Dexter Bean; BlackJack Racing Persevere In Memphis MEMPHIS, Tennessee (Monday, October 30, 2006) -- Mission accomplished. Dexter Bean and BlackJack Racing met their goals Saturday afternoon at Memphis Motorsports Park making their NASCAR Busch...
Dexter Bean; BlackJack Racing Persevere In Memphis
MEMPHIS, Tennessee (Monday, October 30, 2006) -- Mission accomplished. Dexter Bean and BlackJack Racing met their goals Saturday afternoon at Memphis Motorsports Park making their NASCAR Busch Series debut.
Heading into race weekend, Bean knew he had a challenging weekend ahead of him. Before unloading at the track on Thursday, the team spent six days, 12 hours a day working on their No. 63 Ford Taurus in preparation for the debut in Graceland country.
When the teams arrived on Friday, Mother Nature greeted them with dark skies with rain approaching. The skies opened up, but quickly moved out allowing teams to participate in pre-practice inspection in preparation for the first of three scheduled sessions for BlackJack Racing.
Unfortunately, as the skies appeared blue for several hours, the clouds and precipitation return putting an early damper on the first practice session with the BlackJack Racing team unable to make a lap. With the unexpected forecast change, NASCAR officials opted to cancel the second (rookie practice) of three sessions for Bean this weekend. However, the rains finally moved out allowing a lengthy final practice session for the competitors.
During the Happy Hour session, Bean ran a lap 23.543 seconds at 114.684 mph at one point good enough for 33rd on the sheets, but when several teams elected to make qualifying runs, they outran the BlackJack team forcing a 44th fastest effort at the conclusion of the run. Following practice, the team opted to make heavy changes to the car preparing for Busch pole qualifying hoping to secure a good lap to earn a shot in the NASCAR Busch Series.
Beautiful and comfortable weather welcomed the teams on Saturday, with qualifying on everyone's mind. It was all or nothing for BlackJack Racing, as the team wasn't guaranteed a spot in the starting field. Bean was the 45th car to roll out on the Millington, Tennessee based track for his time trials effort.
In his two laps of qualifying, Bean maneuvered a comfortable lap of 23.382 seconds at 115.473 mph good enough for 37th on the starting grid. The team picked up nearly two-tenths of a second from practice to earn their debut. "We earned this," said Bean. "We struggled a little bit yesterday in practice. This Ford Taurus is a brand new car for us so we're still learning a lot. I'm proud of the BlackJack Racing team for their flawless efforts to get this car ready. I'm still in shock; we're going to race in the NASCAR Busch Series!"
Bean was one of 43 drivers to take the green flag shortly after 1:00pm local time quickly finding his groove and falling in with the pack and learning from his competitors.
Bean utilized the Sam's Town 250 as a race to gain experience behind the wheel of a NASCAR Busch Series machine, while also trying to earn the respect of his fellow racers.
Throughout the day, Bean steadily moved up in the running order. A minor incident on lap 163 when Jay Sauter tagged the rear of Cale Gale's Chevrolet Monte Carlo saw Bean on top of his game, despite thundering through the incident with minor hood damage.
Since the drop of the green flag, Bean reported to crew chief Jeff Spraker of Spraker Racing Enterprises that his No. 63 JDRF.org-Five Star Telecom machine was battling brake issues. Bean coddled them throughout much of the race, but the last 50 laps, saw smoke trailing the machine as the brakes began to fade.
Still, the team persevered, crossing the line 32nd completing 246 of a possible 252 laps. "It was a good day for BlackJack Racing," said Bean following the event. "I learned an awful lot from everyone. It was a really tense race. No one wanted to give an inch, so I had to be on my game all day long. We had brake problems right from the start, so we had to baby that for most of the day. However, we made and finished the race. We did everything we needed to do. We're going to bring the car back to the shop, make some additional changes and I'm confident that we'll unload much stronger our next time out. Thanks to Jeff Spraker and all of my guys for making our dream becoming a reality this weekend."
For family-owned BlackJack Racing led by David Bean, he was pleased with the results his son turned in. "We're bringing the car home in one piece, that's a good thing. The bigger picture is that Dexter received the experience and seat time he needed to prepare for our limited Busch schedule next season. We appreciate everyone that helped make our NASCAR Busch Series debut a success and we're looking forward to a strong 2007 racing season."
The team proudly carried the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation International (JDRF) logos in an effort to broaden the racing community's understanding of the critical need to find a cure for Diabetes. "I think we did a great job in making sure we made as many people as possible aware of JDRF's intent," continued the 19-year old Bean. "I want to thank the folks at the foundation for their support of our race team and we're looking forward to continuing their message this off season and all of 2007."
Five Star Telecom, who's supported Bean for several years continued to play a role in the sponsorship department last weekend as an associate sponsor for the 32nd race of the 2006 season. "A huge thanks to Five Star Telecom for jumping onboard with us," added Bean, who finished a strong 12th in the ARCA RE/MAX Series final point standings. "It was a great feeling having Five Star Telecom aboard for Memphis. I appreciate everything they've done for my career."
While the 2006 racing season has concluded for BlackJack Racing, the team is busy preparing for 2007 which tentatively plans for the team to return to the ARCA RE/MAX Series full time while also attempting to make five to seven NASCAR Busch Series races.