Jiggered Restart Costs Bean Top-10 In DuQuoin DUQUOIN, Illinois (September 5, 2007) - - Dexter Bean looked well on his way to his 10th top-10 finish of the 2007 ARCA RE/MAX Series season Monday afternoon at the DuQuoin State Fairgrounds, but a...
Jiggered Restart Costs Bean Top-10 In DuQuoin
DUQUOIN, Illinois (September 5, 2007) - - Dexter Bean looked well on his way to his 10th top-10 finish of the 2007 ARCA RE/MAX Series season Monday afternoon at the DuQuoin State Fairgrounds, but a jolted restart inside five laps to go cost Bean dearly forcing the BlackJack Racing team to settle for 11th.
Bean headed into the annual ARCA RE/MAX Series Labor Day tradition looking to bounce back from a disappointing run Friday night at Gateway International Raceway. With one of the fastest cars on the track, Bean was entangled in an incident sweeping Bean from competition and potentially his first win.
With no time to fret on the Gateway, the team looked to DuQuoin, Bean's fourth career dirt track race as a time to put the team back on track and produce a strong showing.
Race day started early for the ARCA RE/MAX Series teams with the garage opening at 5:30am followed by practice three and a half hours later. During the limited one hour practice, Bean showed that he hadn't lost any momentum by putting his No. 6 Five Star Telecom Chevrolet Monte Carlo into the fifth fastest position after notching a lap of 34.428 seconds at 104.566 MPH.
"We still have some work to do, but we're quicker on the charts than I thought we would be," said the Westby, Wisconsin native. I owe it all to my guys on the BlackJack Racing team. They are awesome. We'll tweak the car a little bit and see what we can put together for qualifying."
Drawing the 12th position for ARCA SIM Factory pole qualifying, Bean wasn't worried about the draw, but worried about his practice time falling. Most of the teams early on saw their practice times slow down considerably.
During his single lap qualifying run, Bean maneuvered a lap of 34.887 seconds at 103.190 MPH, awarding the sophomore ARCA RE/MAX Series driver with fifth on the starting grid.
"I had a feeling we were going to slow down, but so did everyone else. It's a good starting position for the dirt. I hope we can back it up in the race."
At the start of the Southern Illinois 100, Bean quickly dropped back. Dealing with an ill-handling racecar, Bean drove his heart out trying to retain his position in the top-10.
When the first caution flag waived on lap 13, Bean controlled the 13th position. Crew Chief Chris Bires elected to bring Bean down for the mandatory pit stop while also taking the opportunity to make a chassis adjustment to the team's Chevrolet.
Bean restarted 19th and patiently inched his way forward in the field. By lap 30, Bean had moved into the 16th position while eyeing the return to the top-15.
The caution flag would waive five laps later with Bean still controlling the 16th position. During the yellow, the BlackJack team elected yet again to bring the No. 6 to pit road and make another adjustment to get the car to turn better for the rising superstar.
The field returned to green on lap 41 with Bean in the 19th position. By the halfway mark on lap 50, Bean had muscled into the 17th position.
During the course of the next 25 laps, Bean's position on the track would fluctuate bouncing back and forth inside the top-20.
By lap 75, Bean had successfully made his presence into the top-15 while hunting down the lead pack.
Throughout the next 15 circuits Bean showed his talent by thundering his way into the top-10 before a caution on lap 94 halted his efforts.
On the restart on lap 98, a car in front of Bean did not get going forcing Bean to become stuck behind two slow cars with a stampede of fast machines passing the 20-year old driver on both sides. By turn one, Bean had slid back to 14th, but the next two laps Bean would fight hard and give no mercy and work his way back to cross the line 11th, his best finish in two DuQuoin starts.
"I don't know what happened on that last restart but it was messy," explained Bean. "The car wasn't perfect but we kept adjusting on it throughout the entire race before it was pretty good during that last run. It's disappointing to not finish in the top-10, but after everything we went through at Gateway, we'll take this finish and move to Chicagoland."
Bean maintains the third position in the ARCA RE/MAX Series championship standings heading into the final mile-and-a-half track of the season Saturday afternoon at Chicagoland Speedway.
Gateway Recap: Sophomore ARCA RE/MAX Series driver Dexter Bean had one of the strongest cars on Friday night in the Gateway ARCA 150. Unfortunately, an incident eight laps from half-way forced the team to exit the event posting their second DNF (Did Not Finish) of the season.
"It's very disappointing. We had a great car. I don't know what really happened; there were a lot of cars in a very small amount of space. When there are lap cars in the mix with lead lap cars, trouble is bound to happen. It's a bad deal. We had a shot at winning the race on Friday night, we'll just have to regroup and give it our best at Chicagoland. This was the first time in my ARCA career, where I wasn't able to drive a car back to the pits, needless to say, I won't forget this race."