Drag Race Central - NHRA
Fri, 4 Mar 2011, 02:34 PM

Patrick and Beverly Team Up for NHRA Pro Stock Championship Run
Courtesy of Bobby Bennett, CompetitionPlus.com
Photo by Roger Richards

Robert Patrick
Robert Patrick has huge aspirations for his Ford Mustang in NHRA Pro Stock. Former Pro Stock racer Don Beverly has them, too.

Because of their vision, the Virginians have pooled their resources to make a run at a full-time effort. Beverly, a former NHRA Pro Stock national event winner and NASCAR Busch Grand National (now Nationwide Series) team owner, is no stranger to the longtime factory hot rod fans.

"This will enable us to begin racing together as early as Gainesville and go after the Full Throttle Pro Stock championship and at least a berth in the Countdown to 1," Patrick said. "Don Beverly is a good friend and a friend of the family for many years. He is a great guy and someone whom I have gone to for advice over the course of my racing career."

Lofty goals the duo may have, but Patrick is so confident their new engine program with veteran engine builder Sonny Leonard, he's planning to be at the remaining 21 races this season.

Beverly's interest in Patrick's program is enabling the team to take the engine program what he feels is the next level.

"We decided it was best to bring Sonny into our talks since he was our engine builder from 1998 until 2002, and we had a score of top half qualifying efforts including a No. 2 run in St. Louis," Patrick said, as he explained the inclusion of Leonard. "Sonny did a real good job working off of the wedge program that we'd bought from Bob Glidden. Ford has spent a lot of money on that program and it wasn't qualifying. Sonny definitely took it to the next level."

Patrick left the NHRA Pro Stock scene in 2003 and joined forces with Bob Ingles where they won the 2007 IHRA Pro Stock championship. With uncertainty facing the IHRA, Patrick left and helped the ADRL form a Pro Stock class before eyeing a return to NHRA due to Ford's renewed interest in the class.

Patrick competed in two races in 2010 with limited success, eventually deciding his efforts were better served in a rigorous testing regimen than racing and failing to qualify.

"That's not a knock on Bob Ingles because he's one of the finest engine builders I know," Patrick added. "Bob did the very best with what he had to work with. We made some gains. Unfortunately for him, certain areas of the engine had to be outsourced. That just didn't work for us. He had gone as far as he could go."

Patrick believes with Leonard providing every aspect of the engine program it will allow the team to have a power program as close to having an in-house program. The bulk of Leonard's current engine building business focuses on mountain motor Pro Stock, Pro Modified and fast bracket racing.

Patrick will be Leonard's only 500-inch Pro Stock program.

"Sonny definitely has a first class operation," Patrick explained. "He has a good team there and after talking to Don Beverly, and meeting with Sonny, it was the best option for us. I can tell you right now, without Don Beverly getting involved, this would never be possible.

"We are hoping to have our first motor finished for Gainesville, if not we'll be in Charlotte with two engines."

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