Rally man: Dan Beauchamp gains ground at Crandon

ESCANABA – Dan Beauchamp of Escanaba is no stranger from rallying from behind. He’s doing it once again this season in pursuit of his third consecutive Super Stock points championship.

Beauchamp had an excellent weekend at Crandon, Wis., June 28-29 taking first place in Saturday’s race and fifth on Sunday. He savored the weekend especially due to the conditions he and his crew had to deal with.

“It rained Friday night coming into Saturday so we had no practice at all the entire weekend,” Beauchamp said. “Basically we were guessing on our tire package for the race.”

At Crandon, the trucks line up in a row and start from a dead stop. It’s a race to the first corner, with the lead truck gaining a foothold. Beauchamp got there first on Saturday.

“We basically picked the right tire package and I was lucky enough to get there first. I led from start to finish,” said Beauchamp.

There was a slight miscue on Sunday’s race when Beauchamp and his team picked the wrong tire package.

“I can’t blame it all on the tires though,” he said. “I didn’t come out of the hole like I wanted to and came out in 12th out of the start.”

But once again, Beauchamp was able to rally.

“I got through some traffic and got into fifth place. On the last lap, I tried to get around the fourth place truck and almost rolled over,” Beauchamp said. “We got fifth and that was good. We went into Crandon sixth in points and now we’re third. We picked up three spots over the weekend, so that’s pretty good.”

The Super Stock class is always a battle and Beauchamp knows that firsthand. Though he’s won the points championship in consecutive seasons, he’s had to work the comeback trail each time to do it.

“Last year at this time, we were 10th in points, so to be sitting in third right now, we’re really happy. There’s still a lot of time to get to first place,” Beauchamp said.

Following Crandon, Beauchamp and his team has just over two weeks to prepare for their next race at Bark River, July 19-20.

“The two week break is great to get caught back up,” Beauchamp said. “The body is pretty messed up so we’ll be replacing some panels. And since Bark River, we blew up an engine in practice, so hopefully we’re going to get the backup engine back together and we’ll be back to square one with the truck being new again.”

Beauchamp’s main contenders for the title this season are Don Demeny and Mitch Dorr. Beauchamp battled with Demeny right to the end last season and figures he’ll be in for another fight with both drivers once again this season.

“Don Demeny has been racing since the ’80s and I’ve been racing for about seven years, so he has 20 years of experience on me,” said Beauchamp. “He’s never won a championship though and I’ve won two already. Don really wants it just as bad as I do but he’ll have to go through me to get it.

“Mitch Dorr is from Illinois and raced in the pro classes the last three years,” Beauchamp added. “He just came back to the Super Stock class and also hasn’t won a championship yet. We’re all driving for it.”

With only two races down, there’s still a lot of season ahead for Beauchamp, but he’s getting a leg up in the early season with his two favorite tracks occupying the first three race weekends.

“My best two tracks are Crandon and Bark River,” he said. “I don’t mind coming back to Bark River.

“Hopefully the bad luck is out of our way and we can win both races this coming weekend here.”