Beal Racing will return to NHRA Funny Car competition at the upcoming NHRA Lucas Oil Winternationals presented by ProtectTheHarvest.com to honor the team’s late founder, Chuck Beal.
The car will feature a “Bealmobile”-themed livery to pay homage to Beal’s iconic alcohol-burning race cars of the 1970s and 1980s. The entry, now owned by his grandsons, Brandon Welch and Tyson Porlas, will be driven by Welch. Veteran crew chief Scott Graham will tune the entry.
In the wake of Beal’s passing, the crew of long-time Beal Racing volunteers collectively decided that the best way to honor his legacy was to continue to field his race car.
“We owe our passion for drag racing to my grandfather,” said Welch. “He gave his life to drag racing, and his determination never wavered. It felt like a calling to put this race car back in competition in Pomona, his home track.”
The Winternationals will be the maiden event for first-time car owners Welch and Porlas. The second-generation racers are committed to keeping Beal Racing in nitro competition.
“Our grandfather was always focused on his race car and his people. He treated his crew like family,” said Porlas. “Our car chief, Troy Harger, has volunteered on the crew for 23 years, and he’ll tell you Chuck Beal was like a second father to him. His memory motivates us. He’d be so proud that the nitro is still burning at Beal Racing.”
Fans and racers are invited to attend a memorial celebration in honor of Beal on Friday, Feb. 9, at 6:30 p.m. in the team’s pit area.
Following the Winternationals, the team plans to continue to campaign part time in NHRA Mello Yello Series competition.