It didn’t take Steve Carrier long to get back into the groove at Beech Ridge Motor Speedway.

Last Saturday night, in only his fourth race since returning after a year’s absence, Carrier drove to his 19th career win in the 40-lap Pro Series feature.

“I went to every race last year,” he said. “I was in the Turn 4 Lounge over there on my crutches watching every race.”

The so-called Turn 4 Lounge is a little hill across the grandstand where the drivers usually gather to watch the other divisions race.

“It was a longer season over there than it was if I was racing,” he said.

For a variety of reasons, the 2009 season started about a month later than usual.

Since Carrier wasn’t able to race his car at Beech Ridge, he decided to spend some time on his bike running around the MX207 motocross course in Lyman.

“I don’t usually take my bike out before the racing season starts,” he said. “The one time I took my bike out before the racing car season started I got hurt.”

“Hurt” might not be quite the right word to describe Carrier’s injuries.

“I tore the heel off my left foot, broke my foot in five places and broke my ankle all at the same time,” he said.

“It happened on April 30 and I didn’t get back to work until the middle of September.”

Carrier, who lives in Saco, is employed as a machinist at Pratt & Whitney in North Berwick.

Like its owner, Carrier’s No. 83 car remained idle for the entire 2009 season.

“I had a lot of offers,” he said, “but I wasn’t going to let anybody else drive it.”

When Carrier returned to racing last month, he got off to a slow start.

“The first race we had problems with the car, and we really didn’t go that good,” he said.

Carrier finished 13th out of 23 cars in the May 29 Pro Series opener.

“Second time out, we had the same problem,” he said. “We didn’t cure it and we had a flat with two laps to go.”

Carrier finished a disappointing 15th in the 40-lap feature June 5.

Carrier got off to a promising start in his third race, the Coors Light 100 on June 12. After winning his qualifying heat, he ran second for a while in the feature.

“Me and another car got tangled up, and we ended up spinning,” he said. “We weren’t a threat after that.”

Last Saturday night, it again looked bleak for Carrier.

“In the heat race, we weren’t that good,” he said. “We had a tire rotation, like everybody else has, and we had to carry over a tire.”

After the season starts, drivers are allowed to buy one new tire each week. Often the key to their success depends on which wheel hub the tire is mounted.

“We usually put it on the left front (but) because we had been a little bit snug all the time, we put it on the left rear for the heat race,” Carrier said. “We were real loose, and we started sixth and finished sixth, I think.”

For the 40-lap feature, Carrier’s crew put the old tire right where it belonged.

“All we did for the feature was put the old (tire) on the left front and put the new (tire) on the left rear, and we were good right off the bat,” he said. “I think it was Lap 2 or 3 I knew I had something. I stayed on the outside lane and rode around and looked in the mirror at the race behind me.”

 

IT LOOKS like Eddie MacDonald has just the right car to run well at Oxford Plains Speedway.

Starting with last July’s TD Bank 250, the Massachusetts-based driver has won in each of his last three trips to the track.

“The whole idea of getting a Late Model together was to have some fun and win some races,” said MacDonald, who races full time on the K&N Series circuit. “But most of all, we wanted to win that Oxford 250, and that was where a lot of focus was put on with that car. Luckily we were able to do that last year.”

MacDonald’s most recent victory at Oxford Plains came last Saturday night when he led the final 43 laps in a 150-lap Amercian Canadian Tour race.

His next victory on the three-eighths-mile oval could come July 18 at the TD Bank 250.

“We really focused on that track with that car,” he said.

 

NO RACING is scheduled at Beech Ridge this weekend, but there will be plenty of action on the track Friday night for the season’s Series II of the Day of Destruction.

The event lineup includes a Beetle Bug bash, a backward donut dash, a backward drag race, street-legal spectator drags, pickup truck drags and ladies-only spectator drags.

 

Staff Writer Paul Betit can be contacted at 791-6424 or at:

[email protected]