Former drag racer, NASCAR team owner Raymond Beadle passes away

Raymond Beadle owned the No. 27 Pontiac that won the 1989 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship with driver Rusty Wallace. 

RacingOne

Legendary drag racer and team owner Raymond Beadle passed away Monday following a heart attack, at the age of 70.

Beadle gained fame as the owner-driver of the "Blue Max" Funny Cars in which he won three straight NHRA Funny Car championships from 1979-’81. His first title in 1979 ended Don Prudhomme’s four-year reign in that class. He also won three IHRA championships.

All told, Beadle won 13 NHRA nationalevents and appeared in 28 final rounds. He made the American Auto Racing Writers & Broadcasters Association’s prestigious All-American team in 1980 with Shirley Muldowney and Bobby Unser, Johnny Rutherford, Dale Earnhardt, and Cale Yarborough. He and his Blue Max crew chief Dale Emery were among the 11th class of inductees into the International Drag Racing Hall of Fame and was inducted earlier this year into the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America in Detroit.

Retired as a driver since 1987 and as an owner since 1990, Beadle had dabbled in cattle and quarter horses but recently had moved back to Dallas with his wife Roz.

After he retired as a driver, Beadle transitioned to the role of full-time car owner successfully, building a championship-winning NASCAR team that won the 1989 Cup title with Rusty Wallace. He also fielded a World of Outlaws sprint car that was driven by Outlaws ace Sammy Swindell. Beadle’s cars always carried No. 27 and he maintained an allegiance to Pontiac for much of his career in motorsports.

Beadle was voted the 20th greatest driver in NHRA history in 2001, and was inducted into the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America earlier this year.

VIDEO: Remembering Raymond Beadle

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