Duck Tape Racing's Roll Continues; Beard Wins Carolina Coalition

November 20, 2006

Rockingham, N.C. - The obvious headline of "Duck Tape On A Roll" may be overused, but there's no better way to describe the dominance shown by the Duck Tape brand duct tape sponsored 1980 Volare, driven by Michael Beard. Beard outlasted the best drivers in the Carolinas at the season finale of the Torco Race Fuels Carolina Coalition series at Rockingham Dragway, in Rockingham, N.C., to take the Footbrake class win Saturday night. It was Beard's third win in the last four weeks, and his fifth of the season.

Saturday's Footbrake class took eight rounds of competition to complete. The Duck Tape Volare ran dead-on in four of those rounds, twice "with a zero". Beard trailered multi-time champion Richard Alford, the 5.2-second 135mph Thunderbird of former Farmington Dragway champ Robert Benge, Jr., and recently crowned Rockingham track champ and IHRA Division 1 Modified Champion Eric Aman en route to the win.

In Sunday's competition, Beard recorded consecutive reaction times of .012, .010, and .004 before falling in the fourth round with a -.006 red light. The Volare ran dead-on two more times among those runs.

"The car was just stuck this weekend," said Beard. "A lot of guys complimented me the next day on driving the stripe, but to be honest, I didn't do a whole lot of finish line driving. I did a lot of work dialing the car, though. You always try to do that on paper, but it doesn't always work out that way. This time, the car ran what I wanted it to run almost every time.

"I'm so happy with this car right now," he smiled. "It was a long, frustrating year, until the end of the summer, when my dad and Billy Nees fixed the problems, and tweaked some things on the car. For a long time, I was wondering if the car COULD win, but I remember something Billy told me years ago: 'Michael, I've never had a good car that went down the track right the first time'. There's still a few improvements on our to-do list, but there's no doubt now that this car is a winner!"

Beard thanked Duck Tape brand duct tape, Loctite, Polyseamseal, and the rest of the Henkel family of products, along with Mickey Thompson Tires, K&N Filters, Billy Nees Race Cars, Stephen Beard, Sloan Racing Engines, Biondo Racing Products, Matt Zapp, Terry Knott, and Scott Macy.

Beard Rocks Roxboro for Second Stock/Super Stock Combo Win
November 12, 2006
Roxboro, NC - Winning the Stock/Super Stock Iron Man Classic at Roxboro Motorsports Dragway in Roxboro, N.C. two weeks ago put a positive outlook going into the IHRA Division 1 Summit Team Finals in Rockingham, N.C. To make a long story short, however, the Duck Tape Volare was trailered in the first round of eliminations in three separate events over the course of the four-day event.

This weekend marked a turnaround once again, both literally and figuratively. The Duck Tape Volare returned to Roxboro for the season finale of the Stock/Super Stock Series, and in his second race at the facility, Michael Beard came away with his second victory. After taking the winner's circle photos, track manager Allen Carpenter offered, "You can just park here, next time!"

The victory brings Beard's total to four wins out of eight final round appearances in 2006. It was his 120th career victory.

Beard Scores Top 10 in World, Captures Roxboro Iron Man Classic
October 29, 2006
Roxboro, NC - Team Duck Tape's Michael Beard finished out the IHRA national and divisional event tour on a strong note, by setting the J/CM class World Record at a 7.341 at the Kinston, NC Div. 9 Pro-Am Tour event to finish second in points in Division 9 Stock.  Beard also accumulated enough rounds at the final IHRA eMax Drag Racing Series event of the season to finish tied for 9th in the World in Stock.

Capitalizing on two more good points finishes, Beard made his first trip to Roxboro Dragway, in Roxboro, N.C., to compete in an independent Stock/Super Stock Combo series.  The event was the headliner of the series, with an IHRA Iron Man trophy on the line.  Beard blazed through the rounds in the Duck Tape Volare to capture the winner's purse, as well as his third Iron Man of the 2006 season.  Beard had only two reaction times during the event worse than an .019, and the Volare repeated its projected 7.17 elapsed time on nearly every run.

