Silverthorne’s Lee Beard to analyze drag racing’s ‘Super Bowl’ for FOX this weekend
Special to The Daily
This weekend in Indianapolis, Silverthorne resident and Colorado Motorsports Hall of Fame inductee Lee Beard will serve as a technical analyst for FOX Sport’s television broadcast of the U.S. Nationals of drag racing.
From Thursday through Monday, the National Hot Rod Association will host its premier annual event at Lucas Oil Raceway. The event will serve as the former NHRA crew chief Beard’s debut in this position for FOX.
“I’m excited about this,” Beard said. “My job will be focused on crew chiefs and their team of technicians. I will be talking about the people, new technology, the strategies, the setups and the challenges that they are faced with.”
Beard has experience to draw from as he previously won the U.S. Nationals three times as a crew chief — twice in Top Fuel with Ed “The Ace” McCulloch (1992) and Cory McClenethan (1996), and once in nitro Funny Car with Whit Bazemore (2001).
Beard also helped to turn the late Gary Ormsby into an NHRA Top Fuel world champion in 1989.
In 1992, Beard won a world championship as a team manager of Larry Minor Motorsports when Cruz Pedregon captured the nitro Funny Car title. He also was the team manager at Don Schumacher Racing when Tony Schumacher was the Top Fuel champ in 2009.
During his decorated career, Beard amassed 55 NHRA national event wins with 12 different drivers in Top Fuel and Funny Car. Beard is the only crew chief in the NHRA to win national events in Top Fuel and Funny Car with 12 different drivers. Six of those were first-time winners.
Beard’s first NHRA national event win as a crew chief came in 1980 when he guided Jerry Ruth to the Top Fuel title at the Mile-High Nationals at Bandimere Speedway in Morrison.
Beard has won national events with 14 different drivers in his career. Beard’s last two wins came in 2016 and 2017 as he guided Larry Dixon and Dom Lagana to wins in Australia while working for Santo Rapisarda.
The Pueblo-native Beard relocated to Summit County recently and chose Silverthorne as a home because, he said, he felt the community itself is going in the right direction “growth-wise.”
“I also chose Silverthorne because of my passion for fly-fishing and snow skiing,” he said. “Silverthorne is a great location because I’m close to those activities along with the benefits of being an hour from Denver. I feel very comfortable in such a great area and to have a neighbor like Olympic gold medalist Red Gerard.”
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