It was one of the most impressive rookie seasons in one of the most impressive rookie classes. But John Beale is ready to take the next step from his Third Place points finish and Dean’s Satellite and Security Rookie of the Year title.
Beale will return for his second full season with the TUNDRA Super Late Model Series Powered by Wisconsin Potatoes in 2018, and will return as a top contender to capture the title.
“The problem is that I’m teamed with Casey Johnson and he’s also racing,” Beale said. “You put him back on the TUNDRA circuit, and he’ll be hard to beat. The goal would be for Casey to win the Championship and myself to also try.”
Although Beale identifies Johnson as a tough competitor, the partnership formed last year is one of the reasons Beale saw a boost in his racing career.
“With Casey Johnson the setups are unbelievable,” Beale said. “Everyone thinks he’s a great racecar driver – which he is – but it’s a lot of the setup, and he’s just a genius with it. I passed more cars last year than I had in my ten-year career.”
Although Beale is quick to credit Johnson, there is no doubt that his tenacity behind the wheel and drive to win was a major reason he was successful in his rookie campaign. In his first ever visit to Wisconsin International Raceway in last year’s Kroll’s West Round One, Beale raced his way into the feature and scored a Ninth Place finish.
“It was my first time at that track in a Super Late. With that many cars, that many locals, it was very difficult to do – especially qualifying with all the pressure,” Beale said.
After another impressive Ninth Place finish at another new track – LaCrosse Fairgrounds Speedway – Beale came as close to a “home track” advantage as the TUNDRA schedule would allow with a stop at Jefferson. He did not disappoint.
Beale started at the rear of the field and engaged in a heated battle for the win with Wyatt Brooks. Brooks held him off, but Beale recorded a solid runner-up finish. He said he would have liked to give Brooks a little bit more of a fight though.
“I was told a hundred times not to wreck anything that weekend,” Beale said. “If it had been any other weekend I probably would have done a little bit more to win the race, but the last thing we needed was more wrecked equipment and more going to the back for issues. When you get that close you really want it, but to finish Second in a TUNDRA race, you can’t complain.”
Beale rounded out the season with Top Five runs at Wausau and Golden Sands and his first fast time at Dells Raceway Park in the final round.
This season Beale will have a familiarity with all of the TUNDRA tracks including Marshfield, where he competed in the Yellow River Racing Series finale last season. To replicate and build on the success of last season comes down to one thing, according to Beale. Consistency.
“I’ve only raced for ten years, but I’ve been in this my entire life,” he said. “I know about consistency and finishing and all that. A lot of people had issues – being in wrecks, or failures, or not preparing their cars. Knowing all that, trying to finish all the races, that’s what got us that high in points.”
And what happens if Beale and his Crew Chief/teammate go door-to-door at the end of the race for a win?
“The problem is that Monday will be coming up and both of those cars will be at the shop and they’ll need to be worked on,” Beale remarked. “I’m the last guy to say this, but I won’t wreck him. Usually anyone else I’ll do what I have to for the win.”
This season Beale Racing will welcome the Wisconsin Corn Growers Association as a sponsor. They are also sponsored by Hougan Farms, Pathfinder Chassis, Performance Part Supplies, Swift Springs, Evenson Farms.
Kroll’s West Round One for the TUNDRA Super Late Model Series Powered by Wisconsin Potatoes takes place Saturday, May 12 at Wisconsin International Raceway. The Super Late Models will be joined by the TUNDRA Sportsman and Triple Crown Late Models. Qualifying is at 5:15 p.m. with racing at 6:45 p.m. Adult admission (13 and up) is just $12. Kids 12 and under receive free admission.
Wisconsin International Raceway is located just past the intersection of Hwy 55 and KK outside of Kaukauna, Wis. For more information visit www.wirmotorsports.com