Gallant Effort By Dexter Bean Comes Up Short In Salem "Bean Nets First Career Pole; Leads 64 Laps" SALEM, Indiana (September 18, 2006) - - Saturday's Eddie Gilstrap Motors ARCA Fall Classic presented by Advance Auto Parts will be a race that...
Gallant Effort By Dexter Bean Comes Up Short In Salem
"Bean Nets First Career Pole; Leads 64 Laps"
SALEM, Indiana (September 18, 2006) - - Saturday's Eddie Gilstrap Motors ARCA Fall Classic presented by Advance Auto Parts will be a race that 2006 ARCA RE/MAX Series Rookie-of-the-Year candidate Dexter Bean won't soon forget.
Bean arrived at the half-mile bullring for the second time this season looking to improve on his spring performance but continue the momentum from a strong fourth place finish at Chicagoland Speedway a week earlier.
Practice yielded Bean near the top of the charts. In the only practice session of the day, Bean whipped his No. 6 Five Star Telecom Chevrolet with a lap of 18.187 seconds at 109.859 mph good enough for third on the speed charts. "We have a great car," said Bean following practice. "This is the same car we ran here in the spring. We fixed the car and had a feeling it would be good again, and it is. We have something for them in qualifying. I can't wait."
Before practice, the BlackJack Racing team drew a distant 38th for qualifying. Having to wait wasn't a bad thing, but the pressure to perform was. Taking two laps around the Salem-based track, Bean blistered a lap of 17.838 second or 112.008 mph good enough for the Pork pole award putting the No.6 on the front row edging out fellow Wisconsin native Ryan Mathews (17.862 seconds, 111.858 mph). The pole was the first of Bean's young ARCA career.
His efforts on Saturday afternoon eclipsed Bean's best previous short track qualifying effort of sixth, ironically also coming at Salem Speedway this past April."This is absolutely awesome," said a jubilant Dexter Bean after time trials. "We have worked so hard this season and we've had a lot of bad luck. Things are starting to turn around for us; I wish the season wasn't coming to an end. I appreciate all the hard work from my crew, and the support of my sponsor Five Star Telecom."
At the start of the green flag, Bean took off like a rocket ship. He would extend his lead by several car lengths at one point and paced the field for the first 60 laps. Bean brought his car to the attention of his BlackJack crew on lap 60 changing four tires and adding fuel to his machine.
Bean would restart deep in the pack, but manage to slice and dice his way through the competitive ARCA field. He rallied back into the top five and retook the lead on 113 and lead for another three markers before being overtaken by seven time ARCA champion Frank Kimmel.
Quickly, Bean ducked behind Kimmel's machine and stayed close to the tail of the No. 46. Throughout the rest of the night, Bean hovered inside the top-five and remained a sleeper for the event. Unfortunately, late race contact and an unexpected mechanical glitch set Bean back in the field.
Bean was sitting in third when his car became loose coming out of turn two, he regained control of the car, but several cars behind him checked up and made contact throwing out the caution flag. Under the caution with Bean still sitting in the top-ten, when the car shut off forcing a tow truck to give the No.6 a boost and return to competition.
Bean would be forced to relinquish his position in the top-ten and restart 11th with three laps to go. On the restart, Bean battled hard and clean with the No. 59 of Ryan Howard but was unable to make the pass and took the checkered flag, 11th, his ninth top-15 finish of the season.
"It was a night full of mixed emotions," said Bean who completed all 200 laps. "We started on the pole and that's something you will never forget. We ran great in the race, but the last ten laps bit us. The car isn't wrecked, that's good, but I would have liked to finish inside the top ten. I'm not going to complain though it's still a solid finish. We're going to put the car in the corner of the shop and save it for here next year. I'm really proud of my crew, they were flawless this weekend. Everyone knew we were here and I can't wait to come back next year."
In addition, Bean earned the Hurst Fastest Lap of the Race Award.
With his 11th place finish, Bean unofficially gained a spot in the ARCA RE/MAX Series national point standings advancing to 12th with two races remaining. "I'm still eyeing to finish in the top-ten," added Bean. "We have to finish in the top ten in the next two races and need some of my fellow competitors to have some bad luck. It's going to be tough, but we'll do the best we can."
Leaving Salem, Bean, a native of Westby, Wisconsin has 24 ARCA RE/MAX Series starts to his resume with a career best finish of fourth at Pocono Raceway (July 2006) and Chicagoland Speedway (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 first at Salem Speedway (September 2006).
The BlackJack Racing team is scheduled to run in two more ARCA RE/MAX Series events this season at Talladega Superspeedway (October 6) and the new Iowa Speedway (October 15). 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.
Next up for Bean and the rest of the ARCA RE/MAX Series teams is the Food World 250 from Talladega Superspeedway on Friday, October 6th.