BROWNSBURG, Ind. - It doesn't take much for Jack Beckman to get jazzed about going to a drag race whether driving or spectating.
Not only has he won three Funny Car titles in the past five years at the track south of Phoenix, but his Dodge Charger R/T will be adorned with a special paint scheme to promote Mail Terminal Service's Mail for Wounded Warriors/Hire a Hero program.
Beckman's longtime sponsor MTS, which is owned by Phoenix-area residents Rodger and Karen Comstock, will have postcards at each of 24 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series events this year for fans to send a note to a soldier who returned from service with injuries. The cards will be distributed to local VA hospitals. Additionally, MTS will donate $1 to Wounded Warriors for each card turned in throughout the season.
"We'll have the MTS Mail for Wounded Warriors Dodge body on our racecar for Phoenix," said Beckman, the reigning NHRA Funny Car world champion for Don Schumacher Racing. This is the first of seven races that Mail for Wounded Warriors will be featured on the car.
"We started the program at Pomona, but we'll have a bigger impact in Phoenix with that very special body on our car. I have a strong relationship with Rodger and Karen, and they care so much about our soldiers and that's wonderful."
The Comstocks spearheaded a "Mail from Home" campaign from 2007 to 2010 that generated nearly 1 million postcards that were delivered to American forces in Iraq and Afghanistan.
"MTS will have a kiosk available for NHRA fans to participate in this worthwhile program near Jack's pit area at all 24 races this year," said Rodger Comstock, president and chief executive officer of Mail Terminal Services. "We will supply postcards for fans to express gratitude, support, thanks and offer encouragement to those who sacrificed for our freedom."
Beckman, a cancer survivor and former sergeant in the U.S. Air Force, also would like to celebrate with Wounded Warriors in the winner's circle at Phoenix.
"I've had great luck at Phoenix, and I don't know why," he said. "Three of my 15 Funny Car trophies came at Firebird. I don't think I drive any better there, I don't think our tune-ups are better there. But it is a cool feeling where you're familiar with the winner's circle."
Added incentive for Beckman and his team is rebounding for a disappointing first-round loss last Sunday in the season-opening NHRA Winternationals at Pomona, Calif., after qualifying No. 2.
"We have something to prove now. We've come out and stumbled from the get-go. We're always trying to do the best we can do, and we're going to figure out what's wrong with our hot rod."
Don Schumacher Racing