Late Race Incident Spoils Run For Dexter Bean "Team Disappointed By Sour Finish" LAKELAND, Fla (March 27, 2007) - - When the ARCA RE/MAX Series added another short track to their already impressive and diverse schedule, Dexter Bean was thrilled.
Late Race Incident Spoils Run For Dexter Bean
"Team Disappointed By Sour Finish"
LAKELAND, Fla (March 27, 2007) - - When the ARCA RE/MAX Series added another short track to their already impressive and diverse schedule, Dexter Bean was thrilled. The late model expert hailing from Westby, Wisconsin headed into the Construct Corps-Palm Beach Grading (PBG) 250 looking to continue his strong short track runs at the end of the 2006 season.
Bringing back the same Chevrolet Monte Carlo that he took the ARCA pole award with at Salem Speedway last September, Bean and his BlackJack Racing crew were confident heading into the second race of the season.
Despite bringing a proven car and a sophomore team to USA International Speedway, many of the teams were faced with the unknown. Prior to Friday's practice session Bean had no prior experience at the three-quarter mile track, but looked to make the best of the inexperience.
In the first practice session, Bean locked the 19th position with a time of 23.157 seconds at 116.595 MPH. "We were experimenting with our setup," said Bean. "We put together a solid lap and we have a good car and that's what is important. We're going to make some adjustments to be even better in the second practice and qualifying."
The car improved even more during the second round of practice for the RE/MAX Series. With a comfortable setup for the sophomore ARCA driver, qualifying was next.
In ARCA pole qualifying, Bean maneuvered a lap of 22.594 seconds or 119.501 MPH placing him 15th on the starting grid. Bean picked up nearly six-tenths of a second from his practice efforts putting a big smile on the BlackJack Racing crew. "We have a good racecar, I can't wait to get started," remarked Bean.
At the start of the event, Bean maintained patience while studying his prey looking to maneuver his way into the top-10. With consistent lap times, he continued to hover inside the top-12. The car was solid, but the former NASCAR Elite driver didn't want to show any over aggression early on.
During the first round of pit stops, the BlackJack Racing crew performed brilliantly but was trapped a lap down. The crew fought that the team pulled off a quick pit stop, but the ARCA pace car had already made one lap around the track quicker than the team anticipated erasing them from the lead lap. Despite the protest, Bean remained one lap down but vowed to his team that he would regain the lap.
Several gallant efforts were made by the upcoming driver to get back onto the lead lap, but Bean remained the first car one lap down waiting for the perfect opportunity to return to the lead group. Unfortunately that opportunity never arose as contact between Bean and the No. 29 occurred on the frontstretch on lap 178 sending the No. 6 Five Star Telecom Chevrolet hard into the inside wall.
The damage was too severe for the team to continue forcing a disappointing 28th place finish.
"This is hard to swallow," said Bean who completed 177 of 253 laps. "We really had a good car. I don't agree with how we lost our lap, but there is nothing we can do about it. I really wish that ARCA would consider using the Lucky Dog rule which could have avoided this incident. I don't think it would take much to make that happen."
"Before the incident we had a car capable of finishing in the top-10. My crew was adjusting on the car and we never gave up. I was doing everything I could to gain the lap back, but we just couldn't make it happen at that point. I feel like I got turned. I am sure that the other driver may feel something different, but the result is that we have a wrecked racecar. We're trying to find a sponsor and the finish doesn't help that search even though it wasn't our making. All we can do though is keep our heads high and go to Nashville."