ROCKINGHAM, N.C. -- 2003 IHRA Stock World Champion Michael Beard has entered his bid for a repeat performance by capturing the Stock Eliminator title at the IHRA Springs Nationals, hosted by Rockingham Dragway, Rockingham, N.C. IHRA's new Tournament of Champions program automatically seeds all National event winners along with the top three drivers in each division into a single race sudden-death battle royal for the World Championship, to be contested at the IHRA World Finals, also at Rockingham Dragway. Beard will hold a small home-track advantage, as the 2007 Footbrake track champion at the Rock.
Beard overcame former Quick Rod World Champion Danny Waters, Jr. in the opening round, another former Stock World Champion Brenda Grubbs in the 3rd round, and gathered red-lights from Hillarey Sloan, hot off a win at Mooresville, as well as rookie sensation Mike McCandless in the semifinals. In the final round, Lee Truell also drew a foul start while trying to chase the Duck Tape Volare.
"I looked at that win light three times going down the track to make sure it was really on. I couldn't believe it," said Beard. "I was screaming the whole way down the track, and all the way up the return road. The adrenaline is unbelievable. We race against mostly the same people in the class everywhere we go, but there's something even more special about winning a National event. You have so few opportunities to even try to win one, that the odds are really stacked against you. I won three in a row in Canada, and have had a lot of success at Summit Pro-Am races, but I just hadn't gotten it done at a National here in the states... until now! This weekend was particularly special as we debuted the addition of another supporting sponsor, CAM2 Blue Blood Racing Oil, and two of their reps were on-hand Sunday. Winning right out of the box was a great way to welcome them to the team!"
In addition to the Stock win, Beard also showcased Johnny Fisher's Duck Tape Mirada in the Summit All-Star Shootout in front of a packed house Saturday night, as the 6th-ranked Super Stocker in the World. Just making it to the track was a victory in itself, as Fisher and his crew spent days of morning through night thrashing to prepare the car. Beard used up his luck reserves in Stock, however, and fell in the first round in Super Stock.
Support comes from Duck Tape brand duct tape, Mickey Thompson Tires, K&N Filters, Bearden Oil - Sunoco, Bradley Auto Parts, CAM2 Blue Blood Racing Oil, Sloan Racing Engines, Macy Motorsports, Billy Nees Race Cars, Staging Light Graphics, FinishedRacing.com, Biondo Racing Products, Stephen Beard, Matt Zapp, Terry Knott, Johnny Fisher, and Jill Beard.
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