Duck Tape Racing Captures 5th Ironman of 2008
October 6, 2008

Kinston, N.C. - Duck Tape Racing's Michael Beard covers a lot of ground, having competed in events from Florida to Texas, and Pennsylvania to Michigan.  The opening weekend of October found him closer to home, but still logging the miles.  On Saturday, Beard raced his way down to the final eight cars in an IHRA Summit Super Series bracket race at Piedmont Dragway in Greensboro, N.C.  On Sunday, Beard relocated his efforts to the IHRA Div. 9 Summit Pro-Am event at Kinston Dragstrip, in Kinston, N.C.  Pro-Am events hold qualifying runs on Saturday, and go straight into eliminations on Sunday.  Beard was placed on the bottom of the qualifying sheet, and entered eliminations without a single run on the track since his runner-up at this event last year, where he pulled the same "late arrival" stunt.  Good fortune aided Beard in getting past the first round, giving him the data he needed to be on an even keel with the rest of the field.  Beard waded through six rounds of eliminations to earn his fifth Ironman of the season, topping former champion Terry Taylor in the finals by just .001 seconds.

No Points, But All the Glory
July 12, 2008

New Alexandria, Penn. - Three days of competition were on tap at Pittsburgh Raceway Park, including two IHRA Summit Pro-Am Tour events, and the Pittsburgh Thunder Nationals, an IHRA Sportsman national event.  Friday's Pro-Am race was the last Divisional points claim for Duck Tape Racing's Michael Beard, and unfortunately, it ended with a disappointing -.009 red light in the first round.  Despite not being able to claim points in Saturday's Pro-Am, Beard bounced back to score a convincing win -- his second in Stock this year, and fourth Ironman of the season.  Beard defeated fellow Beaver Springs Dragway alumnus Wes McCracken in the final round.

Duck Tape Racing Continues Roll With Super Stock Win
June 4, 2008

Mooresville, N.C. - In recent weeks, Duck Tape Racing has been fire, consistently lighting win lights at a variety of venues.  Teammates Matt Zapp and Michael Beard both scored heads-up Index class wins two weeks ago with Zapp's Racers for Christ Super Street Shootout victory at Norwalk Raceway Park's NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series event and Beard's 7.0 Index win at Piedmont Dragway's Triad Thunder Series.  Over Memorial Weekend, Beard accomplished the unthinkable by double-entering and running himself in the finals of the Sunday $10K at the World Footbrake Challenge II, hosted by Bristol Dragway.

The action moved to Mooresvile Dragway, May 31 - June 1, for the IHRA Summit Pro-Am Tour, where Beard competed in both Stock and Super Stock.  Although he dropped a first round match in Stock by .007 seconds with his H/CM '80 Volare, Beard was able to shoe Johnny Fisher's SS/LA '80 Dodge Mirada to his second Super Stock Pro-Am victory of the year, complementing a Sportsman National runner-up at San Antonio.  The win moves Beard into the points lead in Division 3 Super Stock, and 7th in the World.  In Stock, Beard hangs onto 2nd place in Division 1, and 9th in the World.

Beard thanked sponsors Duck Tape brand duct tape, Mickey Thompson, K&N Filters, Bradley Auto Parts/Bumper-To-Bumper, Bearden Oil Co./Sunoco Race Fuels, Joe Gibbs Racing Oil, Scott Macy at Macy Motorsports, Billy Nees Race Cars, Tim Sloan at Sloan Racing Engines, Jim Bailey's, Stephen Beard, as well as teammates Matt Zapp, Terry Knott, and Johnny Fisher, and his fiance Jill.

Meanwhile, Zapp completed a successful test session with the Duck Tape GT/TC Super Stock S-10 pickup at Thompson Raceway Park, in Thompson, Ohio, in preparation for duty this summer.  Terry Knott was also testing over the weekend, piloting the Duck Tape H/CM Dart Sport at Quaker City Raceway, in Salem, Ohio.

Beard Sweeps Sunday $10K Final at World Footbrake Challenge II
May 28, 2008
Bristol, Tenn. - The Memorial Day holiday weekend was arguably one of the most important races on the schedule for Duck Tape Racing's Michael Beard, as an all-star cast rolled into Bristol Dragway in Bristol, Tenn., for "The World's Greatest Footbrake Race", the World Footbrake Challenge II.  Three days of racing saw winners crowned in Friday's $10,000 to win feature (Bob Tatum), a $50,000 race on Saturday (Scotty Richardson), and another $10,000 feature on Sunday (Beard).
First thing on Friday morning, Beard discovered a header tube that had cracked clean through.  After rigging together a patch using two Mountain Dew cans and a pair of hose clamps, Beard was able to drive the Duck Tape Volare through seven rounds of eliminations, to end up in the quarterfinals.  That night, with the help of Florida's Randy Larson, they pulled the header, and another fellow racer, Rodney Finchum, welded it back into shape.
Beard earned accolades on Saturday in the Run for the Money, where his .005 package tied with two other drivers for a share in the cash.  In the $50,000 main event however, all efforts were thwarted by the end of the second round.
After Sunday's $10,000, Beard entered the history books as one of a rare handful of drivers to have ever raced himself in the final round.  Ironically, Beard had just one entry for the race going into the weekend, but Piedmont Dragway stepped up to enter Beard into the race a second time.  At the end of the day, with only three cars remaining, the Duck Tape Volare accounted for two of those entries.  Beard held the bye run into the finals on one entry, and he defeated Tim Clinton's Chevelle in the semifinals with the other entry, so Beard was declared both the winner and the runner-up of the event! 

