LUCAMA, NC – Jessica Bean is hoping to defend her championship in the USAC Eastern Midgets, but her quest for back-to-back championships gets underway at her toughest track.
The 28-year-old from Farmland, Indiana has never won a race at Southern National Motorsports Park despite her success at other nearby tracks. She has won races at Carteret County Speedway and Wake County Speedway but has only had one podium finish at Southern National. This weekend, she’s hoping to change her fortunes.
“Southern National has actually been one of my tough tracks,” Bean said. “It would be nice to start off the season with a win like we did last year. We got a win at Orange County last year to start the season, which ended up being a great season for us getting the championship. It would solidify our championship and get the season off right if we start with another win, especially here at Southern National since I have struggled here in the past.”
Bean says she does not know why Southern National has been such a challenge for her.
“I wish I knew,” Bean commented. “I really have no idea. It’s a big, wide, fast track. You’d think it would be easier. For some reason, I’ve always struggled here.”
Bean travels with the USAC Eastern Midgets, which compete in tracks all across the United States East Coast. The participants of the series are something of a family at the track, helping each other out and having a good time while keeping the competitive spirit on the track.
“We’re like a big family here,” Bean explained. “We all get along. We all strive to make the series better so we’ve got to make sure everybody’s out there when we get out there and make sure every car is on the track when they kick it off.”
While the USAC Eastern Midgets racers might be close friends off the track, they are still racers and they want to win. For Bean, it’s no different. She wants to win as many races as possible in hopes of defending her title.
“You’ve got to defend your title,” Bean said. “I’m looking for more wins this year but obviously I’m hoping that will transform into a championship as well.”
The 35-lap USAC Eastern Midgets race at Southern National Motorsports Park on Saturday is the season opener for the series. They will be joined by Limited Late Models, Mini-Stocks, Legends, Bandoleros and Any Cars. The green flag will wave at 2pm.
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