Jack Beckman clinches #2 spot at Texas

Beckman debuts Infinite Hero Foundation Dodge with No. 2 qualifying effort at Houston, aims to drive awareness nationally.

Jack Beckman clinches #2 spot at Texas

To aspiring drag racers, Jack Beckman is a hero.

Beckman, a two-time NHRA champion, including the 2012 NHRA Funny Car title, mentored thousands who dream of being called an NHRA champion while an instructor at Frank Hawley's Drag Racing School.

The popular Funny Car shoe, better known as "Fast Jack," would be more apt to consider himself a hero after serving our nation as a member of the U.S. Air Force or for battling and enduring cancer.

The 15-time NHRA Funny Car winner competitively unveiled the colors of the Infinite Hero Foundation this weekend during the 27th running of the NHRA SpringNationals near Houston. The striking black and purple Infinite Hero Foundation Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car will compete at five other events on the 2014 NHRA schedule (Englishtown, N.J., Denver, Charlotte 2, Dallas and Las Vegas 2). Jack and team also earned Best Appearing Crew Honors at the SpringNationals.

Combatting Mother Nature, who delivered humid, wet conditions to confront the NHRA teams, Beckman raced the IHF flopper to the No. 2 qualifying spot behind the guidance of crew chief Rob Flynn, who tuned Bob Vandergriff, Jr. to the Top Fuel crown at the Houston race one year ago.

"That's why they pay the crew chiefs," Beckman joked. "They have a pretty good handle on what changes to make. When you get that many water grains in the air, that won't burn so we up the compression ratio and do a few things with the supercharger. It's the nice thing about a seven car team here with DSR. We have enough data and enough smart people to bounce things off of, so typically we don't get lost."

Beckman powered to the provisional No. 2 spot on Friday evening under the lights in Baytown with a lap of 4.063-seconds, just a tick behind pole-winner Del Worsham's 4.051-effort and made three full pulls behind the wheel of the IHF Dodge during qualifying.

"We got points both of the first two sessions and more important we got good data and it gives you the luxury to try some things," Beckman said. "We got to put a different clutch disc in for Saturday which will eventually become part of our tune-up and we need to find out what it wants for tune-up, so I'm very happy. I'm real confident right now."

Beckman rarely lacks confidence in his Infinite Hero/Valvoline team, but flying the colors of the Infinite Hero Foundation, the veteran knows he's part of helping expose a bigger cause and that's driving awareness to the Infinite Hero Foundation.

"I'm a real big team player and I always enjoy being involved in something that's greater than an individual and I feel that way with this team and the team feels that way with the Infinite Hero Program," Beckman added. "It's really a chance to help out people that some of them are too proud to ask for help, but to let them know it's ok that there's a lot of people that care about them and respect and appreciate what they've sacrificed and to try and help them get back into civilian life."

Don Schumacher Racing

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