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On August 10th, 2013 the City of Norco, California declared it to be “Fast Jack” Beckman day. This is pretty cool in and of itself. And as Editor Richard Kratz and Contributing Editor Alex Rogeo live in Southern California, and as it was a beautiful Saturday in SoCal, and the event was happening at Browning Dodge Chrysler Jeep Ram—meaning we could window shop new cars—and lastly as we like Jack, we were there.
But we knew something Jack didn’t know, that WBO featherweight boxing world champion, Miguel “Mikey” Garcia was going to be there too. Turns out that Mikey is a big Mopar fan, his daily driver is a Challenger SRT8 with a Magnuson supercharger. And just like us, Mikey loves driving his Mopar fast on race tracks. MoparMax and Garcia are organizing a Halloween Drag Racing party for charity at Irwindale Drag Strip in Southern California on October 31st, more on that in a moment.
Boxing and drag racing have more in common then you might think at first blush. Both are sports with one on one competition, two fighters climb into the ring in boxing and two racers pull through the waterbox in drag racing. More than any other pro sports boxers and motorsports racers run the risk of serious injury or fatality whenever they compete. Both sports require a tremendous amount of work leading up to the actual competition. Competitors in both sports, no matter how well prepared they are or how high their talent, can lose in the blink of an eye due to the capricious nature of chance—in boxing there’s always the lucky punch to worry about and in drag racing there are holeshots and mechanical failures. We thought it was pretty damn cool for an NHRA Pro world champion to meet up with a WBO boxing world champion. Oh, and there was free food there too.
Jack stood by while Mayor Kathy Azevedo read his proclamation to the crowd. Jack, Mayor Azevedo and City Member Kevin Bash posed for the photographers with his key to the city. Jack gave a short and sincere speech (no really, it actually was short, not just short in comparison to most of Jack’s speeches) and then the mayor announced a surprise for him. Since the city of Norco is well known as horse country, in fact the city logo has a horse in it, they thought that it would be fun to see what Jack—used to riding 10,000 horsepower at a time—thought of just one actual living horsepower. So Jack climbed up on the back of a gorgeous palomino and posed with just about everyone including the Queen of Norco and her court.
But before all of the ceremony, we captured the moment when Beckman met Garcia. Jack let Mikey try on his NHRA championship ring and Mikey in turn let Jack hold his title belts. We’ll let you in on a little known fact, both the ring and the belts are surprisingly heavy, much more so then they look. Two world champions, two men who know what it’s like to train and work and fight to reach the pinnacle of their sports, and both sharing a love of drag racing. Yeah, it was a great day all around.