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Another record for Infinite Hero Charger

by Bill Cawthon on

On the final pass in Saturday qualifying, the Infinite Hero with “Fast Jack” Beckman at the wheel posted an ET of 3.901 seconds at 325.69 miles per hour – the quickest and the fastest pass in Fuel Funny Car history.

This is third consecutive event that Beckman has set a new benchmark.


“I am very satisfied with the 3.901 and the speed record,” said Beckman. “It’s been a long time since I’ve had a speed record. I saw John Force run that 3.93 right in front of us, but then there goes [crew chiefs] Jimmy [Prock], John [Medlen], and Chris [Cunningham] again. It’s so interesting when you see a car that’s this unbelievable; it’s like everything becomes believable.

“I love our chances tomorrow, and I feel incredibly comfortable.”

In two days of qualifying at the Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals records have been set and broken multiple times. By the time rain forced cancellation of the final round, the top nine qualifiers had ETs under four seconds, another record.

On Friday, Matt Hagan set a new track speed record. In the next matchup, Courtney Force set a new track ET record but couldn’t match Hagan’s speed. On the next run, Beckman beat both records, coming up with a 3.946-second pass at 324.75 mph. The Infinite Hero Charger was 0.013 seconds quicker than Force’s record time and 3.78 mph faster than Hagan’s record speed.

On Saturday, John Force beat Beckman’s Friday time and set a new track speed record at 324.83, 0.08 mph faster than Beckman’s speed.

At the end of the third, and final, qualifying round, Beckman was matched up with Courtney Force. Force got tire shake but Beckman and the Infinite Hero Dodge rocketed down the track, beating John Force’s time by 0.029 seconds and his career-fastest speed by 0.86 mph.

Beckman posted a 3.921-second ET at Sonoma and a 3.912 ET in Seattle. He needs to have an ET of 3.940 seconds or less in Sunday’s eliminations to certify the 3.901 as a national record. Beckman set the current national record at the Sonoma event.

Beckman was top qualifier in all three rounds and the points earned have given him the lead in the driver standings going into Sunday’s eliminations. Matt Hagan, who qualified ninth in the order, is now second and Tommy Johnson Jr., who qualified fifth, is in third place.

Ron Capps took the No. 11 spot while John Hale finished the day in the No. 13 spot.

Allen Johnson got the runner-up spot in the opening round of Pro Stock qualifying but couldn’t beat his first time in the following rounds. He got bumped to third by Erica Enders in Round Two and then to the No. 4 spot by Chris McGaha in the third round.

By qualifying, Johnson clinched his berth in the Countdown to the Championship but it looks like the Mopar Dart will be the only Dodge in the six-race series. V. Gaines would have to win this event and the final regular-season race to have a shot at the tenth opening.

Gaines qualified 12th on Friday and kept that spot on Saturday. Deric Kramer qualified in the No. 14 spot.

ARCA: The Crowe 100 runs Sunday afternoon at the Illinois State Fairgrounds in Springfield, Illinois. Tom Hessert and Kyle Weatherman will be back in the Cunningham Motorsports Dodges and Bo LeMastus is leaving the Camry at home and bringing his No. 42 Dodge to the event. A total of eight Dodges are entered.

Canadian Tire Series: The Clarington 200 runs next Sunday at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park in Bowmanville, Ontario. It’s the penultimate event in the 2015 season and there is a real race to see who will be the 2015 champion.

<em>Formula One: Sebastian Vettel qualified ninth for Sunday’s Belgian Grand Prix while Kimi Raikkonen had car trouble and will start from the No. 14 spot on the grid.

IMSA/Tudor United Sportcar Championship: After two disappointing practice rounds, Ben Keating and Jeroen Bleekemolen qualified fourth for the Oak Tree Grand Prix that runs Sunday at Virginia International Raceway in Alton, Virginia. The No. 33 Viper team is currently fifth in the driver standings.

Trans Am TA2: The Next Dimension 100 will run next Saturday at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. Cameron Lawrence, who hasn’t had much luck in recent races, has a slim, six-point lead in the driver standings.

Bill Cawthon grew up in the auto industry in the 1950s. His Dad worked for Chrysler and Bill spent a number of Saturdays down on the plant floor at Dodge Main in Hamtramck. Bill is also the U.S. market correspondent for, a British auto industry publication, and a member of the Texas Auto Writers Association, which has named the Jeep Grand Cherokee the “SUV of Texas” several times and named the Ram 1500 as the “Truck of Texas” two years running.

Bill has owned five Plymouths (including the only 1962 “Texan”), one Dodge and one Chrysler and is still trying to figure out how to justify a Wrangler. He also has owned at least one of every 1:87 scale model of a Chrysler product. You can reach him directly at (206) 888-7324 or by using the form.

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