The American Speed Association has produced some great talent over the years. Current NASCAR Winston Cup Series drivers Rusty Wallace and Mark Martin (and many others) competed in ASA at the beginning of their careers. Both Wallace and Martin ...
The American Speed Association has produced some great talent over the years. Current NASCAR Winston Cup Series drivers Rusty Wallace and Mark Martin (and many others) competed in ASA at the beginning of their careers.
Both Wallace and Martin spent their entire adulthood doing nothing but racing, with no desire to pursue any other kind of career, or further education. Very few drivers go beyond high school and with racing being so rewarding after the payout, is there really a need? ASA driver JC Beattie Jr. feels there is.
Beattie not only drives the entire ASA schedule, but he is also a student at the University of North Carolina/Charlotte's School of Business. "College has been very eye opening, enjoyable, long, and I think I have even learned a few things." he says. But the original plan was for him to stay home and work on racecars at the family business. "But my mom had other ideas. I have been in Charlotte for the last five years, I guess she won."
So how does he balance racing and school? "Things have been tough. School for me is a tie with racing, ATI, and classes for first place. I have missed some tests for racing, but I have also missed some racecar testing to stay and take a test."
After spending two years in UNC's Mechanical Engineering program, JC decided to switch to Small Business Management. He is set to graduate in December.
On the racing end of things, Beattie seems to be headed in the right direction. Starting his career in karts, he won the WKA (World Karting Association) Triple Crown title and has over 38 career WKA victories. Moving to the PARTS Pro Truck Series for the remaining five races in1998, Beattie won three pole positions and finished second in the final race of the season. In '99 he followed that up with one win and a third place finish in the PARTS Pro Truck Series points.
In 2000, he moved to ASA, where he continues to race, through at least this season. Something else he did during the 2000 season was wear the HANS Device for the first time and continues to wear to this day. "I like it a lot and do not feel comfortable in the racecar without it. I had a very hard wreck testing at Concord Speedway when a drive shaft broke and went under the right rear tire sending me straight into the outside wall and then backwards into the inside wall. I hurt for about 2 weeks after that but I also think the HANS helped me avoid worse injury."
Beattie says to anyone who may have the pre-imposed idea that all race car drivers are fearless or invincible, "That is not me. I love to race and I want to do it for a long time. I do not want to get hurt and not be able to race." Beattie says he keeps his eyes open for any new safety features that may become available. He also feels that ASA does a pretty good job at staying ahead in the safety game.
Aside from the safety aspects, he's focused on racing and would someday like to move up to the Craftsman Truck or Busch Series. "If not, then lots of guys have made a home in the ASA series. It's not a bad place to race and stay." Naming Gary St Amant, Butch Miller, Mike Miller, Mike Eddy, and Kevin Cywinski as examples. "They have all had great careers, moved up and then came back home to ASA."
Beattie's goals for the 2002 season are not only reasonable, but attainable. "I want to finish in the top ten in points and be competitive in all the ASA races this season."
Looking beyond the 2002 season, JC Beattie Jr. hopes to "win some races and the phone call will come, and that Busch or Truck ride will become a reality" Sounds like a pretty good plan. "That is the way I see the dream, I just need to make it a reality."