2014 NHRA: Jack Beckman NHRA SpringNationals Event Recap: Runner-up
Sunday at the NHRA SpringNationals couldn't have been more dramatic for Jack Beckman and the Infinite Hero Foundation Funny Car.
Sunday morning started with Best Appearing Car honors for the black and purple Infinite Hero Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car.
Beckman got by Terry Haddock in the opening round and Cruz Pedregon in the second round before things got interesting in the semifinal round against Don Schumacher Racing teammate Ron Capps.
Beckman turned on the win light with a 4.485-second pass and went to turn off the top end of the race track and slid into barriers, severely damaging the front end of the body.
Before the IHF team could return to the pits, several Don Schumacher Racing team members had already unloaded the backup body.
"No matter what, when drivers are interviewed they always say 'I'm so proud of my crew' and the crew does deserve it, they work hard all the time, they don't get any glory," Jack said. "I'm so, so, so proud of the Infinite Hero/Valvoline crew and of all the other crews at DSR that said 'we're not in so instead of spectating let's go help our car try and win the final round.'
"We wrecked the body turning off the racetrack in the semis. We kicked the rods out got oil under the tires, hit the barricade at the top end and tore up what was the best appearing car and a brand new body.
"By the time we got back to the pits, the other teams had our spare car unloaded, all the parts out ready to go and everybody dove in. We had to weld a bracket back on the chassis, had to put a different supercharger, different engine block, a couple pieces of wiring had to be replaced and a brand new body. We went up there with so many changes it was a testament just to get down the track."
The Rob Flynn-tuned machine did make it down the track in the final round of Sunday's NHRA SpringNationals eliminations against Robert Hight under party cloudy skies and humid conditions but it wasn't enough to turn on the fourth win light of the day.
It was Beckman's first final round appearance since last fall near St. Louis and Flynn's first final calling the shots for Beckman.
"With all of that being said when you get to the final round, you want the trophy. We're frustrated but we're more hungry than we've ever been."
As a result of his 35th career final round, Beckman moved to sixth place in the NHRA Mello Yello standings.
Event Winner: Robert Hight (John Force Racing)
No. 1 Qualifier: Del Worsham (Kalitta Racing) 4.051 sec., 314.68 mph
JACK BECKMAN, Infinite Hero Foundation Dodge Charger R/T
Qualifying Position: No. 2
First round: BECKMAN (4.143, 300.60) def. Haddock (5.140, 151.12)
Second round: BECKMAN (4.116, 308.43) def. C. Pedregon (5.382, 140.39)
Semifinals: BECKMAN (4.485, 288.39) def. CAPPS (9.490, 75.57)
Final: Hight (4.055, 314.90) def. BECKMAN (4.176, 308.43)
FRIDAY: 4.152 sec., 299.40 mph (Session 1), 4.063, 314.09 (Session 2)
SATURDAY: 5.242, 138.93 (Session 3), 4.089, 311.20 (Session 4)
NHRA MELLO YELLO FUNNY CAR STANDINGS
(Unofficial, after Houston, 6th of 24 events)
driver (wins), points
1. Robert Hight (3), 609
2. John Force (1), 487
3. Alexis DeJoria (2), 431
4. Del Worsham (0), 361
5. RON CAPPS (0), 356
6. JACK BECKMAN (0), 336
7. TOMMY JOHNSON JR. (0), 323
8. MATT HAGAN (0), 289
9. Tim Wilkerson (0), 277
10. Courtney Force (0), 275
May 16-18, Atlanta
May 23-25, Topeka
May 29-June 1, Englishtown, N.J.