Dexter Bean Soars To Top-Five In Springfield SPRINGFIELD, Illinois (Tuesday, August 21, 2007) - - ARCA RE/MAX Series driver Dexter Bean made his third career start on the dirt Sunday afternoon and the Westby, Wisconsin native looked like a...
Dexter Bean Soars To Top-Five In Springfield
SPRINGFIELD, Illinois (Tuesday, August 21, 2007) - - ARCA RE/MAX Series driver Dexter Bean made his third career start on the dirt Sunday afternoon and the Westby, Wisconsin native looked like a professional in the Allen Crowe 100 after notching his third top-five finish of the season.
Bean headed into the event on the heels of two strong top-10 finishes at Pocono Raceway and Nashville Superspeedway respectively, but returning to the dirt, a track characteristic that Bean adapted well to in his rookie season, he knew he had a car capable of running in the top-10.
Sunday greeted the teams with optimistic skies and warmer than-expected conditions. With rain falling over the one-mile speedway, practice would be halted nearly two hours before the drivers were able to compete on the Springfield dirt.
During the forty-five minute practice session, Bean hustled his No. 6 Five Star Telecom Chevrolet to the 11th fastest lap after posting a time of 34.162 seconds at 105.380 MPH.
"The car is good," said Bean. "We battled shifter problems through much of the session. We thought we were going to have time to change it, but we didn't. Chris (Bires, crew chief) told me that it's fixed and we should have no problems in the race."
Thanks to Mother Nature's invasion, ARCA officials opted to cancel ARCA SIM Factory pole qualifying and set the starting lineup based by 2007 points. Bean would start the event third based on his father's (David Bean) owners points earned thus far this season.
Starting at the front is an advantage on the dirt races, Bean knew he had to do everything possible to try and stay there.
At the start of the event, Bean tried muscling his way into the lead, but a tight condition would develop on the Five Star Telecom Chevrolet forcing Bean to give up some time on the racetrack. Reassured by crew chief Chris Bires, Bean knew the team would make an adjustment during the first round of pit stops.
When Bill Baird and A.J. Fike tangled on lap 10, the caution flag flew, allowing Bean to make his required pit stop under ARCA rules. The team's primary objective during the stop was to make a chassis adjustment that would allow Bean's car to maneuver the dirt. On the restart, Bean would sit 20th, but not for long. During the course of the green-flag run, Bean quickly and quietly passed cars before positioning himself inside the top-15, when the next caution flag waived again on lap 36.
Bean reported the car was better and felt the car was strong enough to run in the top-10.
On the restart, Bean again wasted no time trying to slice and dice his red and white Chevrolet Monte Carlo to the front. Battling with the likes of Phillip McGilton, Frank Kimmel, Billy Tanner and Justin Allgiaer, Bean kept the group in close view before leaping himself into the top-10 just after halfway. The yellow waived just 11 laps later with Bean hovering in the ninth position.
Reporting to the crew that the car was neutral, Bean assured his sophomore team, that he wasn't done yet and he thought he had enough to move up the ladder.
During the closing laps, Bean kept his word. By lap 73, Bean had marched into the seventh position before concentrating on the top-five. Inside twenty laps to go, passes on dirt aces Kelly Kovski and Justin Allgaier weren't easy, but Bean passed them clean, soaring himself into the top-five, which is where he crossed the line, rewarding the second-generation driver with his third top-five finish of the 2007 ARCA RE/MAX Series season.
"We really can't complain about today," said Bean, who finished fifth. " Our car wasn't very good at the start, but we kept adjusting on it and it proved to pay off at the end, when it counted most. I really like the dirt race. We were able to improve on our Springfield finish from last year and we'll look to do the same at DuQuoin in a couple of weeks."
With his finish Sunday, Bean maintained third in the championship standings behind Michael McDowell and eight time ARS champion Frank Kimmel respectively.