Dexter Bean Terrific in Toledo; Pumped for Pocono LONG POND PA (5-21-08) -- There comes a time in all sports when the momentum shifts from one team to another. For ARCA RE/MAX Series racer Dexter Bean, the shift could not have come sooner, or at...
Dexter Bean Terrific in Toledo; Pumped for Pocono
LONG POND PA (5-21-08) -- There comes a time in all sports when the momentum shifts from one team to another. For ARCA RE/MAX Series racer Dexter Bean, the shift could not have come sooner, or at a better time.
From an early-season slump to a near victory at Toledo Speedway, Bean's back on track.
"It's not so much that the team's morale was down," said Bean. "We knew all along that Team Glock has good cars, good people, but it was getting pretty tough. Our luck was horrible. I remember looking at the points and seeing our team 19th in points, or something like that. We knew we had to do something to turn things around."
And that's exactly what happened last Sunday at Toledo Speedway where Bean steered the no. 37 Glock Chevrolet to a solid third place finish after leading 37 laps, more than any other driver outside of Matt Carter, who won the race.
And if not for determined series officials who were steadfast in their commitment to getting the complete show in, Bean may very well have been the winner. Bean was the leader just past the halfway point when two heavy downpours, mixed with hail, pelted the speedway property. However, after more than two hours of rain delay, drivers, soaked as they were, climbed back into their machines to finish the race and give the fans what they paid for.
"It would have been nice to get the win; I would have taken it for sure. A win is a win. But we also knew we had a really good racecar, and we were eager to prove that leading the race was no fluke -- that it wasn't just luck.
"We gave the leader a run for the money, and I thought we did really well with the new radial tires. We had actually pitted 40 laps earlier than most of the cars we were racing against.
"The weird thing is, is that Toledo has traditionally not been a good track for me. We didn't expect to run as well as we did. I never liked the feel of the bias tire there for some reason. But I really took a liking to the new radial tire. I felt like I had a much better feel for the track, and that I could feel the car under me. I think the new tire deal is a really cool deal; I'm interested to see what it'll be like at Berlin.
"But to come out of Toledo like we did, to lead laps, to get the crew back in the game with pit stops; it's just nice to sit on that finish (Toledo) for the next couple of weeks rather than sitting on a wrecked racecar. The whole thing is a real momentum builder going to Pocono."
For Bean, going to Pocono has traditionally been a very, very good thing. In fact, some of Bean's best runs have come at the storied, triangular-shaped course where he finished second in 2007 and fourth in 2006.
"I'm not exactly sure why we've had so much success at Pocono. I remember my first time there; I found myself in the spotter's tower on top of the grandstand. I remember looking all the way down that long front straightaway into turn one thinking to myself -- there's no way I'm going to be able to get around this place.
"But fortunately, I took to it right away. I liked the shifting aspect; and I seemed to adapt really well on where to lift and where to put the racecar on the track.
"I always thought I got through the tunnel turn better than most; and I learned right away that if you're getting through there really good, that you could make up a lot of ground.
"I've never had a car perfect at Pocono though; I'm not sure anyone ever has. To get turn one right, you're gunna be tight in turn three. Since every corner is different, you've got to be able to give and take as best as you can."
After a grueling six-race stretch in six consecutive weekends, there is a welcome two-week pause on the ARCA RE/MAX Series race calendar before teams head to Pocono Raceway for the Pocono 200 Saturday, June 7th. In the meantime, with some much-needed momentum, Bean and the Team Glock Racing Spraker Racing Enterprises crew is detouring toward Michigan Int'l Speedway for the open test Wednesday, May 28th.
"We're taking two cars to the MIS test. We're going to try some different things -- set up-wise. One of the cars we'll use in the Michigan race, and the other will be for Pocono.
"The whole team's really pumped right now. Glock's pumped -- we really feel like we have the momentum we're looking for. After Toledo, we took a big jump in points."
After being as low as 22nd in championship points, Bean has started to crawl out of his bad-luck slump. It was most noticeable after Toledo where Bean's stout run catapulted the Westby, Wisconsin driver from 15th to 11th in points.
"Now we just need to break into the top-10 and work from there. We need to focus on all the great things we have going for us. We've got more good, reliable cars than we've ever had. I mean, all the cars in our shop are capable of winning races. We've got momentum; we just need to carry it to Pocono. I expect to run the top-five, top-three at Pocono -- maybe more."
A full weekend of on-track activity is planned for the Pocono 200, with ARCA RE/MAX Series haulers scheduled to converge at the speedway on Thursday, June 5th from 4-6:00 pm. A practice session is scheduled for Friday, June 6th beginning at 10:15 am, with SIM Factory Pole Award Qualifying slated for 1:45 pm. The Pocono 200 kicks off Saturday afternoon, June 7th at 1:00 pm and will be televised same-day on SPEED at 10 pm eastern.
Tickets for the ARCA RE/MAX Series Pocono 200, the SPRINT Cup Series event and the entire 2008 Pocono Raceway season are available by contacting the Pocono Raceway Ticket Office at 1-800-RACEWAY (1-800-722-3929), or through www.poconoraceway.com.