Jack Beckman

Drag Racing Champion, Academic, and Still a Fan

When it was made public that former NHRA Funny Car World Champion and Super Comp World Champion, “Fast” Jack Beckman planned on attending and competing in the 44th Annual Pepsi Nightfire Nationals at Firebird Raceway, it spread through the racing community in Boise like a local wild fire.

Beckman would be racing longtime friend Dick VanderMeer’s dragster. VanderMeer a resident of nearby Meridian, Idaho, brought out his best Super Comp dragster, which Beckman would run in the Bracketter (Super Pro) class.

The local racers however were not intimidated by the former champ and current NHRA record holder racing with them. One car owner came over to Beckman and good naturedly put his arm on his shoulder and made it clear, “That record don’t mean $*&t here, buddy!” Later in the weekend Beckman put that car owner’s kid on the trailer.

Beckman went five rounds the first day making it to the quarterfinals. Not too bad for someone who hasn’t raced to a quarter mile in quite some time.

In addition to the racing, Beckman also set up a raffle of the helmet he was wearing for the weekend, the proceeds going to the Infinite Hero Foundation, the cause his car owner Terry Chandler and Don Schumacher brand Beckman’s funny car. The cause raised nearly $2,500 for the foundation that helps our service members who return from their combat assignments.