Dexter Bean Heads To "Windy City" Looking To Shake String Of Misfortunate JOLIET, Ill (Thursday, September 7, 2006) - - If there is one team that deserves a break on the ARCA RE/MAX Series tour, many point fingers to the BlackJack Racing team....
Dexter Bean Heads To "Windy City" Looking To Shake String Of Misfortunate
JOLIET, Ill (Thursday, September 7, 2006) - - If there is one team that deserves a break on the ARCA RE/MAX Series tour, many point fingers to the BlackJack Racing team. The team has run strong all season and rookie driver Dexter Bean has propelled into the spotlight several times. Unfortunately, a midst of bad luck has kept the team from producing the results that they know they are capable of.
As the saying goes, "There's light at the end of the tunnel" and the BlackJack team plans to stand behind that motto as the series rolls into Chicagoland Speedway this weekend for the running of the SK Hand Tool 200. This weekend's race marks the finale of a three-race stretch in a string of seven days. The two prior races continued to show the strength of the No. 6 team, but the monkey returned and kept the team out of the limelight.
In Toledo, Bean practiced and qualified well. Bean had early thoughts of capturing his third top-ten finish of the season. Instead, a first-lap melee put the team behind and prevented a solid finish. The team rebounded from the lap one disaster and crossed the line 24th-place finish with a modified-looking racecar.
The team traveled through the night returning to Wisconsin looking to rebuild the front-end of his machine in one day preparing for the trip to his second dirt show of the season in DuQuoin. Thanks to the dedication and hard work of the team, the team was able to repair the No. 6 Five Star Telecom Chevrolet and the team began their journey to Illinois on Sunday.
When the teams unloaded early Monday, Bean was excited to be back on the dirt. At Springfield, the first dirt race of the season for Bean, the youngster qualified a solid tenth and brought home a fair 13th place finish in his dirt debut. The bar had been raised for the rookie driver in his head and was looking for his second top-five finish since his awesome performance at Pocono International Raceway in July.
Once again, Bean strutted his strength putting his car solid on the board with a ninth place practice effort and backing it up in time trials, lining up tenth.
The green flag flew and Bean spent no time moving through the field with the intent of scoring a stunning victory. His dream almost became a reality as Bean blasted his machine into the lead and paced the field including NASCAR Nextel Cup Series driver Ken Schrader, ARCA champion Frank Kimmel and dirt racing masterminds Justin Allgaier and Mark Gibson. Bean began to stretch his lead from the field when the motor showed signs of fatigue sending him back through the field and into the garage with a disgusted 29th place finish.J "We have worked so hard and we can't catch a break," said Bean, a former NASCAR Elite Division driver. "The BlackJack Racing team has worked so hard, we've run great, but a series of events have kept us from crossing the finish line. Hopefully as the season is slowly coming to a close, we can go out with some momentum."
Now, the BlackJack team regains their focus and heads to Chicagoland Speedway looking for another impressive run. The team has excelled on the 1.5-mile speed plants this season and the team plans to unload strong once again and be considered a sleeper on Saturday.
"With our performance at DuQuoin, I know we have that same capability on the Superspeedways. We have a great team, no complaints; we just need to seal the deal. Hopefully we'll be smiling for all the right reasons on Saturday."
Bean is no stranger to the track that shows the same characteristics as Kansas and Kentucky Speedway. Last year, after qualifying 25th, Bean paced his way through the stout grid, crossing the line a solid 14th in one of his limited ARCA starts in 2005.
"I like Chicago," continued Bean. "The track is fun to drive and very fast. Hopefully we'll be closer to the front in both qualifying and the race and give everyone from the team to our sponsors a great race."
Bean currently sits 14th in ARCA RE/MAX Series points and fourth in the Rookie-of-the-Year standings and looks to make a significant gain in both standings with just four races remaining in the season. "We came into the season with hopes of finishing in the top-ten in the point standings and claming Rookie-of-the-Year. We can still put ourselves on the stage at the end of the year, but we'll have to see if we can increase our position in the rookie standings."
Breezing into Chicago, Bean, a native of Westby, Wisconsin has 22 ARCA RE/MAX Series starts to his resume with a career best finish of fourth at Pocono Raceway (July 2006) while holding three additional top ten finishes at Michigan International Speedway (July 2006 and July 2005) and Talladega Superspeedway (October 2005). He holds a career best superspeedway time trials effort of fourth at Pocono Raceway (June 2006) while hoisting a career best short track qualifying effort of sixth at Salem Speedway (April 2006).
Following Chicagoland, the BlackJack Racing team is scheduled to run in three more ARCA RE/MAX Series events this season at Salem Speedway (September), Talladega Superspeedway (October) and the new Iowa Speedway (October). The team has competed full time in the ARCA RE/MAX Series this year and plans to return on a full-time basis in 2007.
The SK Hand Tool 200 (134 laps/200 miles) is the 20th of 23 events on the 2006 ARCA RE/MAX Series schedule. Practice begins Friday, September 8th with a two hour (1:30pm-3:30pm) session planned. Pork pole qualifying is on tap later that afternoon (5:30pm). The race is set to take the green flag the next day. SPEED will have live coverage of the event Saturday, September 9th beginning at 1:00pm. In addition to SPEED, arcaracing.com will have all the latest news and results from the track.