Jack's Dodge carries colors of Infinite Hero Foundation to Houston to support returning American troops, families
Jack Beckman knows his Don Schumacher Racing Funny Car team still is developing into a championship contender in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series.
No one is more supportive than Jack of his Dodge Charger R/T team led by crew chief Rob Flynn and assistant Terry Snyder.
And no one is more disappointed that they will arrive near Houston this weekend for the sixth Mello Yello event of the season ranked 10th in points with its last event title going back 33 races to September 2012, the year he won the NHRA Funny Car world championship.
"We're five races in and we haven't seen a semifinal yet.
"I'm optimistic. I think we have all the parts and the talent here to get this done. We need to get a better handle on the predictability of the car. Once we get that there isn't any reason why we can't be one of the quickest cars out here again."
This weekend at Baytown, Texas, Jack and his team have even more motivation to extend their work deep into Sunday's championship eliminations.
The race near Houston will be the first of six events this year when Jack's traditional red, white and blue Dodge sporting the logo for Valvoline MaxLife switches to purple, gold and black to support the Infinite Hero Foundation, the non-profit organization's campaign to provide funding to combat mental and physical issues facing returning military personnel and their families.
"Not a dime of the money that would go to the soldiers goes into this race car," Jack said. "Our Dodge will be used as an awareness tool to help raise money for these soldiers."
Funding the Infinite Hero Funny Car are Terry Chandler and Don Schumacher with marketing support from Oakley. Chandler also is funding the DSR Funny Car driven by Tommy Johnson Jr. to further raise awareness and support for the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
"Oakley has been tremendous. They started the Infinite Hero Foundation and continue to support it. It's an excellent and highly impactful way to get the message across to our fans to continue to help our injured veterans."
The foundation has donated $1.3 million to eight different soldier-support organizations across the country and plan to donate $1 million more by Veterans Day (Nov. 11).
"Infinite Hero was founded to drive innovation, accessibility and collaboration among organizations combating the most critical issues facing the returning military community," said Infinite Hero Foundation President and Oakley CEO, Colin Baden. "We are pleased to celebrate our shared progress with the NHRA community and commit to continuing to map a plan for driving change and long-term solutions to improve the lives of veterans across America."
The program has added meaning for Jack, a four-year veteran of the U.S. Air Force. He often visits Veterans Hospitals while on the NHRA tour.
"I've always been proud of my military service and on every trip to Las Vegas since 2005 I visit the military hospital there to check on the active-duty troops, the veterans and support personnel at the hospital.
"I've never stopped supporting the military and never will."
Don Schumacher Racing