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Beard Joins NHRA as Nitro Racing Consultant

Rapisarda_Beard_mugVeteran crew chief Lee Beard has been named Top Fuel and Funny Car Consultant to NHRA and will work closely on Top Fuel and Funny Car initiatives with NHRA’s tech department, it was announced Nov. 20, by Glen Gray, vice president of technical operations, NHRA.

“Lee’s vast experience in the sport, as well as his knowledge of current technologies, will be a valuable addition to the NHRA Tech Department,” Gray said. “We are looking forward to having Lee, with his knowledge and experience in nitro racing, work alongside us to continue to improve these two categories.”

Beard is a three-time NHRA world champion who has earned 55 victories and 66 No. 1 qualifying positions during his 33-year career. As a crew chief, he guided Gary Ormsby to the Top Fuel world championship in 1989, and served as team manager for Larry Minor Racing when Cruz Pedregon won his first Funny Car title in 1992. He also served as team manager at Don Schumacher Racing when Tony Schumacher won the Top Fuel world championship in 2009.

In addition to Ormsby and Pedregon, Beard has tuned for many top NHRA drivers, including Kenny Bernstein, Cory McClenathan, Ed McCulloch, Antron Brown, Whit Bazemore, Steve Torrence, Rod Fuller, Pat Austin and Jerry Ruth.

“Having had success in both Top Fuel and Funny Car racing during my career, I feel uniquely qualified for this position,” Beard said. “I am looking forward to assisting NHRA’s tech department and working with the entire nitro racing community in this new position.”

Beard, a native of Pueblo, Colo., is a 1974 graduate of the University of Southern Colorado. He resides in Indianapolis.

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