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Duck Tape Racing's Michael Beard Finds Victory Lane at the Farmington Race of Champions

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The front-wheel drive, naturally aspirated combo has worked well for Beard in 2011.
The front-wheel drive, naturally aspirated combo has worked well for Beard in 2011.
When you've been racing for the better part of two decades, it's rare that a career year sneaks up on you. But for Duck Tape Racing's Michael Beard, 2010 was just that. The 19-time drag racing champion was crowned the IHRA Sportsman Driver of the Year, Division 2 Stock Champion, and IHRA Summit All Stars Stock Champion. Beard has taken the success of 2010 in stride though, and is already off to another strong start this season, despite changing cars.
Beard found Victory Lane for the first time in 2011 at the Farmington Race of Champions
Beard found Victory Lane for the first time in 2011 at the Farmington Race of Champions


"It feels like I've struggled this year, but by any other measure, two wins and a runner-up isn't too bad of a start," said Beard, who is also a two-time IHRA Stock World Champion.

Beard started the season in his Duck Tape Racing 1985 Plymouth Turismo. The car is a rarity in the Stock Eliminator world; a front-wheel drive, naturally aspirated four-cylinder that not only goes rounds, but wins races. The car has run more than a full second under the index at some events. But why switch to such an improbable setup after having a great year? The answer lies in the form of a new challenge for Beard, who is upgrading the Duck Tape Racing Plymouth Volare to a Super Stock combination.

Beard hopes to unveil the Volare at the IHRA Summit Pro-Am event in late July, and will run both Stock and Super Stock at some of the remaining events in 2011.
The famed Duck Tape Racing Volare is getting a makeover, but will return in late July.
The famed Duck Tape Racing Volare is getting a makeover, but will return in late July.
Running both cars will present an opportunity for Beard to win twice in one day, which presents another interesting story. Beard once found himself in the final with two different cars at an event. Problem was, it was the same event. He had double-entered himself in the 2008 World Footbrake Challenge, an event that paid $10K to win. And in the oddest of occurrences, Beard raced both cars to the final round, making himself one of the only drivers (if not the only driver) to ever defeat himself in a final round.

Beard got his start in bracket racing thanks to his father, who had taken a 20-year hiatus from racing. When dad returned to the game, he found bracket racing had changed, and it became Michael's job to learn the ins-and-outs of index racing. "I fell in love with the numbers game and the strategy involved, something I soon discovered I had a knack for. I continue to learn more of the mechanical side of the sport, but my focus has always been on an intense study of the mental aspects of driving and strategy," Beard added.

Beard will continue to run a full-schedule of IHRA Pro-Am and Nitro Jam events. He is already entered in some of the biggest bracket races in the country, including the Summit Tournament of Champions in the Stock class at the IHRA World Finals. He will also venture to some more big money footbrake races, where maybe Beard will face himself in a final again.

With 161 wins in 235 final round appearances, quality equipment is key to the success Beard has attained in his career, and K&N has seen its share of victory lane photographs with Beard, who praised the filters. "K&N Filters provide the highest quality oil filters and air filters, and that translates into peace of mind. Many of the smaller facilities that we go to can be dusty, so air filters are extremely important, and the oil filters are your engine's last line of defense, which allows your oil to do its intended job. That protection isn't just for your race car. I use K&N filters on my tow vehicle for the very same reasons."

Find K&N products for your vehicle using the K&N application search then use the K&N dealer search to find a K&N dealer in your part of the world.

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