Duck Tape Volare Skyrockets After Double-Header Double-Up!
September 18, 2006
Jackson, SC - 
The turnaround for Duck Tape Racing's southern half began with the Volare's August layover at Billy Nees Race Cars. Nees and Stephen Beard installed a complete new fuel system and a new ignition system, which finally cured the Volare's engine miss once and for all. They also made suspension adjustments and worked on other details on the car that have contributed to the car's overall driveability and performance. While the car was performing flawlessly, driver Michael Beard was still searching for a little luck, and some fine-tuning on reaction times. The car made laps at the Amalie Oil North American Nationals, Sept. 8-10, winning the first round of eliminations in 'prime time' before the Pro cars ran, in front of a packed house. An opponent's dead-on run Sunday morning ended the Duck's weekend in round two, however.

The IHRA Division 2 Mr. Gasket Pro-Am Tour double-header at Carolina Dragway, in Jackson, S.C., Sept. 16-17, marked the long-awaited turning point. Saturday's race was held in conjunction with IHRA's Thunder Jam show. The Duck Tape Volare made it to the final round of Stock Eliminator in front of a capacity crowd, taking home a runner-up finish, despite a dead-on run. Beard defeated Randy Tatman, Hillarey Sloan, Rusty Hall, Wesley Tucker, and Gene Jordan before falling to Div. 9 points leader, Travis Womble in the finals.

On Sunday, Beard made it two finals in a row, and broke through for the Stock win to earn his second Iron Man trophy of the season. Beard had an .027 light against Wesley Tucker in the first round, and then was no worse than .023 throughout the remainder of eliminations, against Myron Piatek, Tom Gould, Bob Lunholm, Mike Mayhew, and BJ Bianchi.

"I can't thank everyone enough for sticking with us through this long, rough summer," said Beard. "I feel like the season just started a few weeks ago. I can trust the car again, and I had some luck when I needed it. This weekend has gone a long way toward bringing my confidence back." Beard thanked Duck Tape brand duct tape, Loctite, Polyseamseal, Mickey Thompson Tires, K&N Filters, Billy Nees Race Cars, Sloan Racing Engines, Torco Race Fuels, Biondo Racing Products, Scott Macy, Terry Knott, Matt Zapp, and his dad Stephen Beard for all their support.

Beard jumps from 17th to 2nd in the IHRA Division 9 points chase, and from outside the Top 40 in the national points standings to 10th in the World.

Knott Knocks Out NSCA Jeg's Stock/Super Stock Win
August 13, 2006
Thompson, OH - 
The NSCA is the National Street Car Association, made up of primarily heads-up street-legal professional categories.  Jeg's stepped up to sponsor a Stock/Super Stock Combo at each NSCA National event. This allowed Terry Knott to compete at the event with his '73 Dart Sport.  Although the event didn't include a class for his cars, Matt Zapp was on hand with his team Duck Tape cars on display along with his trailer in a primary spot, alongside the staging lanes.

Knott cut a path through the Stock and Super Stock cars in convincing fashion, landing squarely in the winner's circle after defeating former Thompson track champion Bob Shieff in the finals.  The win was Knott's first career Stock win, crowning an already solid season, where he finished 3rd in IHRA Division 1 Stock.

Duck Tape Racing Team Highlights 3rd Annual DragFest
August 13, 2006
Thompson, OH -
Three Duck sponsored cars competed on Saturday night July 29. The 71 Chevelle, the 66 Chevelle and the Duck Dragster. The results were unbelievable!

Mike Hupertz drove the 71 Duck Chevelle to the final round and finished second! Matt Zapp drove the 66 Duck Chevelle to the semifinal round and finished third. Mike Schiberl drove the Duck Dragster to the quarterfinals and finished 6th. With only 6 cars remaining in the main race class, 3 of the entries were Duck sponsored!

