IHRA World Finals Clinches Points Chase Runner-Up
October 26, 2007
Rockingham, NC - Team Duck Tape's Michael Beard was faced with not only the daunting task of coming up with a final round appearance to steal the IHRA Stock World Championship from Anthony Bertozzi, but he also had to fend off four other tough challengers. Beard entered the last race of the IHRA Knoll-Gas Nitro Jam series in second place in Stock, as the lone driver who could topple Bertozzi's reign. Nick Folk, Robbie Shaw, Division 9 Champ Scott Macy, and defending World Champion Myron Piatek each had a chance to pass Beard for second, however.
Qualifying became a game in itself, as Bertozzi attempted to position himself on the ladder where he could face Beard himself in the opening round. He missed that goal by just a hundredth of a second. The ladder didn't fall easily for Beard, however.
In the first round, Beard used an .011 light to deny NHRA Jeg's Allstar Clint Blezien the win light by just .001 seconds. Dave Ribeiro challenged Beard in round two with an .022 light, but Beard' .015 and .01-over pushed Ribeiro into a breakout. A substantial holeshot allowed Beard to get passed Travis Womble in round three. One of Bertozzi's hired guns, Division 1 Champion Jim Harrington, was the next to try to stop Beard's roll. Harrington put up a game .024 light, but broke out by .004 against Beard's tough .012-initiated 11.401 on an 11.39 dial. With only six cars remaining in eliminations, Mike Mayhew stopped Beard with a perfect 12.000 on a 12.00 dial, while Beard broke out by .001.
Although the championship remained two rounds out of his grasp, Beard could breathe a sigh of relief as those chasing him, Shaw, Piatek, Macy, and Folk, fell in successive rounds."This has got to be the toughest group of rounds I have ever run in my life," said Beard. "Every win light was like winning a national event. It would've been great to win the World Championship, but I feel really good about how I drove this weekend, and how the whole season has gone. I won two championships, and runnered-up in two more, so I can't feel bad!"
Wins Again In South Carolina
Pageland, SC - The Duck Tape brand duct tape team continued on an unprecedented roll this weekend, at Pageland Dragway, in Pageland, S.C. Team driver Michael Beard competed in two eliminators with his J/CM '80 Volare, including a Stock/Super Stock Combo, and the Mickey Thompson Ironman Club Shootout, a race reserved solely for Pageland Dragway racers who won a points race in 2007.
Beard knocked off Super Stock racer Bob Earnhardt in the semifinals of the S/SS Combo, and went on to win the title over Jamie Southards I/CM '74 Duster. Southards ran perfectly dead-on with a 6.970, but Beard took the win on a holeshot with an .014 reaction time and a 7.203 on a 7.19 dial-in.
In the Mickey Thompson Ironman Club Shootout, Beard advanced to another final round, but this time his opponent, Chad Williams prevailed. Williams got the holeshot in his Vega, and won the double breakout, 6.224 on a 6.23, to Beard's 7.181 on a 7.20. Williams won the Footbrake Ironman, while Brian Hicks captured the Top ET Ironman.
"I wish I could've won that one, but the important thing is that we've got two guys that were running a different tire that will now be on Mickey Thompsons next year," said Beard.
"This string has been absolutely unbelievable," exclaimed Beard. "I won the last two points races at Pageland, doubled up at Jackson, was still in the gambler's race at the Bracket Finals when they called it off, runnered-up in Class Eliminations at Maryland, and now two finals in one night at Pageland! Hopefully I have enough left over in the luck bank to get the final round we need at Rockingham next weekend to win the World Championship.
"I had a little excitement early on in the night at Pageland," reported Beard. "They told me that my fuel pump was leaking. With the help from some other Stock racers, I took the pump apart, but couldn't find anything wrong. We put it back together, and tested it. It seemed okay, but just as a precaution, I Duck Taped a rag around it for the night. You never know when you're going to need a roll!"
This weekend, Beard will compete in two more Stock/Super Stock Combos, including Roxboro Motorsports Dragway, in Roxboro, NC Saturday night, and Piedmont Dragway in Greensboro, NC on Sunday. Beard is the defending champion at Roxboro's S/SS Ironman Classic, and is undefeated at that track.
