|SONOMA, Calif. (July 28, 2015) – Jack Beckman has had good reasons to host a special event before the Sonoma NHRA Nationals near San Francisco, and he will have another one before the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series event begins the next day.
For the past two years, he has been honored to emcee the Eric Medlen Nitro Night Charity Dinner dedicated to the memory of the popular Funny Car driver from the San Joaquin Valley who succumbed to injuries sustained from a testing accident in 2007.
This year will be the third the driver of the Infinite Hero Dodge Charger R/T for Don Schumacher Racing is the emcee, but this time it not just be as Eric’s friend.
On Thursday at Bay Club Stone Tree in nearby Novato, he will be honoring the son of John Medlen, a veteran crew chief and first-year member of Jack’s Infinite Hero team that won the Mopar Mile-High Nationals title Sunday to jump to second in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series standings after its fourth win of the year.
“Even though Eric and I were buddies, I’ve learned so much more about him in the last six months by conversing with John.
“John shares stories with me how fortunate he was to be the crew chief for his son and he’s relayed how many times Eric said he was fortunate to be the driver for his father. I look at that with a special fondness because I can identify with that father-son bond now that I have a son and.
“John is a rock in terms of how much inner strength he has.”
Jack was joined in the winner’s circle by his father, Bob Beckman, after beating John Force to give the Infinite Hero team a 2-0 record against Force in championship rounds this year.
So nothing could be better in the 15th race of the 24-event Mello Yello season than sharing the Sonoma winner’s circle with John Medlen knowing that Eric’s spirit is with them.
Only a second NHRA Funny Car world championship for Beckman could top what his team has accomplished with a braintrust of Medlen, fellow assistant Chris Cunningham and crew chief Jimmy Prock.
The trio along with several former members of Prock’s team at John Force Racing last year joined Jack at Pomona in February for the season-opener. The team did not qualify to race on Sunday at Pomona.
They have climbed from 18th out of 18 teams after the first week to second place heading to Sonoma where Jack is looking for his first win.
Sonoma is the second of three events in three weeks of the Western Swing that concludes next week near Seattle
ERIC MEDLEN NITRO NIGHT
The racers will kick off the evening with an invitational Texas Hold ‘Em Charity Poker Tournament starting at 6 p.m. The evening features a reception, prime rib dinner, charity drawing and a Q&A with all of the racers.
Tickets are $125 and include wine/beer and dinner. All proceeds go to qualified youth groups in Sonoma County in Eric Medlen’s name through SCC.
Jack Beckman, Infinite Hero Dodge Charger R/T
Pts Events Wins Rup Semi Qtr 1st rd Poles DNQ W/L
2015 NHRA MELLO YELLO FUNNY CAR CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS
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