep the Swing," by winning all three of the races in the three-race series and Beckman and the Infinite Hero Dodge nearly did it two years ago.
The team won at Denver then later won in Sonoma, Calif., two years ago before coming up short in Seattle.
"After the June Swing, which is four in a row, this is a piece of cake. For our crew members, who are driving the rigs from race to race, the added marathon element of the Western Swing is the number of miles they have to cover between races and the terrain that they're going over.
"During the June Swing, the tracks are closer in proximity and it's a bit of a friendlier tow. It's really tough on the crew guys to have to hustle this stuff up and down the highway, service it, race it, then repeat. From a driver's standpoint, I can't wait."
The Mile-High Nationals kicks off 6 p.m. (MT) Thursday with the annual Mopar Block Party at Golden, Colo., when downtown is closed for a free car show, Mopar and other displays, food vendors, live music and autograph session from 6:45-7:45 featuring Beckman and DSR's other Mopar drivers.
JACK BECKMAN, Terry Chandler's Infinite Hero Foundation 2017 Dodge Charger R/T
Pts Events Wins Rup Semi Qtr 1st rd Poles DNQ W/L
2017 3rd 13 2 2 2 5 2 0 0 22-11
CAREER 265 26 27 47 78 80 21 7 354-232
Best Time, Speed: 3.825 sec., (2016 Pomona 2); 334.15 mph (Seattle 2016)
DENVER BY THE NUMBERS
Last event (July 9), Joliet, Ill.: Qualified No. 2, lost in second round to Tim Wilkerson
A year ago at Denver: Qualified No. 6, lost in first round to Ron Capps
Career at Denver: Wins 3 (2007, 2012, 2015); Runner-ups 1 (2008); Poles 1 (2012)
2017 NHRA MELLO YELLO DRAG RACING SERIES FUNNY CAR STANDINGS
(Official after Joliet, Ill.; 13th of 24 events; wins in parenthesis; DSR drivers in CAPS)
1. RON CAPPS (6) 1,208 -----
2. MATT HAGAN (3) 1,022 -186
3. JACK BECKMAN (2) 914 -294
4. Robert Hight 853 -355
5. TOMMY JOHNSON JR. (1) 833 -375
6. Courtney Force 749 -459
7. John Force (1) 718 -490
8. Tim Wilkerson 599 -609
9. J.R. Todd 559 -649
10. Cruz Pedregon 463 -745