Obviously in shock and almost speechless, Beard simply stammered, I never imagined.  When later asked how it felt to pull of such a feat, Beard responded, I never would've imagined pulling off something like this. Been driving the same as always, just goes to show that anyone can do it. It's impossible for all those close races to fall one way, yet they did.  Almost every driver I ran was a multi-time track champion or Bracket Finals champion.  It was an honor.  We were running around so fast that I didn't have time to think about anything, but when that last win light came on, all I could say was 'Oh. My. God.'  It was unbelievable."


Beard averaged an .020 reaction time in 15 rounds of eliminations, and at one time had a string of seven hits no worse than .019 off the line.


"I have to thank Mike and Herb McCandless at Piedmont Dragway for putting up the second entry for me, and I very literally could not have done it without Randy Larson," said Beard. "He had a leaf blower to help keep the transmission cool, and a box fan for the engine.  I had my battery charger going, and I hardly shut the fan and water pump off after 3rd round.  We were making runs as close as seven minutes apart, timeslip to timeslip!  Between double-entries, I couldn't even go back to the pits.  I coasted up the Pro return road in front of the grandstands, looped around in the staging lanes, jumped out of the car and changed the competition number, changed my dial-in, found out which lane I had, and went down the race track again.  It was crazy!


"The fact that the we were able to pull this off was a great testimony to all of my sponsors, because we put that car through some serious punishment," Beard stated.  "You've got to have the best engine, transmission, filters, lubricants, tires... the whole works.  The car only moved .02 in 60' times all weekend long, on 30x9" M/T radials, and that's including Friday's runs with the cracked header!  I hurt a ring and pinion last week, so I had borrowed a center section from Scott Macy, who is my go-to guy for most projects on the car.  He's the best.  The next ring and pinion is going to Jim Bailey's new business called Finished, where they will undergo cryogenic processing and REM isotropic superfinishing to make them last."


Beard's supporters include Duck Tape brand duct tape, Mickey Thompson, K&N Filters, Bradley Auto Parts/Bumper-To-Bumper, Bearden Oil Co./Sunoco Race Fuels, Joe Gibbs Racing Oil, Sloan Racing Engines, Macy Motorsports, Jim Bailey's, Billy Nees Race Cars, his dad Stephen Beard, and his teammates Matt Zapp and Terry Knott.
"The only bad thing about the whole weekend was that I couldn't fix the broken header with Duck Tape, because you actually need metal to stand up to several hundred degrees," Beard joked.  "Randall Roop (Saturday semifinalist) and AJ Casini (Sunday quarterfinalist) used it to fix a leaking radiator cap and oil pan, respectively, though, so it still goes to show that Duck Tape is a racer's best friend!"
Photos and Video by Angela Macy

Duck Tape Racing Scores Two Wins in Two States
May 17, 2008

Greensboro, N.C. and Norwalk, Ohio - While the southern Ducks have been racing since February, it has only been recently that the northern counterparts have broken free of a long winter and a rainy spring.  Matt Zapp made the most of his still-young season during the Cavalcade of Stars at Summit Motorsports Park, in Norwalk, Ohio, part of the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series.  On Friday night, May 16, Racers for Christ sponsored an elite 8-car shootout for the Super Street (10.90 index) category.  Zapp piloted his '66 Chevelle to a 10.905 to qualify for the shootout in the third position.  Zapp posted a virtually untouchable .006 light and a dead-on 10.902 in the opening frame, and then survived a double-breakout in the semifinals by just .009 seconds.  In the finals, Zapp got the nod in another double-breakout contest over Linn Bebout by .002 seconds.

