Page 75 - AZ Extreme - AEM Volume 8 Issue 4
P. 75

 It’s always struck me as somewhat funny how a normal conversation can morph into one that brings forth
a truly interesting conversation, and line of thought. One such occurrence happened to me last summer when I was on vacation at Huntington Lake,
in the High Sierras about 90 minutes Northeast of Fresno. I’ve been going there to my Aunt and Uncle’s cabin off and on for most of my life, starting with trips with my parents in our 1936 Ford 4-door sedan, taking the old, twisty road through Big Creek and up to the cabin. It’s memorable because every year we’d stop at the same point on the road - within 50 yards or so - and I’d get out an puke my guts out because of the disorientation of the twists & turns that caused car sickness. But I digress. They built an all new road from Shaver Lake to Huntington that is a fast, smooth and not so twisty route . . . I’ve never been to the Lake through Big Creek again.
This past year, I had about 13 days up there, and thought about inviting my friend Mark Beavin to come up for a day and visit. Mark is a drag racer - an exceptional bracket racer - who lived
in Mesa, AZ when I first met him, and owned Beavin’s Equipment Rentals for 25 years on Main Street and 3 years on Extension. He then moved to Clovis, CA some years back. Mark is a
very affable individual who is a fierce and determined person if he’s in the other lane at the starting line. His ‘72 Plymouth Duster is a feared machine that has won a lot of bracket races, especially at Las Vegas and the Mopars at the Strip events.
When I first met him, Mark’s Duster was kind of a light purple and was
called the “Twisted Terror,” but is now a very bright (and somewhat obnoxious) yellow-green and called simply “The Beav.” It’s got a .020-over 440, with 11.3:1 Ross pistons, a Mopar camshaft, Edelbrock aluminum heads and an old-style Holly Street/Strip open plenum intake with a 950cfm Holley carb. He built the Torqueflyte 727 himself, using Cope components, and runs 4:11 rear gears. Best times so far are 10.69et at 123.52mph. Nothing really out of the ordinary, it’s Mark’s driving that makes the difference. Simply put, he’s good. He has a Wally and a State Championship
won at Speedworld on the same day, November 29, 2003. He won Super Pro and runnerup in Pro at the 2014 Mopars at the Strip, and in 2018 at the same event, he won Foot Brake bracket, and was 1/4 finals in Pro and runnerup in Super Pro.
Besides being good, he’s a good friend to the sport of Arizona drag racing.
At the big demonstration Speedworld held at the State Capitol to try and keep the track open in late 2912, Mark got
up and spoke passionately about what the track meant not only to him, but
to all Arizona racers. And he did it twice! What a lot of people don’t know that while he was talking, some street slimeball tweaker crawled under his trailer and stole the two big batteries out of it!
Once again, I’ve strayed from my subject matter - but I wanted to give you a little background on this amazing racer. We were just chatting about this and that, and somehow the subject of his marriage to his current wife Cindy came up. Seems he tied the knot while he was on an NHRA-sponsored “Cruise with the Stars” in the Caribbean, I think. The marriage was planned
for the cruise, but apparently Mark realized he needed a best man and a couple of groomsmen. So he hunted around and found the late Steve Evans
Story by Hal Sanguinetti
(in my opinion, the best motorsports announcer of all time) and asked if he would mind standing as best man. Steve didn’t hesitate at all, even though I don’t think he had a clue who Mark was - all that mattered was that Mark was a drag racer and needed some help. THEN . . . Mark rounded up a couple of fuel racers - the late 240-Gordy Bonin and last year’s Funny Car World Champion Ron Capps, both of whom were happy to oblidge. Unfortunately, the pic showing all of them has disappeared, but we have the pic of Mark and Cindy with Steve and his wife! As Mark told me this story, sitting in the cabin overlooking the
lake, I though “what a great subject for a feature article in Arizona EXTREME Motorsports - so here it is! It just goes to show two things: (a) It really is a small world (because it was Steve Evans who hired me for my very first announcing gig at Irwindale Raceway in 1972),
and (b) you never know where your thoughts will take you. Incidentally, Mark and Ron still remissness about the wedding each time they run into each other!
As this is being written, Mark is once more back in Lost Wages racing at the Street Supernationals 14, a huge bracket race, and we wish him and The Beav the best of luck! v
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