ESCANABA - Good luck, bad luck and skill; Danny Beauchamp had his taste of all three last year as he captured his second straight TORC Series Super Stock championship.
The Escanaba native is hoping to have a little more good luck to start out this year as he kicks off the season at the Bark River International Speedway.
"We had the lead at both races at Bark River last year and due to mechanical failure we didn't finish either race, but we were leading both of them and we ended up breaking," Beauchamp said. "It's going to be cool going back there first, and I've just got to stay on top of my game right now."
The Super Stock season consists of 10 races packed into five grueling weekends. Beauchamp noted the importance of finishing races to maintain standings in the points race.
"There is no room for error because there is so few races," he said. "If you really don't finish one or two races it puts you out of contention for the points at the end of the year. I'm just going to concentrate on finishing the races."
Last season however, Beauchamp found himself against a wall after failing to finish his first three races. He dug himself out of an early hole and rose in the points chart with three straight first place finishes. After a second place finish at RedBud, Beauchamp needed a big finale at Crandon to repeat. He captured first in the opening race but was still tied in first for overall points.
After capturing second place at RedBud and first at the opening day of Crandon, Beauchamp was tied for first.
In the final race at Crandon, the driver who was tied with Beauchamp (Nick Byng) got a flat tire, as did the next closest racer Don Demeny. With lady luck finally on his side, Beauchamp took his second straight championship.
"It was a lot of luck, there is a lot of luck involved," Beauchamp said. "The most important thing I'd say is just keeping my truck maintained well and keeping up on things with my crew. Then it's up to the driver after all of that."
Though the winter has been long and practice hasn't been feasible due to weather, Beauchamp and company have been busy working on his truck, an F-150, for the upcoming season.
"The truck gets tore right down," he said "We replace the engine, we replace the transmission and the rear differential and anything else that might need it, but it gets tore right down to usually the roll cage every winter."
Though new technology becomes available each year, Beauchamp said his truck won't see any major changes.
"I don't really want to change my setup from what I've had because it's worked so well for me the last year," he said. "Basically just concentrating on my driving and making sure all the nuts and bolts are tight and finishing the races."
Beauchamp starts his quest for a third straight championship this June in Bark River. He said he's excited to start the season on his home track and expects big things out of this summer.
"I know that my truck is fast," he said. "I've been racing for a couple of years now. I have the confidence to run out front and to win races as long as the truck and my crew are there. My crew is a big part of it, my truck, and then driving. It's all about getting everything together."