Beauchamp closes season on a high note at Kawartha MOPAR Dodge was third before a transmission hiccup in the closing laps WINDSOR, ON - Ron Beauchamp Jr. and his MOPAR Parts Dodge team wrapped up their 2004 CASCAR Super Series season on a high...
Beauchamp closes season on a high note at Kawartha
MOPAR Dodge was third before a transmission hiccup in the closing laps
WINDSOR, ON - Ron Beauchamp Jr. and his MOPAR Parts Dodge team wrapped up their 2004 CASCAR Super Series season on a high note on Sunday afternoon at Kawartha Speedway. The Windsor, ON racer started and finished sixth in the 250-lap race at the 3/8-mile oval.
On the strength of his fifth-place run a Delaware Speedway on the Labour Day weekend, and his sixth-place result at Kawartha, Beauchamp rebounded from a few frustrating finishes in August to take eighth-place in the final Super Series point standings. Beauchamp was actually in line for a podium finish at Kawartha, as he had fought his way to third-place with just 40 laps to go. But a sticky shift during the lap 210 restart forced him up to the top of the track as he struggled to engage the transmission. By the time he found fourth gear, he had lost two spots and would eventually finish sixth.
"The tranny felt a little tight on some of the restarts," said Beauchamp, after the race. "On the one we had trouble with, when I went to pull fourth gear, it jammed up on me. So, I just threw it forward into third. I heard it grinding, but it went in and I eventually got it into fourth. But during that time, a couple of guys got under me. Other than that, the MOPAR Dodge was a great car today."
The Beauchamp Motorsports team performed admirably and was able to tweak the car's handling during the race. "At times, the car was a little loose in the middle of the turn so I'd have to wait a bit to get on the throttle," continued Beauchamp. "During our pitstop, we tightened it up a bit. It made me drive a slightly different line but it handled better and we scored a solid finish.
Looking back on his season, Beauchamp is proud that he and the MOPAR Dodge crew were able to bounce back from their mid-season challenges. Prior to the last two races of the year, Beauchamp and crew focused on a strong finish.
"That's exactly what we did," said the MOPAR driver. "During the middle of the season, we got away from the basic CASCAR setup and went to a soft spring setup. Either the car doesn't seem to like the setup or we just haven't figured out how to do it yet. It worked for us at Calgary and we got kind of pumped about it. But when we came back to Ontario and the flatter tracks, it didn't seem to want to work. So we made the decision to get back to the basics and 'boom' the car came back to life. I'd like to thank Burt McColl for all of his help in getting us back on track. He changed the car's roll centres. Between his contribution and the hard work of my crew chief Chris Couvillon and the rest of the crew, they deserve special thanks for getting us going again. We ended the season on a high note, which is what we wanted to do. I would have been more pumped if we had gotten a podium finish today but I feel really good about the way we ended the season."
Looking ahead to next year, Beauchamp is determined to build on his late-season momentum. "We're committed to coming back and these last two results have encouraged us to start our preparations for 2005 almost immediately. We're excited about racing the MOPAR Dodge and we're not waiting to get a jump on next season."
In closing, Beauchamp would like to recognize the support of his team and sponsors during 2004. "I want to thank MOPAR Parts for their sponsorship and support during this season, as well Exide and our associate sponsors. I would also like to thank the Beauchamp Motorsports crew for their hard work and dedication. We had some tough times during the season but we bounced back as a team and we're really looking forward to next season."
BERMS-R-US.COM 250 SUMMARY: Don Thomson Jr. won his fourth consecutive CASCAR Super Series National championship on Sunday afternoon at Kawartha Speedway. Thomson started on the pole and came home third behind race winner Kerry Micks and runner-up Jim Lapcevich to secure his record-breaking fourth title by 52 points over Peter Gibbons.
CASCAR ON SPORTSNET: Visit www.cascar.ca/schedule/tv_schedule.html for the broadcast schedule of all CASCAR Super Series races on SPORTSNET.