Of all the great race cars hurtling their way down the strip every weekend, few are as meaningful as the Infinite Hero Dodge Charger driven by Jack Beckman. The car, which began thanks to the late Terry Chandler and is now backed by her husband Doug Chandler, is privately funded and is meant to boost awareness for the charity which funds programs that drive innovation and accessibility of effective treatments for veterans and their families dealing with service-related ailments.
It’s a great cause, and one familiar by now to even casual NHRA Drag Racing fans. It’s also one very familiar to Kylie Lightfoot, whose father is probably very familiar to fans who have strolled the pits of an NHRA event this year, even if they’re not aware of it. Her father, Gary, is pictured on the back of Beckman’s trailer and received an exoskeleton from the Infinite Hero foundation which allows him to walk.
Since then, the family has been heavily involved with the Infinite Hero Foundation. Kylie went to her first drag race in 2016 and began managing the Infinite Hero coin program during the Countdown to the Championship last season. That program, which allows fans to buy a special coin that goes down the track with Beckman for $100, also supports the Infinite Hero Foundation.
“They needed someone to run the coin program and I immediately said I would do it, and once I did it I fell in love with the people at the drag races,” said Linfoot. “Once it became a more permanent position I immediately stepped up and said I wanted to do all the races. Once it became clear it was a more permanent position I said I wanted to do all the races and hoped it would work out.”
Since starting in the position at the Fall Charlotte event, Linfoot has grown to love both the sport and the fans who she’s interacted with in on a nearly weekly basis. The Tennessee native is already looking forward to getting to work the Thunder Valley NHRA Nationals in Bristol.
“I love the interaction between everyone and I love that since I’ve done some of the races a couple of times that I’m seeing the same fans over and over again,” said Linfoot. “That I recognize them, and they recognize me – that we know each other by name, that’s a really cool thing.
“My dad is still involved, and people reach out to him over social media and they come up to me and ask what race he’ll be at next. And it’s cool for people to ask me how he’s doing and for people to know who he is and make the connection that I’m his daughter. It’s great knowing that their donations are helping veterans and are helping real people and making a difference in people’s lives.”
Fans can find out more about the Infinite Hero Foundation at http://infinitehero.org/