Duck Tape Duster Makes Final Round in First $1,500 No-Box Race at the Ultimate 64 Shootout
June 10, 2006
Clay City, KY - In the first of three days of racing, Michael Beard put Team Duck Tape in the final round of the $1,500 No-Box race at Mountain Park Dragway in Clay City, Ky., part of the Ultimate 64 Shootout weekend, making it among the toughest fields ever assembled.  Beard faced local favorite Anthony Blackburn in the finals, who won the tight match with an .028 reaction time and dead-on 6.743 to Beard's .030 and .01-over 7.36.

Duck Tape Duster Among Last Standing at Rained-Out Carolina Coalition
June 5, 2006

Mooresville, NC - Although rain halted the action at 7:00pm Sunday night, the Duck Tape Duster was still left in competition heading into the 6th round.  The race was called, and the purse split among the nine remaining cars in the Footbrake category.

Double-Stick Duster Wins Iron Man Classic
May 30, 2006

Rockingham, NC - Rockingham Dragway hosted a three-day Memorial holiday weekend extravaganza, the Iron Man Classic, presented by Drag Review magazine.  Each day, the winners of the Top and Footbrake classes ran off for a coveted Iron Man trophy.  The weekend also marked the final points days toward qualifying for the IHRA Division 1 Summit Team Finals, and the Rockingham Dragway track championship.  Michael Beard drove the Duck Tape/K&N/Mickey Thompson -backed '74 Duster to great 5th round finishes on both Saturday and Monday, but the greatest reward came on Sunday.  Beard drove his way through 9 rounds of competition and many of the toughest footbrakers in the Carolinas to capture his first Footbrake victory of the year, including Roger Rhodes, Steve Alford, Eric Aman, Jeff Faucet, and Derek Harris.  Beard returned to face the Top ET winner, former IHRA Hot Rod World Champion, Danny Waters, Jr., piloting his Quick Rod dragster.  Beard got the win light, and the Iron Man, by .005 seconds.

Beard ran an amazing 20 rounds of eliminations in three days, vaulting him from virtually nowhere to finish 3rd in the Rockingham Dragway points!

Duster Makes Fourth Round at Mooresville
May 13, 2006

Mooresville, NC - Scheduling happened to work out just right this weekend where I was able to take my girlfriend to watch the NASCAR Busch race at Darlington Raceway Friday night.  It was my first big roundy-round race, so it was a good experience.  We had seats about halfway up the grandstand on the front stretch, just past the start/finish, affording us a view of the entire track, except for directly below us.  Our favorites, Carl Edwards (Team Duck Tape!) and Kasy Kahne both qualified up in the front two rows, but had to start in the back after making post qualifying changes to their cars.  To be honest, I didn't watch the Top 5 cars hardly at all during the night.  It was pure entertainment watching Carl and Kasey (along with Kevin Harvick, who also had to start in the back) cut a swatch through the field.  Given the length of the race, Top 10 finishes for Carl and Kevin were outstanding, and Kasey finished 11th.   Lesson learned though:  get a scanner/headset so you can hear the broadcast!  Congrats to Carl and the rest of the Henkel team on an outstanding effort and performance.  We got a tiny bit of exposure for the team as well, as we overheard the kids behind us reading the "" on the back of my hat.  LOL

On Saturday, we went to Mooresville Dragway for their PRO Drag Series.  The car was deadly once again, I kicked off qualifying with a .006 reaction time, and had no worse than an .026 in eliminations. I made it to the fourth round of competition, losing with an .013 light and a 7.358 on a 7.34 dial to an .020 and dead-on 6.992 for my opponent.  Margin of victory, .009 seconds.  As it turns out, I had the best reaction time of that round, which means that I probably ran the only driver that round that could beat my run, so we'll chalk that up to "another one of those racing things".  The best part is that both the car and driver and working well, so we'll just keep after it!

Knott Continues Strong Stock Run
May 6, 2006

Salem, OH Terry Knott capitalized on his strong double semifinals at MIR by continuing his great performance at the IHRA Division 3 Mr. Gasket Pro-Am Tour season opener, at Quaker City Raceway, in Salem, Ohio.  Knott just missed a berth into the finals by falling to eventual winner Brett Riethmiller in the quarterfinals, who then had the bye run into the finals.  Knott's solid showing vaults him into 2nd place in the IHRA Division 1 Stock points, and 14th in the World.


