TUNER LEE BEARD JOINS DON SCHUMACHER RACING AS TEAM MANAGER BROWNSBURG, Ind. (Jan. 17, 2009) - Team owner Don Schumacher announced today that tuner Lee Beard will join Don Schumacher Racing as team manager for the 2009 NHRA Full Throttle Drag ...
TUNER LEE BEARD JOINS DON SCHUMACHER RACING AS TEAM MANAGER
BROWNSBURG, Ind. (Jan. 17, 2009) - Team owner Don Schumacher announced today that tuner Lee Beard will join Don Schumacher Racing as team manager for the 2009 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series. Beard's responsibilities will include overseeing the operations of each of the six pro teams under the DSR umbrella as well as the in-house research and development programs at the DSR facility in Brownsburg, Ind.
Beard previously worked for DSR as crew chief from 2001-2005, tuning Whit Bazemore to 12 Funny Car wins in 28 final rounds. He's been a crew chief since 1976 and has tuned both Top Fuel and Funny Cars to 57 NHRA national-event victories. His record also includes a Top Fuel crown with the late Gary Ormsby in 1989, and he was instrumental as a team manager when Cruz Pedregon won the 1992 Funny Car championship. He has also tuned for Ed McCulloch, Kenny Bernstein, Cory McClenathan, Rod Fuller and most recently Antron Brown. Beard drove Top Fuel dragsters and Funny Cars in the early '70s and was named the Crew Chief of the Year and Person of the Year in 1989 by Car Craft Magazine.
"Lee has great ability, is very talented and has been very successful in his career as a crew chief," said Schumacher. "When you have the opportunity to strengthen your company, you take advantage of it by bringing in great people. I see Lee as the 'cement' that will keep the DSR operation solid and cohesive as we aim to win the Top Fuel, Funny Car and Pro Stock Motorcycle world championships in 2009."
Said Beard: "Certainly Don Schumacher has put together the premier organization in drag racing, with his excellent facility, his research and development programs, and the top-of-the line sponsors that he has acquired. So, being in upper-level management of this premier team is certainly a very exciting move for me.
"I will help coordinate all the efforts among the teams," continued Beard, who makes his home in Brownsburg, Ind., "so that every team is aware of what the other teams are doing. I will personally work with every crew chief, try to be a problem solver and basically try to bridge up any weak areas."
In the 2009 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series, Don Schumacher Racing will campaign six teams: two Top Fuel dragsters (Tony Schumacher in the U.S. Army entry - crew chief Mike Green - and Cory McClenathan in the FRAM dragster - crew chiefs Todd Okuhara and Phil Shuler), Ron Capps in the NAPA AUTO PARTS Funny Car (crew chief Ed "Ace" McCulloch), Jack Beckman in the Valvoline/Mail Terminal Services Funny Car (crew chief Johnny West), Matt Hagan in the BrakeSafe Rear End Collision Avoidance System Funny Car (crew chief Tommy DeLago), and Matt Smith on the Nitro Fish/XXX Racing Fuels Pro Stock Motorcycle (crew chief Steve Tartaglia).