Dexter Bean Has Impressive Start, But Unsatisfying Finish SALEM IN (4-25-06)m - Drivers and fans couldn't have asked for a better race weekend here at the Kentuckiana Ford Dealer 200. The third event on the ARCA RE/MAX Series took place Sunday...
Dexter Bean Has Impressive Start, But Unsatisfying Finish
SALEM IN (4-25-06)m - Drivers and fans couldn't have asked for a better race weekend here at the Kentuckiana Ford Dealer 200. The third event on the ARCA RE/MAX Series took place Sunday April 23, on Salem Indiana's .555 mile paved oval, consisting of 200 laps, the equivalent of 111 miles. The weather wasn't the only thing Dexter Bean (a native of Westby, Wisconsin) and his entourage was pumped about. The weekend began with practice and qualifying on Saturday, which served as excellent encouragement for the team.
Bean ran the Vote4dexter.com/Racin' for a Livin', Five Star Telecom No. 6 Chevrolet Monte Carlo. This 1996, Bill Davis car has been updated through the years. The car holds a Wegner motor and has been driven by the likes of Ward Burton and Johnny Benson. This car holds a great history and there are high hopes of making some history for Bean and his team as well.
Jeff Spraker of Spraker Racing along with his crew specializes in chassis work at their shop in Mooresville, North Carolina. With additional assistance from Bean's crew in Westby, Wisconsin, there was no doubt that this would be a top-10 car.
"This car really has an experimental front end on it. It is something we tried last year and we really feel it will work to our advantage for this race," explained Spraker.
Initial opinions of the race were more than optimistic. Crew Chief Chris Bires and his team traveled to North Carolina to put together the best car for this race.
"We have a real good car and we should pull off a top-five finish if we say out of trouble" stated Bires.
Bean and his team took full advantage of every practice opportunity they were given. They worked on entrance into each turn setting targets for each time around the very challenging track. Before the practice session concluded, Bean and his crew decided to run a mock qualifying run. This gave Bean the chance to mentally and physically prepare for the up coming qualifying session.
This added encouragement paid off. Bean ran the seventh fastest practice time out of 49 cars that entered this event, with a lap time of 18.373 seconds at 108.747 MPH. He also ran the second fastest time in the "Happy Hour" session of practice. Bean drew the 22nd position for qualifying.
During qualifying Bean rallied and landed in sixth place, with a time of 18.174, and speed of 109.937 MPH. Rumor has it that the Salem track is notoriously hard for "Rookies." Despite these dismal rumors, Bean out ran the veteran drivers on this track. This is quite the accomplishment for a young driver's first appearance at this demanding track.
"Gentlemen start your engines!" echoed throughout this full house Sunday afternoon. The green flag flew at 2:15PM EST and Bean was running with the top-five right off the bat with 28 cars running behind. Things were going extremely well, Bean was hitting his marks and was focused on running the rest of the race.
It wasn't long before this track revealed its true colors. The caution was out on lap 13; someone was already in the wall. Words of encouragement rang over the radio, making sure that Bean remained calm and stayed focused. The caution allowed time to prepare for the restart, which is crucial for any driver, but in this case it was imperative that Bean stayed in the top-five to reach his goal of a top- five finish.
Bean didn't have much time to get into his rhythm before another caution was out. A driver was in the wall in turn two on lap 20. Anxious to get back in the race, Bean focused once again on landing that perfect restart. He had a great restart coming out of the caution on lap 13, and was anticipating the same coming off the second caution of the day.
The green flag was out! GO! GO! GO! was blasting over the radio. The momentum picked up and the engines roared for seconds, until the caution was back out on lap 23. The smoke flew just passed the Start/Finish, line heading into turn one. Bean was slammed into the wall causing some extensive damage to the front end. Bean wasn't the only top runner to suffer damage in this pile up. Six of the top runners suffered significantly from this incident including Frank Kimmel, Andy Belmont, and Ken Weaver.
Although this weekend didn't pan out the way Bean and his crew expected, it hasn't compromised the positive attitudes of everyone involved. They have already begun preparing for the fourth event in the ARCA RE/MAX Series.
This event will take place in Winchester, Indiana on Sunday May 8th. Unlike the Kentuckiana Ford Dealers 200, the Winchester ARCA 200 will be a one-day event. Drivers will be able to take advantage of a practice session from 9:30AM-11:00AM, qualifying commences at 12:30PM, and the green flag waves at 2:30PM EST. This event consists of 200 laps or the equivalent of 100 miles.
On Monday May 1st Bean and the BlackJack Racing Crew will travel to Sparta, Kentucky for testing. This testing session is in preparation for the Harley-Davidson of Cincinnati 150 scheduled for May 13th.
Just a reminder, Bean is still competing for a top-12 finish in the Racin' for a Livin' program. The upcoming reality television show will place the winner in seven fully sponsored NASCAR Busch Series. Let's give Bean the opportunity to run with the big dogs! Place your vote at www.vote4dexter.com. Every vote makes a difference! Bean is currently in third place; we have the power to keep him there!