Volare Sidelined By Gremlins; Duster Returns to Solid Opening
May 6, 2006

Greensboro, NC  The Duck Tape Volare ran last Thursday night at Piedmont Dragway's Big Dog Shootout, competing in a special 32-car Stock/Super Stock Shootout, in front of a capacity crowd nearing 6,000 spectators.  (Results/Photos: )   Unfortunately, electrical gremlins cropped up once again, and forced a first round loss.  The car is currently parked, awaiting a complete rewiring which will hopefully cure this recurring problem once and for all.  

The Piedmont IHRA Pro-Am had to be wiped off the slate, but will be replaced with the Tri-State (Cincinatti, OH) Pro-Am the week before the late August national event in Norwalk, OH.  The '74 Duster back-up car was brought out to compete at a Summit SuperSeries event at Farmington, NC, just outside of Winston-Salem.  The car ran remarkably, and even the driver was working well.  ;-)  I made it to the third round, where my opponent and I broke out by .001 seconds... the computer gave the win to my opponent by some ten-thousandths of a second...

Frustration at the IHRA Spring Nationals
April 21-23, 2006

Rockingham, NC - This past weekend, the Duck Tape Volare was at the IHRA Spring Nationals at Rockingham Dragway, Rockingham, NC.  It would be the first 1/4-mile event for the new engine.  I set the car up for a good qualifying run, and was rewarded with an 11.195 second, 117 mph blast, nearly a full second under the I/CM class index.  The run held up for the 24th qualifying position in a field of 76 cars.  I faced Randy Tatman in the opening round of eliminations, who we had gotten by in the second round at the Mooresville Pro-Am.  This time, despite an .020 reaction time, and running under the dial by just .009 seconds, Tatman's .015 light and perfect 11.180 on an 11.18 was simply unbeatable.

With Sunday "off", we were able to add an additional event to the schedule, and headed north for Piedmont Dragway's second points event in their regular series... and the ignition miss came back.  The car fell a tenth off the pace in each successive run, rendering the great .013 and .011 reaction times in time trials meaningless.  The car stumbled down the track first round, and to rub salt into the wound, my opponent closed up the finish line to .001 seconds.
Every single component in the engine compartment has been replaced at some point.  The only things that remain to even be tried on the car are 1) completely rewiring the car (which is on the docket), 2) a fuel pump, or 3) an exorcist.   We'll go back to work, and hopefully have this thing cured (again!) before the Big Dog Shootout, Thursday May 4, and the IHRA Div. 9 Pro-Am, May 5-6-7, all at Piedmont Dragway.
Thanks for STICKIN' with us.  We'll beat this thing yet.

Knott Scores Back to Back Semis
April 9, 2006

Mechanicsville, MD  - Rain forced a scheduled double-header IHRA Division 1 season opener to be compressed into a single day.  Duck Tape Racing's Terry Knott drove his World Championship-winning Duck Tape Dart Sport to more round wins than any other driver over the course of the weekend, using his tremendous consistency to carry him to the semifinals of Stock Eliminator in two separate events in the same day!  Highlights included Knott's victory over 14-time World Champion Anthony Bertozzi in the early rounds of the first event, and a perfect .000 reaction time on his quarterfinal round bye run in the second event.  Knott kicks off the season now ranked 2nd in Division 1 points, trailing only defending Division Champion Jim Harrington.  Duck Tape Racing's Matt Zapp didn't fare as well, recording two first round losses in Hot Rod against nearly unbeatable opponents, despite great performances from both the driver and his Duck Tape '66 Chevelle.

Meanwhile, Michael Beard waited through a Saturday rainout in Farmington, North Carolina as well, for the second weekend of the Torco Race Fuels Carolina Coalition series.  Beard made it to the 3rd round of competition in the Duck Tape Volare.

