By: John Barker LAKELAND, Florida - Bobby Beauchemin coasted home to victory in the SARA series Executive Racing School Late Model 100 presented by Midas Jewelers Saturday night at USA International Speedway. For Beauchemin of Davie, Florida,...
By: John Barker
LAKELAND, Florida - Bobby Beauchemin coasted home to victory in the SARA series Executive Racing School Late Model 100 presented by Midas Jewelers Saturday night at USA International Speedway.
For Beauchemin of Davie, Florida, driving the Don Robinson Concrete Chevrolet, it was his fifth career SARA victory - second of 2001 and second career win at USA Int'l Speedway.
"This car was a bullet tonight, but you have to remember there's a million ways to lose one of these things," said Beauchemin, from USA's Victory Circle.
Beauchemin led 34-cars in qualifying, turning the three-quarter mile high-banked paved oval in 21.613 seconds or 124.92 mph. Thirty-three SARA Late Models started the race.
Wayne Morris of Mulberry, Fla., driving the GGR Roofing Chevrolet, took the early lead, but Beauchemin was already looking at the top spot in lap-15 trying Morris on the inside. Beauchemin didn't have to wait long and during the 18th circuit took the point going into turn one.
Jason Boyd of Orlando, Fla., who finished second, had his GPC/Right Hand Man Chevrolet in a side-by-side battle with Dwayne Dempsey of St. Petersburg, Fla., driving the CD Roma's Chevrolet contesting the third spot.
"After racing two 100-lap Late Model races my head was really hurting," said Boyd, who also ran a Super Late Model event earlier in the evening.
"You can tell Dempsey is a proven Late Model driver and he raced me real clean. My car came around real well at the end of the SARA race."
Dempsey had a good third place effort and after tough luck at Opp, Ala., and Sunshine Speedway in St. Petersburg, Fla., the finish was a welcome relief.
"We finally finished a race for a change and I'm happy it was in this car even though I had a little bit of an oil leak," said Dempsey.
By lap-25 it was Beauchemin, Morris and Dempsey holding down the top-three positions with former NASCAR driver Rick Wilson of Bartow, Fla., and Boyd following in fourth and fifth respectively.
While Beauchemin opened a 10-car lead by lap-36 there were two separate battles going on behind him. Morris and Dempsey fought for second and Boyd was giving Wilson a real going over for fourth.
By lap-40 Boyd got by Wilson for fourth in turn four and then set his sights on Dempsey for second. Two laps later Boyd tried to pass him, but Dempsey quickly closed the door.
Brad Barkis of Ft. Myers, Fla. brought the field to a quick stop when his Fast Equipment ride came unglued going into turn one. A large fireball shot in the air, the result of an oil fire. There were no injuries.
Beauchemin led at halfway followed by Morris, Dempsey, Boyd and Wilson.
Morris had his Chevrolet shut down under high-speed in lap-60 and quickly fell off the pace as Dempsey and Boyd moved to second and third. Wilson was now fourth and Michael Faulk of Ft. White was fifth in his Pierce Motorsports entry.
Things shifted in the top-five in lap-75 as Faulk now challenged for third and Boyd squeaked by Dempsey on the inside for second. But Dempsey shot right back into second out of turn two.
Beauchemin opened a 20-car lead by lap-80. Boyd edged by Dempsey once again for second. The running order in lap-90 was Beauchemin, Boyd, Dempsey, Faulk and Wilson.
Beauchemin crossed the stripe followed by Boyd, and Dempsey.
The next SARA Series Executive Racing School 100 will be May 26 at Desoto Speedway in Bradenton, Fla.