Duck Tape Race Report from Maryland Int'l Raceway
September 29, 2007
Budds Creek, MD - Both Terry Knott and Michael Beard were in competition Duck Tape Racing this past weekend at the IHRA Torco Race Fuels President's Cup Nationals at Maryland International Raceway, in Budds Creek, Md. The event featured heads-up Class Eliminations for Stock Eliminator, in addition to the regular national event qualifying and eliminations.
Terry Knott (right) outran Mike Bolton in the first round of heads-up F/CM competition, 10.94 to an 11.03. Knott then captured the F/CM honors over Chip Johnson, posting a stout 10.896 at 120.49 mph to Johnson's 11.089 at 118.66 mph. In J/CM, Beard narrowly outran Tony Ward in the first round, 11.441 to 11.442, thanks to a .008 reaction time. In the J/CM class finals, recently crowned IHRA Div. 2 Champion Michael Beard squared off with IHRA Div. 9 Champion Scott Macy, each driving a Sloan Racing Engines 360 Magnum Mopar crate motor powered Plymouth Volares. Beard's .004 light couldn't outshine Macy's .008 light, and Macy held on for the win, 11.380 at 114.16 mph to Beard's 11.400 at 115.54 mph. DragRaceCentral.com reported, "What an amazing, amazing, race. Think both of these guys were serious? Talk about Biondo, Fletcher, and the others all you want. I say these guys need to be in the conversation, too. Beard gets bragging rights on the tree but I guess a fly landed on his hood at 1300 feet as he loses by .0162 of a second." (ref. http://www.dragracecentral.com/DRCStory.asp?ID=147150&Filter=Year2007#indextop )
In the main event, Beard fell in round two, while Knott exited in the third frame. With one national event remaining, Beard is the only driver left with a chance to knock off points leader Anthony Bertozzi for the IHRA Stock World Championship. Just like his chase for the Div. 2 title, Beard needs to make it to the finals to score his second World Championship.
Another Undefeated Day for Duck Tape
September 21, 2007
Steele, AL - Alabama International Dragway, in Steele, Ala., hosted the IHRA Div. 2 Summit Team Finals, a four day tournament featuring only the top drivers from each of fifteen tracks in the southeast. Two gamblers races were contested, in addition to the main event, where drivers earned points for their track to determine a Team Champion. In the second gamblers race, on Friday, the Duck Tape Volare driven by Michael Beard rolled through round after round as the night wore on. In the fifth round, Beard got the win light with an .011 reaction time and a 7.27 on a 7.26 dial. He earned the bye run going into the sixth round, where he improved to a .005 light.
"Right after I got back to the pits, they called all the drivers to the base of the tower," reported Beard. "A dragster had broken an axle, and spewed gear oil all the way down the track. It was already 2:30 in the morning, so they decided to call the race, and split the purse among the remaining winners. We were down to five cars, so it was a nice payday.
"Do we count that one as a win?" joked Beard.
Dominates Carolina For IHRA Div. 2 Stock Championship
Jackson, SC - The final stop on the IHRA Summit Pro-Am Tour for 2007, at Jackson, S.C.'s Carolina Dragway, presented both a challenge and an opportunity for Michael Beard, part of the Duck Tape brand duct tape racing team. One year ago, Beard left Carolina with both a runner-up and a win, helping to push him to a second place finish in the 2006 IHRA Div. 9 Stock points. This year was another do-or-die situation. Reigning World Champion Myron Piatek deposed Anthony Bertozzi from the points lead with a clutch "must-win" at Darlington, forcing Beard to come up with one final round appearance between the two races of the double-header event in order to pass either of the top contenders.
Beard qualified in the top half of the field on Saturday, where a semifinal bye run was available. He survived the first four rounds of competition, including races decided by .007 and .001 seconds, to earn that semifinal bye, and thus clinch the IHRA Division 2 Stock Championship. In the finals, Beard used an .018 reaction time to get the nod in a double-breakout against Rusty Hall's C/SA Mustang.
