30 JUN 03
Looking for more on-track success Beattie and the ATI Racing team rolled into the Madison International Speedway for the BFGoodrich Tires 250. The team was well on their way after lining up 17th on the grid.
To help the effort, tire wear was hardly a factor as Beattie was able to outrun others with older tires and hold his line on the bottom of the racing surface.
But once again the racing bug bit Beattie's #09 Monte Carlo. This time with brake troubles. "The brakes started to act up on lap 40 and it turns out we had a piston that was hanging up in the bore on the front brakes," Beattie said of the problem that dropped the car back to the 30th position.
After pit stops cycled through late in the race with 13 laps remaining, Beattie was sitting in good shape hoping yet another strong finish was in sight. "Two cars dropped out and we would have ended up 11th but that was not be as we had some electrical problem that blew a fuse and shut the motor off," Beattie explains of a good run gone sour. "26th was all we could get after that."
Although the finish was not what the team had hoped for they showed well throughout the event and moved on to the next race on the ASA Racing Series schedule in Marne, MI at the Berlin Raceway.
Heading into the Meijer 250 presented by BFGoodrich Tires, Beattie knew it would be a tough track to conquer. "This place requires only one thing to make you fast. Old Age. Lots of experience will yield the proper setup to give you the proper line to get around the very odd, flat, 4/10 track. Butch Miller, Gary, Kevin, Garvey, Robbie, those guys know what the deal is there and they capitalize on that."
And he was right on with Robbie Pyle claiming the pole for the Berlin event.
Unlike some of auto racing's other top circuits, the veterans have been a pretty hot commodity in ASA and Beattie added, "Butch was commended for his 50th pole from Madison and they had a flag made for him. His first pole was in 1979, I was 1 year old. That should help put things in perspective."
With his obvious respect for the seasoned veterans, Beattie entered the event hoping to gain the always important experience with the additional track time.
The ATI Racing machine lined up 20th on the grid but not too long after the green flag fell problems crept in. "Our wonderful luck seemed to follow us around as we had a left front tire going down in the middle of the race. That really hurt our track position for the next stop," Beattie explained.
Although on a different pit sequence, the Bob Cumbow led pit crew prevailed and kept the 09 in the thick of things after losing some time because of the pesky left front. "We did have some good pit stops with a little help from an old friend up there. Not a terrible night."
Beattie held on and ended up crossing the stripe in 16th place. "Once again I will just have to leave Berlin with a little more experience," he said.
The next event for J.C. Beattie, Jr. and the ATI Racing team will be at the Jennerstown Speedway August 16th. The event will be aired live on Speed.