Oxford, ME – Evan Beaulieu drove his #56 Hancock Lumber Chevrolet from the 20th starting spot to finish 13th in his first race at Oxford Plains in a Super Late Model. In the longest race the 21 year old driver has run, the race only had three cautions with a green flag run going for over 90 laps, making it tough to pick up spots as the 36 car field spread out around the 3/8th mile track. After what has been a disappointing sophomore season, Beaulieu was thrilled to leave Oxford Plains with the finish.
“I grew up watching these guys race here, so just to be a part of it is really special to me,” Beaulieu said after the race, “I wanted a top ten, and we were there towards the end but by the time the yellows flew at the end there I had used up my right rear and I was fighting grip pretty bad on those restarts. We still had a great finish though and for our first actual PASS race, I’m proud of that effort.”
Beaulieu started tenth and after getting shuffled back in his heat race, he wound up finishing seventh while only the top six advanced into the show, leaving the rest to run the consolation race. Beaulieu started on the pole of the 15 lap “consi,” and lead the whole way to win, and giving himself a 20th place starting spot in the stacked 36 car Super Late Model field.
Right from the start, Beaulieu was shuffled back to 25th on the outside before he was able to fall in line. Pacing himself early, Beaulieu was able to get up to 18th by the time the first yellow flag flew on lap 37. From there, Beaulieu got a real test as the field paced around the track under the warm 80 degree weather for over 90 laps. Beaulieu was able to work his way through some traffic as the field got spread out, and kept on the wheel. Just past lap 100, Beaulieu fell a lap down as the race leaders were setting a blistering pace, but Beaulieu was still racing for a top ten finish when the yellow flag flew again at lap 131. From there, Beaulieu was reporting his car was too loose and he thought his tires were going away on him. He was able to hold on and finish the race in the 13th position, an excellent result for his first race at Oxford Plains.
After reflecting on his season, Beaulieu is looking forward to putting 2014 behind him on a good note, and rebuild for 2015. “We’ve had a really tough season, but I believe it’s made us all stronger,” Beaulieu said of his season, “We’re all still learning, this race was a lot of fun and I’d really like to run more tour races next year, but it will take sponsorship to make it happen and we will hard at that over the offseason. I can’t thank my great team, my supporters and our partners for sticking with us this year; we’re going to have a great 2015 season.”
Keep updated on Evan Beaulieu and the Beaulieu Racing team during the 2014 season on Twitter (@ebeaulieu56), on Facebook (facebook.com/ebeaulieu56) and on his all new website at www.evanbeaulieu.com. The new Evan Beaulieu online store is also up on shop.evanbeaulieu.com.
Photo by Lindsay Ellison Photography