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May 28, 2014 - 06:20 AM
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2014 NHRA: Jack Beckman NHRA Summernationals Event Preview
Posted by: newsla on May 28, 2014 - 06:17 AM
2014 NHRA: Jack Beckman NHRA Summernationals Event Preview

All NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series events are special to Jack Beckman but some more so than others.


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And this week of the 45th annual NHRA Summernationals at fabled Old Bridge Township Raceway Park at Englishtown, N.J., is one that stands out for the 2012 NHRA Funny Car world champion and driver of Don Schumacher Racing's Infinite Hero Foundation/Valvoline Dodge Charger R/T.

Competing for the second of six times with the purple and black colors of the Infinite Hero Foundation on his Dodge supports a cause dear to the Southern Californian's heart, and the trip starts a day early with a visit to associate sponsor Sandvik Coromant on Thursday to enjoy lunch with employees at its headquarters in Fairlawn, N.J., and to raise money to help the Infinite Hero Program (InfiniteHero.org) combat mental and physical issues facing returning military heroes and their families.

Sandvik Coromant is a global leading supplier of cutting tools, tooling solutions and know-how to the metalworking industry.

"This year is going to be unique because our Dodge Charger R/T will have at least six different paint schemes. We're doing some one-offs with Sandvik, Odyssey Batteries, MTS Mail for Wounded Warriors, several with Valvoline and six with the Infinite Hero Foundation funded by Terry Chandler and Don Schumacher.

"Two years ago we visited Sandvik and they donated $2,800 to our MTS Mail for Wounded Warriors program. One thing that is great about Don Schumacher Racing is how we cross-promote with the sponsors and in this case help raise money for our soldiers and their families who have given more than anyone could have asked.

"Sandvik is a great company that likes to give back. It's special to be affiliated with companies that not only have great products but also great people.

"We debuted the Infinite Hero Dodge at Houston (April 25-27) and made it to our only championship round this year after our best qualifying effort (No. 2) this season, so we hope good things happen again for the purple and black car. I'm not superstitious so I don't think it was those colors that helped us but it sure felt good to have some success and be able to go back to that paint scheme.

"The next goal obviously is to win and move up in the points standings but that will take care of itself after winning four times on Sunday and getting the Wally (trophy). It's been a long time for me, a long time for (assistant crew chief) Terry Snyder and four of our new crew members haven't won yet.

"I've never closed the deal at Englishtown, but this year will be the year."

The following are Jack's Englishtown, career and 2014 statistics:

Jack Beckman, Valvoline MaxLife Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car
Last event (May 25), Topeka, Kan.: Qualified No. 9; lost in first round to Jeff Arend
A year ago at Englishtown: Qualified No. 3; lost to Matt Hagan in championship round
Career at Englishtown: Wins 0; Runner-ups 1 (2013); Poles 0

Pts Events Titles Rup Semi Qtr 1st rd Poles DNQ Win/Loss
2014 9th 8 0 1 0 2 4 0 0 6-8
CAREER 192 15 20 35 54 58 10 6 243-167
Best Time, Speed: 3.736 sec. (10-6-12, Reading, Pa.); 320.30 mph (4-15-12, Charlotte 1)

(DSR drivers in CAPS)
driver (wins), points
1. Robert Hight, (4), 770
2. John Force, (1), 566
3. Alexis DeJoria, (2), 509
4. RON CAPPS, 502
5. Courtney Force (1), 492
7. Del Worsham, 433
8. MATT HAGAN, 403
10. Tim Wilkerson, 384

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