Written by Susan Wade; Photos by Ron Lewis Sun, 2017-07-16 23:56
It’s easy for relatively new drag-racing fans to miss out on the joy of appreciating some of the sport’s pioneers. The legends of “Big Daddy” Don Garlits, Shirley Muldowney, and Don Prudhomme, for example, are well-documented, along with those of high-octane personalities such as “TV Tommy” Ivo, “Jungle Jim” Liberman, and John Force.
But with Chuck Beal’s passing July 13 at San Diego, another opportunity has vanished.
The former West Coast match-race ace and two-time Winternationals winner drove both front- and rear-engine dragsters until the late 1970s, switched to the Alcohol Funny Car class and competed there until the early 1990s, then stepped up to the nitro Funny Car ranks in 1994. He won his share of races but never had the luxury of abundant funding, but he was no pushover and scored plenty of upsets as he raced within his means.
Written by Josh Hachat Fri, 2017-07-14 18:00
Seeing the Drag Illustrated World Series of Pro Mod make its debut at Bandimere Speedway on Aug. 4-5 makes Jim Whiteley feel like a proud parent. Whiteley’s drag racing career started at the Denver-area track, breaking numerous track records and winning multiple events in his Top Alcohol Dragster. Now driving his Pro Mod in the biggest and richest Pro Mod race in history, with a $100,000 winner-take-all prize on the line, Whiteley can sense the magnitude of the unique event.
“It’s just home and it’s going to be fun to bring the best cars in the country out there,” said Whiteley, who lives in Grand Junction, Colo. “You haven’t seen a lot of Pro Mods at Bandimere, so this is going to be big, one of the biggest blowouts you can have for a private, non-sanctioning-body race. This will be the stuff history is made of.”