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Jack Beckman: 'I don’t know if anyone wants to get back more than me'

Things couldn’t have gone much better for Jack Beckman and crew chiefs Dean Antonelli and John Medlen to start 2020. They won the season opener in Pomona and were runners-up in Phoenix. This is one of a series of interviews with the top drivers in Top Fuel, Funny Car, and Pro Stock.
11 Jun 2020
NHRA National Dragster staff
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Jack Beckman

JACK BECKMAN | Infinite Hero Dodge Charger

Current points position: 1st | Best season e.t. to date: 3.837

Early-season report card: Things couldn’t have gone much better for Beckman and crew chiefs Dean Antonelli and John Medlen. After having one of the best cars in the 2019 Countdown, they qualified No. 2 and won the 2020 season opener in Pomona with a flurry of 3.80-second passes and were runner-up in Phoenix to teammate Tommy Johnson Jr. after another collection of solid 3.80s.

Looking back: “Even though we only had two races this year, our season so far has been a tale of two cities. Although the outcomes have been good -– a win and a runner-up -– our level of domination was completely different. We stumbled in Phoenix because we were running some future clutch discs and got behind the 8 ball but we still managed to take the car to the final round there."

Looking ahead: “I’d love to get some test runs in before we return to racing. I don’t see many top 10 teams not wanting to go out making a couple of laps at some point especially if you can get somebody in the other lane.”

Shop talk: Before Indiana’s stay at home orders, the Brownsburg-based team put a new front half on one of their chassis and Beckman has been working on a cockpit simulator at his California base to stay sharp after the team switched him to a “push brake” (as opposed to a “pull brake”) this year.

The final word: “For us, 2020 was a direct continuation of 2019. I think if you go back and look over the last five to six races of 2019, we had such a solid car. I don’t know if there’s anyone in drag racing right now who wants to get back to competition more than me.”

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