TEAM MOPAR SCORES PODIUM FINISH AT SEASON OPENER May 24, 2009. Ron Beauchamp Jr. and the ...
TEAM MOPAR SCORES PODIUM FINISH AT SEASON OPENER
May 24, 2009. Ron Beauchamp Jr. and the #60 Mopar Dodge Avenger team came to round number one of the 2009 NASCAR Canadian Tier Series at the Autodrome St. Eustache near Montreal, Quebec with high expectations for success. After a long grueling off season their hard work and attention to detail were rewarded with a third place finish at the 250 lap race.
The day however was not without adversity. The #60 Mopar Parts Dodge was not performing to expectations during practice. Crew Chief Chris Couvillion determined that the team needed a higher gear to achieve the necessary speeds to be successful, and Beauchamp was looking for more grip, especially out of corner four. After making several changes prior to qualifying the performance improved. Beauchmap qualified the #60 Avenger sixth quickest. "We didn't get what we were expecting right away" said the driver. "But the team made some changes and we got a decent qualifying run" he added.
A 250 lap race can seem like a lifetime at St. Eustache where things happen quickly and drivers need to be ready for action. "It was a bit wild out there at times" smiled Beauchamp afterwards. "I just wanted to get into the race and make sure the changes we'd made worked the way we wanted in the first half of the race, and then if there were any other adjustments needed, we'd make them later on.
The race proceeded according to plan early on. A number of early caution periods slowed the field several times before lap 100 and Beauchamp kept the #60 Mopar Parts Dodge up near the front of the field. "It was a bit hard to get a read on the car in the early going, but we appeared to be in good shape and looking to move to the front". Beauchamp would take over the lead for the first time on lap 115 and lead on the race on three separate occasions. "That showed us that we were right there and were in the hunt.
The race would run for an extended period under green flag conditions in the second half and while the #60 Mopar Parts Dodge was fast, the handling was starting to go away. "During that long green run, the car just tightened up" said the driver. "We were really good for a while, then I'd have to slow down a bit, let the tires cool down and it would come back, but that long run, it just got too tight. I had to work the throttle to set the nose of the car through the corners. If we weren't that little bit tight the result might have been a little different.
The race would be extended by nine laps to have a green, white, checker, finish due to a late caution and Beauchamp was in the hunt for the victory but came up just short, settling for a third place podium position, his third podium in the last four races going back to last season. The entire #60 Mopar Parts Dodge team was thrilled with the result. "I'm so proud of all the guys on this team" said Beauchamp. "They all worked so hard over the winter and to get this solid finish to start the season is fantastic. Personally I'm proud to continue my association with Mopar, Exide and Mobil 1. During these tough times it's an honour to be part of they've continued to make us part of their Marketing Program and I just want so bad for us to give them the results they deserve for their outstanding support over the years" he added.
The 2009 NASCAR Canadian Tire Series racing season continues with round two at Delaware Speedway near London, Ontario on Saturday June 6th. Team Mopar will participate in all thirteen events that take place on ovals, road courses and temporary street circuits. You can follow the action all year long with the television broadcasts on TSN. You can watch the season opening event on Saturday May 30th at 5:00PM Eastern.