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
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