On Sunday, Beard qualified in a similar position on the ladder. Four more tight races decided by .005, .013, .010, and .008 led to another semifinal bye run, where he carded a .006 light and ran a close 7.237 on a 7.24. Ironically, Beard's final round opponent was Piatek, who he had just relegated to second in the Division. Piatek got the holeshot, .012 to .032, but he spun the tires, leaving Beard to cruise to his second victory in as many days.
"It's unbelievable!" exclaimed Beard. "Carolina Dragway has been very good to me. I hoped that I could pull it off, but anything can happen in any given round. We didn't finish Saturday's race until almost 3 a.m., so I was working on a little more than 24 hours at the time. We got five hours sleep, then got up and did it again. I was tickled to death to clinch the Division Championship, so anything on Sunday was gravy. I wasn't even thinking about national points coming into this weekend. Now I'm less than two rounds out of the lead! I have some work to do, no doubt, but I'm sitting in a better position to win the World than I was the Division a week ago!
"As much as drag racing is an individual sport when you're on the track itself, it definitely takes a team's support off the track to help get it done," noted Beard. "I'm so happy to be able to win a Division Championship for Duck Tape, Loctite, Mickey Thompson Tires, and K&N Filters. I hope we can win another World Championship for them, too."
Northern Swing, and a World Record
Seagrove, NC - Duck Tape's southern franchise made the northern swing through Martin, Mich., and Epping, N.H. to compete at two consecuative IHRA National Events. The 3,200 mile round trip started off well, at the Torco Race Fuels Northern Nationals, helad at Knoll-Gas Motorsports Park, in Martin, Mich. There, Michael Beard's Volare was reunited with two other Team Duck Tape cars, the Dart Sport of Terry Knott, as well as the Super Stock S-10, which was piloted by 2005 Summit World Champion, Rick Baehr.
Beard was a qualifier in the prestigious Moser Axle Mania Sportsman Showdown, which pitted a total of 32 All-Stars from among seven different sportsman categories, racing for an astounding $51,000 purse. Eliminations were conducted during the Pro show, in front of a capacity crowd. Beard knocked off Top Sportsman driver Jeff Solyan in the opening round, then fell to another former World Champion, Troy Williams, Jr. in his Top Dragster.
The event also included Class Eliminations for Stock Eliminator, where Beard picked up the J/CM class title. Terry Knott fell in the finals of the H/CM class. In regular eliminations, Knott broke out in the first round, Baehr advanced to the second round of Super Stock, and Beard made it to the 4th round of Stock.
From Michigan, Beard continued on to the Amalie Oil North American Nationals at New England Dragway in Epping, N.H., although the trip only resulted in a first round loss. During the same weekend, however, Terry Knott carried the Duck Tape torch to a semifinal finish at the NSCA National Event at Thompson Raceway Park, in Thompson, Ohio.
Back in the Carolinas, Beard celebrated Labor Day weekend with a double header between the IHRA Summit Pro-Am Tour event at Darlington, S.C., and a Summit Super Series points race at Pageland Dragway. The long weekend began early with a "teardown party" on Friday at Darlington. Engine builder Tim Sloan, and several fellow Stock racers pitched in to help as we pulled a cylinder head to allow IHRA officials to inspect and validate the legality of the 360 Magnum crate motor. Officials check the size of the combustion chambers, the valves, the bore and stroke, camshaft, and many other components to make sure they conform to the stringent rules of the class. With the thumbs up on everything, the engine was put back together and sealed, in preparation for Record Runs on Saturday. The existing 1/4-mile J/CM class record was an 11.778, which Beard successfully reset to an 11.731, gaining both the National Record and the important 5 bonus points that went with it. After setting the record, the Volare was loaded up, and Beard headed for Pageland Dragway. There, Beard won the event to pull within one round of the Summit Super Series points leader for the track. If Beard wins just one round this coming Saturday, he will take the lead on a tie-breaker, and qualify for the World Championship Qualifying Shootout held at the IHRA Div. 2 Summit Team Finals later this month in Alabama. Beard returned to Darlington on Sunday, and made it to the 3rd round. With two Pro-Am points claims left, Beard can still capture the IHRA Div. 2 Stock Championship with a final round appearance at one of those two races, coming up in Jackson, S.C.
