were again runnerup, to Don Garlits at the NHRA Springnationals,
after setting top time and low e.t. Favored to win after their
outstanding clockings, the "Fighting Irish," elected
to try a new set of tires as insurance of a good grip on a marginal
Englishtown, New Jersey strip. This shot them down again, for
lug nuts on one wheel did not fit exactly, and the tire wobbled
during acceleration, forcing Mulligan to shut off. They were
last to the finish line in the final against Carroll Bros, in
the AHRA Spring Nationals, and again runnerup to Jerry Ruth at
the 1968 PDA meet. They had been runnerup in the year previous
to Baney and Prudhomme!
to their tour, they won the Aquasco Gold Cup, and then went back
to bridesmaid again, with a runnerup by their brand new car at
the World Finals. The 229 mph top time of the meet, and low e.t.
of 6.92 was worth little when Bennie Osborn edged them for the
winter of 1968-69 was spent in running local meets while the
pieces in the new car were worked over carefully, and Tim tried
to find new answers. Along with the work on the full-bodied Hanna
cur, Tim and John started thought about building a funny car,
as many of the dragster people have, a project they still haven't
decided to undertake.
February, 1969 started a new era for Beebe and Mulligan, as they
waded through Tom Larkin, James Warren, Bennie Osborn, the Ramchargers,
and Don Prudhomme to take home almost $9,000 from the Top Fuel
grab bag at the NHRA Winternationals. Mulligan was dialed-in,
and it was Prudhomme who fell victim to runnerup blues with no
traction at all. John seemed plenty cool on the Wide World of
Sports immediately afterwards, but it had been a long, hard road
from runner-up to winner.