(Donnelsville, OH) - NAMARS Midget rookie sensation, teenager Teddy Beach, is headed for a big finish to the season as he's planted solidly in the top-two in points in both the National and Regional series after accumulating four Feature wins this...
(Donnelsville, OH) - NAMARS Midget rookie sensation, teenager Teddy Beach, is headed for a big finish to the season as he's planted solidly in the top-two in points in both the National and Regional series after accumulating four Feature wins this year. While 17-year-old Teddy is tearing up the "senior circuit," brother Todd, 14 years old and just heading into his freshman year in high school, is also having a stellar year in the Kenyon Car Series, and has already racked up a win on dirt at the high-banked Bloomington (IN) Speedway. Both are likely to accept "Rookie of the Year" honors at the season-ending banquet celebration.
"I think we've exceeded our expectations for this year with what we have achieved," Teddy explained of his year to date. "Since we've done so well we need to step it up for the final part of the season and finish off with a bang, whether that means winning points or winning a few more races. We need to go out winners."
Teddy held its ground during the recent string of tough dirt shows, a scheduled eight races in nine days. The team sailed through the "Badger/NAMARS Triple Crown" and "Indiana Five Crown Nationals" events relatively unscathed, albeit after experiencing a few rough spots in the road with some track conditions that were a bit foreign to this young, relatively inexperienced driver. One of the "Five Crown" races was cancelled while another was rained out. But through that busy stretch of races, Teddy's grip on second-place on the NAMARS Championship Midget trail only got stronger, as he's now only 37 points behind leader Travis Miniea on the National circuit heading into the rescheduled finale for the "Five Crown Nationals," a make-up date tentatively scheduled for Sept. 8th at Lincoln Park Speedway in Putnamville, IN.
The NAMARS "Indiana Five Crown Nationals" was Teddy's first experience with a major, multi-race event, and he enjoyed every minute of it. "The 'Five Crown' event was really fun. I really liked traveling each night to a different track. It was really tough competition-wise - the car counts were really high. You really had to be on your 'A Game.' You had to have everything prepared just right and not have any problems at all. If you didn't prepare that way, you couldn't have made it through the week. No room for struggling with setups. There was no room for a mistake or error. That adds up to a really tough week of racing."
Not only was it important for the Beach Boys Motorsports Team to keep their car and crew in shape for that endurance run, but a small mistake that might have eliminated a feature start could have put a halt to the accumulation of all-important points heading into the final stretch of races in 2001.
"Chasing NAMARS points was not a specific goal we set for ourselves - we were really hoping to just finish in the top-five in points. Now we are in a big points chase with Travis (Miniea, NAMARS point leader)," Teddy said about the tough competition he's faced. "We are taking it more seriously than before. I think the points are in the back of my mind a bit. When I'm on the track now I'm always trying to finish in front of Travis, to get the necessary points and make it into the A Main, and to not to fall back any further than second in points."
Teddy is weathering the storm quite well, and is really excited about how he's developed over this year's tough schedule. He is certainly looking forward to finishing out the season strong and starting out 2002 in a position to compete right away. "I think being in a points chase has helped me more than anything. It has put a different challenge on myself to make myself better and try new things and excel in racing instead of taking it casually or being out there just to have a good time. It has made me drive to my fullest capabilities. I think racing against the "head honchos" in the USAC division, and racing with the Badger drivers in Wisconsin and in the 'Five Crown Nationals' - all of the big guys - really helped me prepare myself for next year (where he plans to compete in USAC National Midgets). It prepared me to race against big names and big equipment. Pressure-wise it's helped me out a lot."
Meanwhile, brother Todd, who at age 14 is just starting his Midget racing career in the highly-competitive Kenyon Car Midget series (and has already racked up a win at Bloomington), is working through a great season of his own. Todd is currently 5th in the point standings in that series.
Todd states about his year: "The season has gone pretty well. I didn't expect us to be this far up the point standings this soon, but things have gone pretty well. We've have had some problems the last few races with not finishing. But if we can get past this stuff and finish some more races we'd be further up in points, which is our goal for the end of the season."
Todd's past racing experience has followed his brother's path to some extent, and his future goals are also going to fall right in line with the career path that Teddy is on. At age 14, Todd is a bit too young to run full-time on any of the National circuits. But because Kenyon Car competitors can race at age 12, Todd is a sure bet to be fighting for the 2002 championship in that series. "I'm going to continue to run Kenyon cars and hopefully go for the championship next year," he relates about his future plans. "This year has really helped. Teddy has been helping me a little bit with my racing line at the Speedrome, showing me where to run and how hard to run into the corner. I think I'm ready to run for the championship next year."
A family which supports two competitive drivers is exciting enough, but the pressures of having to run at the same venues as a points-leading older brother has not bothered Todd a bit. In fact, the experience Teddy is gaining has helped Todd's year as well.
"There's not really a lot of pressure (to be compared to brother Teddy). Teddy's had a lot more experience than me. Every time I race he tells me to just go and do my best - whatever happens will happen. Just do my best and try to have some fun - use my head on the track and try to be as safe as I can." Sounds like great brotherly advice.
Both Teddy and Todd plan to continue racing in Regional / Kenyon Car shows at the Indianapolis (IN) Speedrome the next two Thursdays. Teddy may also possibly take in USAC's "Hut 100" event at Lincoln Park Speedway on Saturday, Sept. 1st before heading north to battle with the Badger gang at Angell Park Speedway in Sun Prairie, WI for their traditional season-ending "Pepsi Nationals" barnburner on Sept. 2nd. The "Hut 100" will be a great way to figure out the tricky Lincoln Park Speedway facility before the Sept. 8th 'Five Crown' make-up date. After Labor Day weekend, the NAMARS group returns to a more traditional pavement portion of their schedule, heading back to Toledo (OH) Speedway, Sandusky (OH) Speedway and to the quirky Shadybowl Speedway in Degraff, OH for the season finale (where both Teddy and Todd will compete), a venue that will likely settle the season-long battle for the coveted National Championship between Teddy and Miniea.
<pre> TEDDY BEACH: STATS AND STUFF Point Standing: NAMARS National Championship Midget Car Series: 2nd (-37) NAMARS Regional Midget Car Series: 1st (+222)
Feature Wins in 2001: 4 (Speedrome, 5/17; Speedrome 6/14; Toledo 6/22 (televised); Speedrome 7/12)
Number Of Times Teddy's Position Improves In Races: 43 times out of 59 total races run
Top-10 Feature Finishes: 14 out of 26 Features
Top-5 Feature Finishes: 11 out of 26 Features
TODD BEACH: STATS AND STUFF Point Standing: Kenyon Car Midget Series: 5th
Feature Wins in 2001: One Kenyon Car Feature win at Bloomington (IN) Speedway on the ¼-mile high-banked red clay, Todd' s first Midget win