In preparation for this Saturday's season-opening event in Lakeland, FL. ASA's Beattie looking to follow Wimmer, Sauter Moving into 2003, JC Beattie, Jr. and his ATI Performance Products team are working hard to prove their abilities this season.
In preparation for this Saturday's season-opening event in Lakeland, FL.
ASA's Beattie looking to follow Wimmer, Sauter
Moving into 2003, JC Beattie, Jr. and his ATI Performance Products team are working hard to prove their abilities this season. One obvious change for the team came in the form of a new crew chief in Bob Cumbow. Previously, Cumbow worked as crew chief on Robbie Pyle's entry over the course of the past few seasons.
In 2002, Beattie tallied four top-15s and six top-20s. For the second year in a row, he garnered a top-20 points finish. Things weren't all that bad for Beattie but when it was all said and done, it could have been better.
As the season was coming to a close the 24-year-old qualified a season's best ninth at Winchester. Throughout the race he ran competitively in the top five before he tangled with a lapped car. He says although things ended on a sour note, he is looking forward to a better start to the 2003 season.
"The season is very close, I am ready to get back to racing and try and keep our momentum from the last two races going and continue to run well," says a positive Beattie. "I am hoping our learning curves will have flattened out this season and we can get back to some real racing instead of just chasing."
Beattie, who recently graduated from UNC Charlotte, has relocated back to the Baltimore area and now works hands-on at the ATI race shop. "I am enjoying myself doing things at ATI," he says.
Beattie says following a major storm that hit the Baltimore, MD area he calls home, the team was able to trek to the .75-mile track in Lakeland, FL for a preseason test session. "I think we ran about 400 laps over three days at Lakeland. Testing really did go well, no major scares, nothing broken or falling off and I was able to dust off the 40 inches of snow we had around here."
In addition to Beattie making laps in preparation for the season-opening March 22nd race, the ATI Performance team used a Competition Data System to help gather data from the runs. "We used a CDS to gain some valuable info about the cars and I think that will really help us down the road," Beattie says.
He adds, "All in all we learned a lot about the new Howe car and worked with the older Hamke cars. I am looking forward to the race and getting '03 started up."
As far as the addition of Cumbow, Beattie says the test his 09 team had helped to gel the on-track relationship between crew chief and driver. "We had a great test session on all four cars and I worked well with Bob."
Looking beyond the ranks of ASA, Beattie would like to follow a path drivers such as Scott Wimmer and Johnny Sauter have recently taken, by moving to the NASCAR Busch Series. This season, Beattie's fellow ASA competitors Ryan Hemphill, David Stremme and Joey Clanton will all run a limited schedule in the NBS division.
Beattie would of course like to join them, but he doesn't see a point in rushing something if the time isn't right. "I would love to play out the childhood dream of 'making it' one day, but I am not one to try and get in over my head," he says.
In perspective, JC Beattie, Jr. may be one of ASA's Cinderella stories come season's end. After a rough learning experience in 2002, Beattie and team have regrouped, added a qualified crew chief and set out on a mission to earn a top-10 points finish. Don't be surprised if the dedicated bunch ends up doing just that.
For more information on JC Beattie, Jr. and his ATI Performance Products Racing team, please visit JCBeattie.com
-Amanda Brahler, guest writer