MORRISON, Colo. (July 25, 2015) – The journey up the mountain often is better than the view once you get to the peak.
This best sums up this NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing season for Jack Beckman and Don Schumacher Racing’s Infinite Hero Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car team with funding from Terry Chandler and crew chief Jimmy Prock with assistants John Medlen and Chris Cunningham.
Consider that the first time the quartet work together was this year’s opener at Pomona, Calif., when the team failed to qualify to race in championship eliminations.
Since then, the climb up has been steady and on Sunday at Bandimere Speedway near Denver for Beckman and the Infinite Hero team won for the fourth time in 14 races and moved to second in the Mello Yello standings.
“We go to Pomona, we DNQ, we leave 18th out of 18 cars in the nation,” Beckman said of Sunday’s triumph near Denver. “Dead last. I was fine with that because I knew we were going to be OK this year. This is the fruits. We won’t win every race but we have a car that can.”
The four wins is the most for Beckman in one season and 10 races remain.
And nothing tops beating the best.
“To go out there and beat the No. 1 qualifier, the winningest driver of all time and do it at the Mopar race at Bandimere … this is just a perfect weekend,” he said.
Team owner Don Schumacher added, “A gratifying win. It was tremendous for Jack to go out there and win this race for Mopar, for DSR and to take that Force car out in the final with John driving it.”
Since the triumvirate has joined Jack at the start of the season, Jack and the Infinite Hero team has an 11-0 record against John Force Racing’s three Funny Car teams and is 2-0 against John Force in championship rounds.
“Jimmy is just absolutely incredible, he’s bold. Here’s the deal, we know what Jimmy is capable of, we know John Medlen’s reputation. I hope that this starts to put Chris Cunningham on the map too because I wish you could see the way they interact up there. Chris is so much more than an assistant. (Chris) and Jimmy are bouncing ideas, and John has his own computer. The harmony there is perfect.”
The Mopar Mile-High Nationals is the first of three races in three weeks that comprise the Western Swing that will include Mello Yello races at Sonoma next weekend followed by a trip to Seattle the following week.
DON SCHUMACHER RECEIVES ‘MOPAR PRESIDENT’S AWARD’
NHRA hall-of-fame drag racer, Funny Car pioneer Don Schumacher was presented the “Mopar President’s Award,” a special honor to reward the outstanding contributions by a brand ambassador that upholds the qualities and values that add to Mopar’s legacy and reputation.
Ross McGinnis, Vice President Mopar Sales & Product Development, and Tricia Hecker, Head of Mopar Marketing, had the pleasure of presenting Don Schumacher the award on behalf of Mopar President and CEO Pietro Gorlier.
The Mopar President’s Award was created to recognize motorsport pioneers and legends who have been affiliated with Mopar throughout their career.
Previous recipients of the Mopar President’s Award include Allen and Roy Johnson (2013), the man regarded as the “Father of the HEMI,” Tom Hoover (2014), and drag racing legend “Big Daddy” Don Garlits (2015).
Winner: Jack Beckman (Don Schumacher Racing)
No. 1 qualifier: John Force (John Force Racing) 4.015 sec.-track record, 318.09 mph
JACK BECKMAN, Infinite Hero 2015 Dodge Charger R/T
QUALIFIED: No. 3
First round: BECKMAN (4.587 sec., 270.92) def. Todd Simpson (6.287, 114.09)
Quarterfinals: BECKMAN (4.124, 302.48) def. Matt Hagan (4.391, 228.11)
Semifinals: BECKMAN (4.184, 295.44) def. Alexis DeJoria (redlight false start)
Final: BECKMAN (4.190, 293.92) def. John Force (4.291, 258.98)
SATURDAY: 4.672 sec., 186.05 mph, (Session 3); 4.192, 298.67, (Session 4)
FRIDAY: 4.035, 313.73, (Session 1), 7.612, 79.50, (Session 2)
2015 NHRA MELLO YELLO FUNNY CAR CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS
(Unofficial after Denver; 14 of 24 races; DSR drivers in CAPS)
DRIVER (WINS) POINTS BEHIND
1. MATT HAGAN 1,083 —
2. JACK BECKMAN 938 -145
3. John Force 891 -192
4. RON CAPPS 879 -204
5. Del Worsham 868 -215
6. TOMMY JOHNSON JR. 855 -228
7. Cruz Pedregon 782 -301
7. Tim Wilkerson 782 -301
9. Alexis DeJoria 731 -352
10. Robert Hight 703 -380
About Infinite Hero Foundation
A 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, Infinite Hero Foundation combats the most difficult front line issues – mental and physical – facing returning military heroes and their families. The Foundation funds programs that drive innovation and the accessibility of effective treatments for military heroes and their families dealing with service-related mental and physical injuries. For more information, visit: www.infinitehero.org.
About Don Schumacher Racing
Don Schumacher Racing, headquartered in Brownsburg, Ind., fields seven professional NHRA teams. In Top Fuel, the U.S. Army dragster driven by eight-time world champion Tony Schumacher, the 2012 NHRA Top Fuel world champion Matco Tools dragster driven by Antron Brown and the Red Fuel Powered by Schumacher dragster driven by Spencer Massey; and in Funny Car, 2011 and 2014 world champion Matt Hagan in the Mopar Express Lane/Rocky Boots 2015 Dodge Charger R/T, 2012 NHRA world champion Jack Beckman in the Infinite Hero Foundation Dodge, the NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge of Ron Capps and the Make-A-Wish Dodge driven by Tommy Johnson Jr.
DSR has won 258 NHRA national event titles and 13 world championships.
Follow Don Schumacher Racing at ShoeRacing.com, on Twitter at @shoeracing and Facebook.com/shoeracing