June 13, 2014

BOYD BEYER'S BACKGROUND STEEPED IN DRAG RACING TRADITION

Every time MagnFuel Top Sportsman racer Boyd Beyer pulls the chutes on his 2004 Mustang he is adding another chapter to an outstanding family legacy.

Many of todays competitors are second or even third generation racers, but not many grew up having one of the most influential people in the sport guide him through his formative years. Its safe to say that Boyd comes by his love of drag racing directly and honestly.

Before telling that story, however, lets have a quick look at Boyds life away from the track and the cockpit of his supercharged Mustang. Now 53, Boyd is the owner of several successful enterprises, foremost among them being Beyer Trailer Sales, a large company based in Casstown, Ohio, that specializes in custom-built motorhomes and trailers. Other ventures hes involved with include an operation that provides custom-designed banners and signage of all types.
 

As for Boyds family racing background, its a story he is proud to tell.

My dad Ed Beyer was heavily involved in racing for most of his life, and many folks remember him as one of the Hurst Shifty Doctors, Beyer said. This was a program set up by Hurst to serve racers in all forms of motor sports. Dad would set up in the pit area at the races and then provide service to any racer no matter whose shifter he was using. During this time dad worked for and with some of the most famous names in the sport. Over the years he was involved in Stock, Super Stock, Junior Stock and Pro Stock with the AHRA and NHRA.

In the late 1960s dad landed one of the first factory Super Stock rides from Ford, which was a 428-powered Mercury Cyclone. After that he also had a 1970 Mercury Cougar. He ran those cars for several years and was able to win his class at Indy a couple of times.

After moving from Pennsylvania to Dayton, Ohio, Ed served as crew chief for Bobby Yowells Pro Stock team before resuming his own racing career. Boyd and his dad raced together in later years, with Boyd in a Maverick and Ed in a Super Comp dragster. Both Ford powered, of course.

I got started as a bracket racer and later ran the Maverick in 10.90-class competition. In NHRA the class is called Super Street and in IHRA its Hot Rod, said Boyd when asked about his on-track racing experience. I later decided to move up a bit so bought a Mustang, which was a nitrous car, and went Top Sportsman racing. When dad got really ill I quit racing so I could take care of him. It took a while for me to get back into it after he passed away, but eventually I got in touch with a buddy of mine, Gary Reavis, at Huntsville Engines, and told him I was looking for a car. A little later Chuck Ford, another friend of ours and also an engine builder, called and said he had found me a car and that I needed to come down to Bristol, Tennessee, right away. I drove down there the next day and ended up buying the yellow 2004 Mustang that Im driving today. Chuck freshened up the motor so that I could bracket race it, you know what I mean? Make it simple to race, in other words.

The Mustang was originally built by Jerry Haas for Richie Stevens to race in Pro Mod, Beyer said. I bought it from Bryan Seward, who was the second owner, and we spent a year getting it ready. We took the clutch and everything out and put in a Bruno automatic transmission with a Marco Abruzzi converter. The car has a Roots-blown Brad Anderson engine in it, which Chuck Ford freshens up for me. Driving a blown car presented me with a steep learning curve in the beginning. I was always a nitrous guy, so I found it hard to see over the supercharger! The car has run a best elapsed time of 4.02 in the eighth. Im just out there running Top Sportsman and having a lot of fun.

Like so many other racers, Boyd finds the PDRA a solid and well-managed sanctioning body, designed for racers by racers and for the most part an organization going a long way towards overcoming the major shortcomings of similar bodies in the recent past.

For my money the PDRA is the way to go for so many reasons, Beyer said. Its family oriented, its fun, there are fierce competitors and its good racing. In my heart I know its going to fly. Its like it was back in the 60s and 70s the racers hang out together, have a beer or two together and just get along. At some levels of the sport today the racers are all enemies, and I hate that it has come down to that. When you pull to the line, yes, Im going to try to whip you to death, but once we cross the finish line its over. And I think weve lost what I think is the soul of the sport in so many cases. The PDRA has brought that old school atmosphere of camaraderie and sportsmanship back and I think its great.

Boyd went on to express more thoughts regarding drag racings newest eighth-mile racing organization.

As for the level of competition in PDRA, nothing can touch it, he said. The owners have brought the stability back to this style of racing that had been lost, and I think that once other racers find out that this is the real deal its really going to become something great. Racers who I talk to that have gone to a PDRA event for the first time are just blown away. The same holds true for potential sponsors who have been burned in the past and are taking a wait-and-see attitude. Once they see that this is a solid and viable program, one with longevity written all over it, Im sure they will want to get involved, too. Its a real win-win situation and Im proud to be part of it.


Photo Credits:
Michael Jacobs / RaceWorks.com / PDRA66.com

Article by: Brian Wood