Jack Beckman

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Jack Beckman
Nationality American
Born (1966-06-28) June 28, 1966 (age 48)
San Fernando, California

Jack Beckman (Born June 28, 1966 at San Fernando, California) is a professional drag racer who currently drives a NHRA Fuel Funny Car for Don Schumacher Racing. He is known in the drag racing community as "Fast Jack".

Beckman is also an instructor for Frank Hawley’s Drag Racing school, (the official driving instruction school of the National Hot Rod Association). Over a period of 11 years, Beckman has instructed over 7,000 different students.

Won the 2012 NHRA Funny car Full Throttle Championship. Jack won the Championship on the final day of the year in Pomona California @ NHRA Auto Club Finals, defeating DSR teammate Ron Capps by 2 points. He won in spite of a total team and car change in April of 2012.

The early years[edit]

Beckman became a fan of drag racing at a very early age. "In 1973 my uncle John began to take my brother (Ted) and me to Orange County International Raceway, Ontario, Irwindale and Bakersfield", recalls Beckman. "I made my first run (a 15.06 second elapsed time) at Lubbock Dragway in Texas while I was serving in the military in 1986."[citation needed]

In 1988 Beckman won his first race driving a 1968 El Camino (which was also the same car he drove for his driver license test when he was 16) and moved up to the Super Comp division in 1991. His dragster, known as "The Blackbird" was built by California Chassis Engineering and was the same dragster Beckman drove to a Lucas Oil World Championship in the Super Comp class in 2003. "The Blackbird Super Comp dragster has been with me since 1995, I've made more than 1500 runs in it and it feels like a second skin", states Beckman who continues to run his dragster at local bracket races when time permits.[citation needed]

  • In 2003 won Super Comp world championship in Lucas Oil Series and Division 7 Super Comp championship
  • Leads 14-time champion John Force in head-to-head round wins: 8-5

In May 2004, following his Super Comp championship season in 2003, Beckman was diagnosed with cancer (high grade level 3B Lymphoma), which we now know has a survival rate of 46-60 percent. "I had what they call high grade level 3B lymphoma, and it was pretty pervasive throughout my body. One doctor told me the survival rate for that type of cancer is about 80% and another one said it’s about 50 to 65%. I liked the first doctor better."[citation needed]

Beckman had his eighth and final chemotherapy treatment on October 25, 2004, after which he was informed by doctors that they had been successful and his cancer was in remission.[citation needed] He then began a new type of treatment, "G-Force Therapy".[citation needed] In April, 2005 Beckman debuted as a professional drag racer in the NHRA in the sports elite category, Top Fuel Eliminator. Driving a Top Fuel Dragster for car owner Dexter Tuttle, Beckman qualified in his first event and beat fellow rookie dragster driver, Ben Marshall earning his first professional round victory.[citation needed]

As of March 2010, Beckman has nine career NHRA National Event Championships- including seven as a pro (all in Funny Car) and two as a sportsman driver (1998 and 2003 NHRA Winternationals in Super Comp). He has competed in 18 final rounds in NHRA National Event Competition.[citation needed]

Records[edit]

  • 2012 NHRA Funny Car Full Throttle Champion
  • No. 3 in 2008 Funny Car point standings, with three victories - Phoenix, Reading, Concord - in seven final rounds
  • In his 72 national events in Top Fuel and Funny Car, he has won seven times in 14 final rounds (all in Funny Car), and has a career round win-loss record of 80-60
  • Is the 2007 U.S. Smokeless Showdown winner ($100,000 bonus event held at U.S. Nationals)
  • Set national elapsed-time record of 4.662 seconds and national speed record of 333.66 mph at final 2006 event in Pomona, Calif. The ET record has since been eclipsed. Beckman still holds the speed record
  • Career-best FC elapsed time: 4.662 seconds (Pomona 2 '06)
  • Career-best FC speed: 333.66 mph (Pomona 2 '06)
  • Career-best TF elapsed time: 4.563 seconds (TF, Brainerd 2005)
  • Career-best TF speed: 324.28 mph (TF, Brainerd 2005)

Personal life[edit]

  • Residence: North Hills, Calif.
  • Hometown: Granada Hills, Calif.
  • Date of birth: June 28, 1966
  • Married, Jenna (wedding date 11/7/06), son Jason Russell (3/8/07)
  • Former instructor and current consultant at Frank Hawley's NHRA Championship Drag Racing School; former Sergeant in U.S. Air Force (1984–88); cancer survivor; licensed in 11 different NHRA categories
  • Was told in early 2005 that his cancer is in remission and currently spends much time supporting cancer-related charities and causes.

References[edit]

External links[edit]