Where Are They Now? Gary Beck by ProQuest


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									Where AreGary Beck y Now?
                                               a Top Fuel team. The car was later sold                                                          with Minor and Fedderly, as Car Craft
                                               to the team of Don Sorenson and Graham                                                           Magazine’s Co-Person of the Year.
                                               Light, now NHRA’s senior vice president                                                              He continued to set a torrid pace in
                                               of racing operations, after Beck ended his                                                       1984 with three wins and three runner-
                                               partnership with Markley and moved to                                                            ups to finish second behind Joe Amato in
                                               Edmonton, Alta., then a hotbed of Top                                                            the points standings. Beck had two more
                                               Fuel racing. “There must have been seven                                                         top 10 seasons in 1985 and 1986 before
                                               or eight Top Fuel teams in Edmonton at                                                           parting ways with Minor before the end
                                               the time,” said Beck.                                                                            of the latter campaign, after which he
                                                   After joining the local Capitol City Hot                                                     retired from full-time driving.
                                               Rod Club, Beck hooked up with racer              Gary Beck’s amazing victory at the 1972
                                               Ken McLean and backer Bob Lawrence
                                               to run the Joker AA/FD that they had
                                                                                                U.S. Nationals was capped by a 6.11 win
                                                                                                over a tire-smoking Jerry Ruth in the final.
                                               just purchased from the Norton, Kalivoda
                                               & Hamlin team. Beck, now a full-time
                                               racer, returned to his crew-chief role at
                                                                                                His previous victims in the 32-car program
                                                                                                included Bob Fritchey, Randy Allison,
                                                                                                Chuck Kurzawa, and Herm Petersen.
                                                                                                                                                B       eck returned to his first love, the
                                                                                                                                                        mechanical end of things, by
                                                                                                                                                  working with the McGee brothers’ Quad-
                                               first but took over the driving chores after                                                       Cam engine program, and he drove at
                                               McLean retired in mid-1972.                      he claimed that he put himself in that            occasional races; the last race Beck was
                                                   Now driving a rear-engine Woody              position in the field so that he could            a substitute, for an injured Rance
                                               Gilmore car with a 354-cid Chrysler, Beck        knock me out early.”                              McDaniel in the Peek brother’s Top Fuel
           Yesterday                           made his first Top Fuel appearance at an
                                               NHRA Division 6 race in Seattle, then
                                                                                                    But Beck, who had qualified No. 1,
                                                                                                defeated Garlits in that first round and
                                                                                                                                                  car, was Topeka in 1994. Beck made his
                                                                                                                                                  living building homes in Southern

M       any drivers have been successful
        campaigning in Top Fuel, but few
ever reach the heights that Gary Beck did
                                               showed up at the 1972 U.S. Nationals,
                                               where he shocked everyone by winning the
                                               32-car field with a victory over Jerry
                                                                                                went on to not only win his second straight California and just recently retired in
                                                                                                Indy title but also record
                                                                                                the first five-second run
                                                                                                                                                                      2007. In addition to
                                                                                                                                                                      starting a small street
during his stint from 1972 to 1986. Beck       Ruth in the final.                               in U.S. Nationals history                                             rod collection, he has
not only won the 1972 U.S. Nationals in            The Indy win proved to be a pivotal          with a new national                                                   stayed involved in drag
his first Top Fuel national event              moment in Beck’s career because it helped        record of 5.96. “It’s hard                                            racing by working with
appearance, but he was also the first racer him gain the backing of Ray Peets, owner            to say which was the                                                  racing teams in the
to break the Top Fuel run barriers in the      of the Reliable Engine Services 
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