Beard currently lies 4th in IHRA Div. 2 Stock, 6th in the World in Stock, 2nd in the Summit Super Series at Pageland Dragway, and clinched the championship at Rockingham Dragway earlier this season.
"It's been a phenomenal season," said Beard. "Things slowed down in the middle of the summer, but we're getting right back into the swing of things now as we turn the corner, looking forward to our most important part of the season. Just having a shot at two more championships is an honor! Setting the J/CM National Record at Darlington was a very special experience. That was the first time that I've been involved in the teardown procedure. With as much racing as we do in the Carolinas, every year is like two or three seasons up north. This engine must have over 300 runs on it already, and when we had it apart, everything looked great. That's a testimony not only to Sloan Racing Engines, but also to the protective abilities of K&N air filters, valve cover breathers, and oil filters. Loctite products make sure that when everything is put back together, it stays together, with no leaks. No Duck Tape went into the teardown procedure, but it did repair a broken link of my EZ-Up tent this weekend, and it helped another racer fix his EGR block-off plate. And it goes without saying that the Mickey Thompson 9x29.5 radials have been repeating 60' times, typically within about .004 seconds. All of the sponsors that help make this possible are an integral part of this team's success."
Aids Duck Tape Team Points
Beard decided to skip the qualifying day at Kinston and
race at Pageland on Saturday. “The results were disappointing,” he
said. “However, all but one of the competitors in the Top 5 fell in
the opening round. I only dropped to 2nd in the chase for points.”
Rockingham Dragway Footbrake Championship
Rockingham, NC - The Memorial Bracket Nationals at Rockingham Dragway in Rockingham, North Carolina are over and Duck Tape Racing has secured a championship.
“With three days of racing, the points standings shuffled and by
Monday’s final event it was difficult to figure out exactly where
everyone stood,” said Team Duck Tape driver Michael Beard. “We
figured I tied with points leader and former track champion Dell
Britt. We had a runoff and I got the win light.”
for the 2007 Rockingham Dragway Bracket Series were crowned with
the completion of the annual Memorial Weekend Iron Man Classic.
Duck Tape Volare
Makes '07 Debut With Two Final Rounds
Greensboro, NC - Michael Beard continued to add to the best season start of his career. After recording two wins, a runner-up, and a semi with his Duck Tape/Mickey Thompson-backed "Dust Devil" Duster, Beard finally got the Duck Tape/Mickey Thompson-backed Volare back on track. After making two qualifying runs Saturday morning at Piedmont Dragway, in Greensboro, NC, for the IHRA Div. 9 Summit Pro-Am event, Beard drove 2-1/2 hours to Pageland Dragway in South Carolina to score a runner-up in Modified Saturday night, and reclaim the points lead there. On Sunday, back at Piedmont, Beard went one step further by capturing the Ironman in Stock Eliminator.
Terry Knott opened the season for the northern Duck Tape team at the
NSCA National Event in Columbus, Ohio. After surviving a long,
cold winter, the championship-winning G/CM Dart Sport ran dead-on in the
opening round, but a foul start ended the otherwise successful weekend
Beard Starts Strong in '07
Pageland, SC - Michael Beard has had a strong season start, despite fighting a stubborn miss problem, reminiscent of last year. After changing a fuel pump, fuel filter, alternator, and finally a coil and distributor, the Duck Tape sponsored "Dust Devil" finally seemed cured this Saturday night. Even through all the problems, Beard scored a semifinal at Pageland, SC two weeks ago, a runner-up last Sunday at Mooresville Dragway's Carolina Cup opener, and this weekend he capped off the string with a win at Pageland. Beard currently sits 3rd in Rockingham Dragway points, and is leading both the track points and Summit Super Series points at Pageland Dragway.
UPDATE: Beard backed up win at Pageland by carding his second straight victory there, on April 14.