Duck Tape Volare Finally Cured!
April 2, 2006

Mooresville, NC  - It has been a trying season for the Michael Beard's Duck Tape -backed Volare.  Despite great results in testing and an IHRA World Record at the Rockingham IHRA Mr. Gasket Pro-Am, something was amiss, quite literally.  The ignition miss developed in the second round of eliminations at that event.  Since then, we changed nearly every related component on the car, including the alternator, ignition box, voltage regulator, starter solenoid, ballast resistor, distributor cap, plug wires, carburetor and coil, checked valve springs, added redundant ground wires, bypassed the ignition switch, and about anything else we could think of.    A set of spark plugs cured the problem at the Farmington Pro-Am... or so we thought.  Engine builder Tim Sloan's warning that "new plugs can sometimes cover up another problem" was prophetic.  The miss returned the following week, leading to a first round loss at Farmington's Summit SuperSeries season opener (Winston-Salem, NC).  The same weekend, the Volare limped to a 3rd round loss at Piedmont Dragway's season opener (Greensboro, NC).  While changing the fuel filter, we discovered a fuel leak elsewhere in the car... but that wasn't the cause of the problem.

The third IHRA Mr. Gasket Pro-Am event of the Division 9 schedule loomed close, taking place this past weekend at Mooresville Dragway in Mooresville, NC, just north of Charlotte.  With no indication that we were going to be able to get the car running right, we skipped official qualifying runs and just run the Saturday night Stock/Super Stock Combo race, so that we would retain the option to withdraw from the event and not have to take a bad points claim.  Another fresh set of spark plugs did nothing to alleviate the ignition miss this time, on our only time trial. With Sloan's help, we were going to replace the distributor, and then found a broken wire leading to it.  We replaced all of the distributor wire connections, satisfied that we had fixed the problem.  While a first round red light didn't help the cause, we also found out that the miss, although not as pronounced, was still evident.  We carried on with our original plan of replacing the distributor completely, and for good measure, opted to change the carburetor jetting, since the air was so much different from all the other events we've been to this year, with much higher temperatures and humidity, and a falling barometer.  It was then that we found the fuel bowl float in the back of the carburetor was often getting stuck.  Short version of an hour's struggle: we ended up changing the jet extensions to a different type that the float wouldn't be able to get stuck on.  Also unrelated to our actual problem, we found problems in the alternator charging system, and some quick rewiring fixed that.  A friend once told us, "You'll fix a hundred things, and only one of them will fix the problem you were trying to fix".

We decided to officially enter the Pro-Am on Sunday morning.  Unfortunately, we were not afforded any more test runs, so we went straight into first round of eliminations blind.  Saturday night's two runs were a 7.29 and a 7.25.  A 7.28 dial was chosen as our target time against the always tough Mark Beaver and his new B/FIA Camaro, just in case the miss was still there to slow the car.

"As soon as I came out of the burnout box, I knew it sounded better," said Beard.  "When the car launched, I KNEW it was fixed! I knew I was headed for a breakout run, so as soon as I put it in high gear, I started getting off and on the throttle as my opponent chased me down.  I killed 12 mph and ran a 7.283, dead-on, and met my opponent exactly on the finish line with a margin of victory printed on the time slip of .000!"

The timing computer awarded the dead heat win to Mark Beaver, but Beaver failed to scale after the run to check to see if his car met the minimum weight for the class, so Beard was reinstated.  Beaver later told Beard that he broke the motor on that run, and knew he couldn't continue anyway.

Beard won the second round against Randy Tatman's F/CM Firebird on a big holeshot when Tatman encountered problems on the starting line.  Beard lifted to a 7.282, dropping 16 mph.   The only problem is, we still had no idea how fast the car could really run flat out in these conditions!

Beard dialed a 7.17 in the third round against Greg Fulk's six-cylinder V/SA Nova, dialed a 9.52.  Fulk got the better reaction time, and his close 9.53 pass forced Beard (thankfully!) to keep his foot in it and record a breakout 7.159.  That great run, just a hundredth of a second off the national record, in air density 3000' worse proved that the car is finally cured!  The 60' times while the car had the miss were often 1.51's, and have now dropped back to their typical 1.47-1.48 times.

