JOLIET, Ill. (July 9, 2017) - Jack Beckman probably can't recall when he's ever been glad to leave a racetrack.
But that's how he felt Sunday after losing in the second round of the NHRA Route 66 Nationals near Chicago.
It had nothing to with what happened on the track but the recent death of Terry Chandler put racing into its proper perspective.
"Not a good weekend," he said. "Normally I leave here with a philosophical approach and a silver-lining type of thing. We really just had one goal this weekend. Terry (Chandler) was just laid to rest and we wanted to put her car in the winner's circle and we didn't get it done. So that's a little bit heartbreaking."
Terry died on the Fourth of July after a three-month valiant fight against brain cancer. Her funeral was Saturday. She was 65.
She funded Don Schumacher Racing Funny Cars for Beckman to benefit the Infinite Hero Foundation and another for Tommy Johnson Jr. and the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
"To put it in context, though, we get a chance at another race. We can still do some great things for her and for Infinite Hero the rest of the year. It's been a tough weekend.
"I thought today would be a little bit easier for me to flip that switch and go into race mode. Once the car started it was OK, but when it's not going perfectly it's a tougher day.
"It's just a lot to deal with having lost somebody that did so much for us."
Before racing began, her Make-A-Wish and Infinite Hero teams were joined by her brother Johnny Gray's Gray Motorsports Pro Stock team along with the DSR family, NHRA racing community and many of the sport's most iconic drivers behind the starting line to honor Terry with a video montage created by NHRA and a moment of silence to honor her profound impact on hundreds of Make-A-Wish families and military veterans through the Infinite Hero Foundation.
DSR FUNNY CARS
Event winner: Ron Capps (Don Schumacher Racing)
No. 1 qualifier: Robert Hight (3.851 sec., 334.73 mph-track records)
JACK BECKMAN, Terry Chandler's Infinite Hero Foundation 2017 Dodge Charger R/T
Crew chiefs: Dean Antonelli, John Medlen, Neal Strausbaugh
SUNDAY'S CHAMPIONSHIP ELIMINATIONS
First round: BECKMAN (4.020 sec., 320.2 mph) def. Bob Bode (DQ, centerline)
Second round: Tim Wilkerson (4.107, 314.61) def. BECKMAN (5.061, 172.65)
Qualified: No. 2
FRIDAY: 3.966 sec., 324.36 mph, (Session 1); 3.856, 330.23, (Session 2)
SATURDAY: 6.872, 100.56, (Session 3); 4.551, 182.38, (Session 4)
CHICAGO BY THE NUMBERS
Last event (June 15), Norwalk, Ohio: Qualified No. 9, won in championship round over Robert Hight
A year ago at Chicago: Qualified No. 2, won in championship round over Ron Capps
Career at Chicago: Wins 1 (2016); Runner-ups 0; Poles 0
2017 NHRA MELLO YELLO DRAG RACING SERIES FUNNY CAR STANDINGS
(Unofficial 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