Editor’s note: The following remembrance was provided by S&W Race Cars on behalf of Al Hanna and Hanna Motorsports.
Bob Beaulieu, who was involved in professional drag racing for many decades, passed away on Aug. 25.
Beaulieu started out as a wrench for Bill Flynn’s “Yankee Peddler” Dodge, Jim Maybeck’s “Screaming Eagle” and Tim Kushi’s “Yankee Sizzler” Dodge Challenger. He also served as crew chief for Al Hanna and for the “Eastern Rider” series of Nitro Funny cars and Top Fuel dragsters.
He drove a number of drag machines, including the “Eastern Raider” Top Fuel dragster in the late 1970s. He drove the “Jazz” Jet Funny Car in the 1980s and through the 2000s.
Behind the scenes, Beaulieu was always available to diagnose the toughest problems in all categories, according to Hanna Motorsports.
“He was, by far, the best pure mechanic I ever knew,” said Al Hanna. “There was never a mechanical problem presented to Bobby B. that he couldn’t figure out. He was incredible. We have all lost a master mechanic and a true lover of racing.”
Also an avid fisherman, Beaulieu had a series of his own boats and captained a 60-foot fishing craft for one of his associates. He loved participating in competitions such as deep sea shark fishing tournaments, where he often took top prizes.
Beaulieu’s favorite saying was “If it doesn’t go 200 mph or you can’t fish off it, it’s not worth a ‘$!@&*(^$%#$#*().'”
Known as “Top Fuel Bobby” or “Bob Jazz” to his closest friends, Beaulieu was always a phone call or a quick ride away from solving every problem he was asked about. He will be dearly missed.
His most recent project was involvement with the new and radical “Queen of Diamonds II” 300-mph Jet Dragster for the Hanna Motorsports team. He loved the concept and was working closely behind the scenes with the team on the new design.
He is survived by his wife Joyce of more than 40 years, son Eric, daughter Teresa and three grandchildren.