While the Beebe Motorsports team was hard at work preparing to make the trip from the Metro Detroit area to Valdosta, Georgia for the Radial Revolution No Mercy III, the team’s heavy-footed driver, Karri Anne Beebe, took some time out to do some bench racing with us. Many may recognize Karri from the Speed Channel’s “Pinks All Out” show. In 2010, Karri was seen at the Summit Racing Equipment Motorsports Park (Norwalk, Oho) driving Steve Bashford’s way cool ’78 AMC Pacer Wagon. Karri’s skills were put to the test on national television where she ended up winning, and taking home an impressive $10,000.
When asked about her experience on the show, she talked about when she won each round, the “Pinks All Out” crew kept installing more in-car cameras. She kept telling them not to bother because when she lost they would have to take them all out. Although Karri truly is modest, those of us who have seen her in action can attest that there is a fierce racer strapped in the Beebe motorsports ride.
“Pinks All Out” was just the start of many accomplishments for Karri. At the wheel of her iconic green Chevelle, she has won a championship and finished runner- up a couple of years in the “Holbrook Friday Night Shootout” at Milan Dragway (Milan, Michigan). Thanks to Victory Racing Parts, NGT Enterprises, and Westland Auto Lube, Karri’s’69 Chevelle holds the Nitrous Radial Tire Car Record at Milan. She routinely makes quarter-mile passes in the high seven-second range at 170 mph plus. Her current best is an impressive 7.67 at 179.9 mph. When asked about what it’s like to strap in a seven-second Chevelle and what she thinks about before she launches, she answered in a typical cool race car driver fashion: “I just focus on making it from point A to point B.” She then went on to talk about how she has a lot of trust in her team.
Her husband, Matt Beebe, is the crew chief, and her brother-in –law Craig Beebe is the engine builder. Karri commented that her team members actually are family including her father-in-law, Dave Beebe. While I was at the Beebe hauler, it was easy to see how important being a family race team is to Beebe Motorsports. The members who don’t share the Beebe last name are still considered part of the family. From the two guys that tune the Chevy fuel injected 604 cubic inch nitrous motor — Dave Henninger and Eric Stratien — to the get-it done-guys, Tom Demarco and Jay Sears, Beebe Motorsports is a group that’s having fun going fast.
The team didn’t happen overnight, however. The car/driver duo started in 2003 with a single question from Karri’s husband Matt, owner of Beebe Motorsports. He asked, “If you could have any race car, what would you pick?” To Karri, a long-time fan of the Chevrolet car, the answer was a no-brainer: a ’69 Chevelle. After some searching to find her car, the Beebe couple found themselves standing in a garage looking at a shell of a Chevelle that actually had a deer hanging over it! Not exactly what she had pictured, but with some masterful wrenching from the Beebe family, the car began to take shape. By 2004, the monstrous Chevelle was debuted at the annual Detroit Autorama Car Show where it placed 3rd in one of the race car classes. Back then, Matt started out at the wheel where the car was promoted at Milan Dragway and a handful of Super Chevy Races. In 2006 they made the decision to transfer Karri from her crew member role to the driver’s seat. And a powerful couple — Karri and the Chevelle — was launched. For more information on Beebe Motorsports and the upcoming race schedule, go to: www.beebemotorsports.com.