BNS: Beech Ridge preview

Busch North Series Makes Third 2001 Visit To Beech Ridge Motor Speedway On Sunday, Sept. 9; Mike Olsen Says Rhythm Is The Key To Singing A Winning Tune SCARBOROUGH, Me. (August 30, 2001) - The Busch North Series, NASCAR Touring pays its third ...

Busch North Series Makes Third 2001 Visit To Beech Ridge Motor Speedway On Sunday, Sept. 9; Mike Olsen Says Rhythm Is The Key To Singing A Winning Tune

SCARBOROUGH, Me. (August 30, 2001) - The Busch North Series, NASCAR Touring pays its third visit of the 2001 season to Beech Ridge Motor Speedway on Sunday afternoon, September 9 for the PTM Racing 150. Large crowds and competitive racing are the hallmarks of Busch North Series action at the one-third mile oval in suburban Portland, where Mike Olsen and Mike Johnson have already visited victory lane in 2000.

The PTM Racing 150 schedule sees practice beginning at Sunday at 11 a.m., with Bud Pole Qualifying at 2 p.m. and race time set for 4:30 p.m. The Beech Ridge NASCAR Weekly Racing Series classes will also be in action on Sunday, after competing in their regular program the night before.

Busch North Series point leader Mike Olsen has good reason to look forward to the PTM Racing 150, since he has already achieved two career milestones at the track in 2001. "In the first race this year I got my first win, and in the second race I got my first pole," Olsen notes with pride. He finished fifth in the Independence Day weekend race.

"It's a big-time rhythm track," Olsen said, explaining the technique which has worked so well on the nearly-circular layout, adding, "You have to race the track and you get into a rhythm. The longer you stay in that rhythm the better you are. If you get too erratic and try too hard to race the guy in front of you, it will bite you."

Olsen summed up his Beech Ridge approach by saying,"The harder you try to go fast, the slower you go."

Pit stops always play a key role at Beech Ridge. The accepted strategy is to pit for two right-side tires near the halfway point and come back to the front, since the wide groove makes passing easier than on many short tracks. Olsen stormed back to win after an early spin in June, and Johnson gobbled up the leaders between laps 100 and 120 in his July victory. In the last four races at Beech Ridge, only Dale Shaw in September 2000 has taken the lead before the 100 lap mark.

In fact, three of the last six Beech Ridge BNS races have seen the final lead change take place with the lap counter at lap 124 or higher. That's when Olsen passed Paul Richardson this June, as well as the point at which Brad Leighton took control in June 1999. Tracy Gordon made his winning pass in June 2000 on the 132nd circuit.

"It's just the way it's played out, Mike Olsen observed. "The same guys seem to run well there each time. Plus, we've got a real good set-up. But the more times we go there, the other guys seem to be picking it up, so I expect a real good race," he added.

The Busch North Series is one of nine NASCAR Touring series which blanket the USA, bringing major events to NASCAR Weekly Racing Series tracks like Beech Ridge Motor Speedway, as well as many superspeedways and road courses. The NASCAR Touring program is recognized as the premier training ground for NASCAR's national series, the Winston Cup Series, Busch Series, Grand National Division, and Craftsman Truck Series, while also providing career opportunities for professional racers at the regional level. Corporations making major contributions to NASCAR Touring point funds include Anheuser-Busch, Inc., Featherlite Trailers, Goody's Headache Powders, Gatorade, RE/MAX International, O'Reilly Auto Parts, Raybestos Brakes, and R.J. Reynolds' Winston brand.

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Series NASCAR
Drivers Mike Johnson