Harry Schimdt created the first Blue Max Funny Car in 1970. Raymond Beadle purchased the brand, making it a world champion and household name. Ronny Young has made it his life's mission to ensure that it is never forgotten. 

It's been almost 55 years since the Blue Max Funny Car branding debuted on a Funny Car, then owned by Harry Schmidt. 

Young's mission of preservation began around 2003 with Beadle's blessings. 

Young, who drove the iconic flopper in the late 1980s, was inspired by a get-together with his former teammates Dale Emery and ‘Waterbed’ Fred Miller at a nostalgia event in Bakersfield. Beadle gave his blessings for a recreation and guidance to find his blue and yellow 1978 Plymouth Arrow, located in North Carolina. It would become the impetus for the recreation. 

There was a time in drag racing when Dallas was a hotbed of Funny Car action, and the Blue Max, which first donned the moniker in 1970, was in the middle of the action. 

Funny Car racing returns to Ennis, Texas, this weekend, just outside of Dallas, for the season opener of the Funny Car Chaos Series, which will be sprinkled with Nitro Chaos action. Young will have a rebuilt Blue Max ready to do battle, with the Blue Max legacy on full display. 

“We’re very excited to bring back the '78 Plymouth Arrow car because it was Beadle’s favorite of all of them and a crowd favorite," Young said. We’re all just thankful to be able to continue the tradition of the “Blue Max” Funny Cars. 

Young is on a comeback of sorts this season after last year's Dodge Omni-bodied Funny Car, a tribute to the 1981 car, Beadle's last championship winner, crashed at the 2023 Funny Car Chaos event at State Capitol Raceway in Baton Rouge, La. Ironically, it was the 1981 NHRA Cajun Nationals at the same track that Beadle was part of the successful Funny Car boycott. 

Young suffered some injuries in the crash, sustaining burns to the hand and some bruising. 

Young tried to build a new car but could not find a chassis to suit his needs. He then returned to his proven combination from 2013, a tribute to the 1978 Arrow. The car, which made 18 race dates a decade ago, has been upgraded to current specs and given a healthy dose of horsepower. 

"This is an entirely different combination than we ran back in 2013 and we haven’t had a chance to test, so we’re just going to see how it goes and have fun and enjoy talking to the fans, that’s what this is all about for us," Young said.