Driver of the MD Anderson Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat
Qualified: No. 8 (3.932 E.T. at 311.34 MPH)
E1: 5.321 E.T. at 137.23 MPH defeated by Bob Tasca III 3.949 E.T. at 316.60 MPH
MD Anderson Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car pilot Jack Beckman began race day seeking his first triumph at Houston Raceway Park. Against round one opponent Bob Tasca III, the driver of the ‘Best Appearing Car of the event’ experienced problems early into the run before slowing to a 5.321-second E.T. versus Tasca’s 3.949-second winning pass.
Despite the team’s early exit, they were still able to count the weekend as a win thanks to Doug Chandler, husband of the late Terry Chandler, who elected to banner MD Anderson Cancer Center on the side of Beckman’s Hellcat in honor of his wife. Before Sunday’s elimination rounds got underway, Beckman joined Chandler family representative Judy Pittman on-stage during NHRA’s pre-race ceremony where the duo presented a $100,000 donation check to Bobby Dean, Executive Director of Philanthropic Resources for MD Anderson, on behalf of Doug Chandler and his TLC Foundation.
“This (first round loss) is a little bit of a gut check. It hurts for a couple of reasons. One is for MD Anderson, that’s a one-race-only deal and despite the fact that we didn’t achieve what we wanted to on the track, we did some real positive things for cancer research and I’m proud of that. But once the helmet goes on, your goal is to win the race and we’ve got a great car right now. We don’t know what happened. We had a breakage in the bottom end there and we’re going to have to find out what caused it. When you’re running well, you have to strike while the iron’s hot. To lose when we know we have this good of a race car, it’s tough. That being said, that’s why we get 24 shots at this a year. We’ll regroup, we’ll figure out what went wrong, see if we can prevent that from happening again and we’ll go back to four-wide and take that trophy.”