"It was a God thing," said Zapp, overcome with excitement. "The race was sponsored by Racers for Christ - what else can you say?  It feels so good to win one again!"
Zapp thanked Duck Tape brand duct tape, K&N Filters, Mickey Thompson Tires, Abruzzi Racing Transmissions, Zapp Trailer Sales, his father Bob, Uncle Buck, wife Haley, and sons Zach and Luke.
The following day, back in the south, Michael Beard took his '80 Volare to its first 7.0 Index class win, in just the second try.  Beard qualified on the pole with a 7.008, and bested a short field of 7.0 Index cars, and was then combined into the Pro Tree Eliminator bracket.  At the same time, Beard was also shoeing the Volare in the Stock/Super Stock show, where he advanced to the third round by overcoming Travis Womble's perfect .000 light in the first round, and then hitting a perfect .000 light of his own 2nd round.  The Duck Tape car then made it to the semi-finals of Pro Tree Eliminator.
"The rear end started making noise toward the end of qualifying," Beard reported.  "I won the 7.0 class, but the next run in Super Stock, the rear end sounded horrible in the shutdown area.  I knew I couldn't - or shouldn't! - make another pass, but I got the bye run the next round of Pro Tree Eliminator.  I sat out that run, and used third round of S/SS to baby the car down the track and see if I could get a dial-in I could use.  I brought it up to my launch rpm on the line, but instead of matting the gas, I just sidestepped the brake, and then eased onto the throttle.  I dialed up four tenths and actually won the next round!  It was crazy.  I dialed back down a little for the semis, but I couldn't judge the 5-second car.  I gave him a pretty good race for being broke, though!" he laughed.  "I'm really lucky that I got away with it, and the rear end didn't come apart."
Beard thanked Duck Tape brand duct tape, Mickey Thompson Tires, K&N Filters, Bradley Auto Parts/Bumper-To-Bumper, Bearden Oil Co./Sunoco Race Fuels, Joe Gibbs Racing Oil, Sloan Racing Engines, Macy Motorsports, Billy Nees Race Cars, Staging Light Graphics, and his father Stephen.
Video coverage of the Triad Thunder Series at Piedmont Dragway:
The Duck Tape Volare appears at 0:25 mark (1st round S/SS), 5:44 mark (2nd round S/SS, .000 light), and 9:19 mark (semifinals of Pro Tree Eliminator)

Beard Continues Strong Super Stock Rookie Run
April 5, 2008

San Antonio, TX - The 1300-mile drive yielded positive results for Team Duck Tape's Michael Beard.  Driving Johnny Fisher's '80 Dodge Mirada, Beard earned GT/KA honors in Class Eliminations to kick off the long weekend of racing on Thursday.  Despite qualifying last, Beard fought his way through the ladder of some of the nation's finest drivers in the Sportsman National portion of the Amalie Oil Texas Nationals at San Antonio Raceway in Marion, TX.  Beard reeled off consecutive reaction times of .000, .007, .011, .018, and .005 throughout eliminations, only to drop the final round to Scotty Richardson by a less-than-narrow .0003 seconds.

Beard red-lighted in the first round of the second National event of the weekend, but the overall rewarding weekend vaults Beard into 5th in the World Championship points standings in his first full season of chasing Super Stock points.

Beard Sets 1/8th mile I/CM World Record
March 29, 2008

Mooresville, NC - Duck Tape Racing's Michael Beard made it back on track with help from Sloan Racing Engines.  Proving that the recently rebuilt 360 Magnum 360 crate motor was back in fine form, Beard reset the 1/8th mile I/CM class World Record at Mooresville Dragway's IHRA Div. 9 Summit Pro-Am Tour event, eclipsing the previous mark of a 6.99 with a 6.946.  Beard qualified 13th out of 56 cars, but Mother Nature's blast of cold temperatures and rain forced the postponement of the event to May 30 - June 1, 2008.

Beard Wins First Super Stock Title
March 2, 2008

Rockingham, NC - The 2008 season-opening Stock win at Immokalee, FL was tempered by hurting the engine in the Volare during the second IHRA Div. 2 Summit Pro-Am event. While the Stocker is down for repairs, team driver Michael Beard brought out the '74 Duster for competition at Rockingham Dragway's Spring Blast event in Rockingham, NC on February 23rd, and made it to the fourth round of competition in a field of 118 Foootbrake cars.

This past weekend was the first of the IHRA Div. 9 Summit Pro-Am events, also at Rockingham Dragway, and long-time Mopar driver Johnny Fisher stepped up to offer Beard the wheel of his 1980 Dodge Mirada -- a car steeped in history, and well-known as one of the fastest in its class, as noted by multiple Class wins at Indy's famed US Nationals. The Mirada is such a fast Stock eliminator car that Beard was able to enter the car in Super Stock's SS/LA class. The Stocker managed to out-qualify several real Super Stock cars, landing 28th out of 32 cars. Luck played heavy favorites on Beard's side, as he cruised through five rounds of eliminations to earn his first career Super Stock Ironman trophy.

Beard Wins IHRA Season Opener at Immokalee
February 12, 2008

Immokalee, FL - For the second straight year, Duck Tape Racing has kicked off the IHRA Summit Pro-Am Tour with a Stock Eliminator victory in its very first outing.  Michael Beard hauled the Duck Tape brand duct tape Volare 740 miles to Immokalee Regional Raceway, in Immokalee, Fla., for a huge three-race event.  On the first day, Beard qualified #2 in Stock with his Sloan Racing Engines-prepped Mopar 360 Magnum crate motor, and slipped by four past champions, including Forrest Lipke, Jime Harrington, Mike Mayhew, and Peter Biondo, en route to capturing the first of the newly restyled IHRA Iron Man trophies.

The celebrating was cut short on day two, when a damaged oil pan led to loss of oil pressure in round two.  Beard missed the Sportsman National on Sunday to travel home, and pulled the engine on Monday to begin affecting repairs.  It is still early in the season, so time is not crunched, the first day win handles the weekend's damage, and Team Duck Tape still comes away with the points lead in IHRA Division 1 Stock.

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