PICTURE PERFECT ENDING FOR BEAU SLOCUMB By Amy Hayes
Saturday Afternoon at the Races with Konica Minolta
When 21-year-old Beau Slocumb brought his hauler into Hickory Motor Speedway on Saturday for the ASA Late Model South Konica Minolta race, a lot of people may not have paid too much attention to him. This could have been either because it was his first time making an appearance in the series, or also it could due to the camouflage that decorated his car.
top five starting position he worked his way through the field, and took the lead on lap six. He dominated the first half of the race. During the long green runs he would stretch out his lead to several car lengths as the laps counted down.
However, the runs would not last. Middleton suffered engine trouble toward the midpoint of the race and lost the lead. Slocumb had been staying clean and running in the top five, and as Middleton began to fall back, Slocumb began working his way up. Once he got the lead, there was no camouflage hiding the fact that he smoked the field.
“You always want to go faster,” said Slocumb. “James Buescher held me up but I knew if I was patient he would fade away a little bit and he did. It was pretty hard getting around Middleton, but when I got around him I knew I had it. The longer the run went the better the car got.”
Beau Slocumb did a great burnout after his win at Hickory, NC. (Jim Carson photo)
Slocumb’s car wasn’t the only thing that was camouflaged during this race. While Middleton was able to leave the track with a top five finish, it was a hard pill to swallow knowing what could have been and not really knowing why it wasn’t.
“We had a good race car; we led the first 40 laps or so,” said Middleton. “The thing started acting like it was going to blow up. It was missing so bad, I just don’t know, we had a little bit of a problem with it last week in Pensacola but we changed about everything we could on it, the carburetor, the wiring, everything we could and it just didn’t clear up at all. The longer it went the worse it
Landon Cassill set a new track record. (51 photo)
Either way, once the 100 lap event was over, the competitors and the fans all left knowing just who the wheel man behind that camo 83 was.
The afternoon got started off with Landon Cassill setting the new track record and winning the pole. The 16-year-old was making his Hickory debut and had traveled all the way from Iowa in order to compete at the historic racetrack. His qualifying time was 14.923 seconds, a tenth of a second faster than the second fast qualifier who happened to be Slocumb.
After the top ten were inverted the race got underway and Jay Middleton got off to a great start. Moving up from his
got and we had a great handling car, we had the car to win here and we were just getting killed on the straight away. We just don’t know what it is.”
In addition to Middleton’s unknown problems, the same mystery was hanging over Landon Cassill’s head as they loaded up their trucks as they pondered why such a promising day ended on a sour note.
“The setup we ran today was a little concoction that we came up with and perfected this winter and last fall. It has proved to be dominant, I hate for everyone else to figure out. I just don’t know what exactly happened during the race. We will just have to find out when we look at the ignition box and stuff, we don’t know if it was our mistake in the shop or ASA’s mistake.”
In the end, it was Slocumb who left the track happy. The Juliette, Georgia native was able to take home his first ASA Late Model Series win, in his first ASA Late Model start.
“The ASA Late Models aren’t necessarily popular for going green but we had some pretty good long runs,” said Slocumb. “I was surprised and I was happy. My crew kept telling me no pressure and telling me to back down, but I wasn’t backing down. I was trying to go as far as I could go.”