Thanks to Tim Sloan of Sloan Racing Engines for his problem solving help, and to our outstanding backers, Duck Tape, Loctite, K&N Filters, and Mickey Thompson Tires, who help make it all possible!  Each received mention in the latest Drag Review magazine (March 31, Issue #6) in the Rockingham coverage (pg 20), and in the 1/8th Mile Records for I/CM (pg 70).

Duck Tape Racing's Record in Rockingham
March 5, 2006

Rockingham, NC  - The 2006 IHRA Mr. Gasket Pro-Am Tour is officially underway, and the Rockingham, NC event is in books. In preparation for the new season, Sloan Racing Engines built a new 360 Magnum crate motor for the team's I/CM '80 Volare. We tested the new combination first at the Spring Blast in Rockingham, where over 3,500 spectators and 400 racers enjoyed excellent conditions... until the rain came. On the car's maiden voyage, it ran a 7.08 in the 1/8th mile. Testing continued at Piedmont Dragway in Greensboro, NC the following day, netting a best of a 6.99 at 97 mph in the 1/8th mile, well below the current I/CM class World Record of a 7.15.

Rockingham opened its gates this past weekend to 384 race teams for the Mr. Gasket Pro-Am Tour. The Volare began it's record hunt with a 7.05 right off the trailer. In order to officially claim a World Record, the run must be backed up with a second run within 1% (a 7.12 in this case). Driver error led to an off-pace 7.144 on the back-up run, but because it was still quicker than the record, the 7.05 provided the back-up for the slower run. We now hold the I/CM World Record at a 7.144! The record also gives us 5 bonus points in the championship chase.

In Saturday night's Stock/Super Stock combo race, the Volare made it down to the quarter-finals, losing a close double breakout in the 5th round of competition. Sunday's main event chalked up a second round loss due to an engine miss caused by electrical gremlins that we think we have since found.

This weekend, it's back to Rockingham for the season opening two-day event for the Torco Race Fuels Carolina Coalition.

Volare Duck Flies In Testing
February 26-27, 2006

Rockingham, NC  - With the new Sloan Racing Engines 360 Magnum Mopar Crate Engine tucked under the hood, Michael Beard was able to complete one eighth-mile break-in run before rain shortened the Spring Blast at Rockingham Dragway in Rockingham, NC. With nothing set up for speed except for the Mickey Thompson 9x30" radials, the Volare popped the wheels 8" off the ground, belting out a 1.478 60' time, and a 7.085 in the 1/8th mile, .07 seconds quicker than the current IHRA I/CM World Record!

On Sunday, February 27, testing moved to Piedmont Dragway in Greensboro, NC.  The weather got cooler, and the wind turned from a head wind to a tailwind.  The Volare made three laps, starting out with a baseline 7.08.  With a progressively better burnout, the car responded with a 7.002.  On the final run, the Volare put up all the magic numbers.  An .014 light kicked off a powerful 1.455 short time with the wheels in the air, and knocked down an exciting 6.994 second run at 97.09 mph!  We're looking forward to next week's IHRA Division 9 Mr. Gasket Pro-Am Tour season opener at Rockingham!

Beard Finds Success in North Carolina Early
January 9, 2006

Farmington, NC - I completed my move to North Carolina just after the holidays.  The weather has been absolutely outstanding, and I've had the opportunity to compete in three races already: New Year's Day at Thunder Valley Dragway in Red Springs, NC, and then the 2-day Winter Bracket Nationals at Farmington Motorsports Park, just outside of Winston-Salem, NC.

Driving the Duster bracket car, I was able to make it to the finals both days at Farmington.  It was an odd feeling, but I had a half-dozen people come up to me over the course of the weekend saying, "I've always wanted to meet you!"  Tons of people knew all the team cars.  It was rather flattering, and good to know that we have such recognizability in a market where we previously were only able to race a limited number of times per year..  I had the opportunity to talk Duck Tape, tires, and filters with lots of folks.  It couldn't have been a much better weekend! 

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