The ‘Whitby Warrior’ is making the transition back to dirt racing after competing on the OSCAAR Super Late Model tour and in Late Model competition for nearly 20 years. Dirt racing, however, is in Beyore’s blood. Beyore’s father, Max, competed in Small Block Modified competition during the 1960s and 1970s at Brockville and Cornwall Speedways as well as the now defunct Kingston Speedway.
Michel previously competed in a Late Model during the 1980s and 1990s in Northern Ontario as well as at Brockville and Cornwall before switching to asphalt.
Beyore got a taste of the dirt at the end of last season in a Chuck Marsh-owned Sportsman car. The opportunity convinced him to compete at Merrittville for the 2016 season. To prepare for his new venture, Beyore participated in the Bicknell Racing Products racing school at the Thorold, Ont. track over the weekend.
“We’re fast. We made only three adjustments. It works alright and it had a good feeling to it,” Beyore commented. “We were wondering how we were going to end up, but when we left (after practice) we were quite happy. We’ll be competitive.”
The driver of the No.54 will run a part-time schedule in his return to dirt this summer. The limited schedule will allow the 56 year-old Whitby native to have fun in a pressure-free situation.
“I’m going there with no expectations. That’s the best way,” laughed Beyore. “I’m just looking to have a good time and be competitive.”
The change will bring with it a fair share of challenges. Technology has changed significantly since Beyore last competed regularly on a clay surface in the 1990s.
“The biggest thing I’m going to have to learn is to manage the tires. It’s a different deal, even from when I raced on the dirt before,” he explained. “The tires, now, are so much different in the way you groove them and sipe them. There’s quite a bit of learning to do there.”
Beyore knows he will have to adapt to a new group of competitors at Merrittville as well as a change in motor. The Crate powered Sportsman does not make the same horsepower as Beyore’s Super Late Model.
“It’s a crate motor but everybody’s on a crate motor. You know everybody’s the same as you. It comes down to setup and how you drive the car,” Beyore explained optimistically.
Perhaps the most interesting feature about Beyore’s return to dirt is his decision to honour the family heritage in the sport. The paint scheme on Beyore’s Bicknell-built car is a tribute to his father’s final season in 1972.
“When we got back in to this, I figured now is the time to do it. I even matched his helmet. The lettering and everything is all done the same,” Beyore explained.
Following a successful test day, Beyore’s focus has now shifted to Merrittville’s April 30 points opener, which will mark is first race of the season.
Michel Beyore’s 2016 season is supported by the following corporate sponsors: Millenium Crane, Metals Plus, Stemac, Hoy’s Garage, CNC Machining, Praxair and MGS Custom Tune.
Follow Michel Beyore’s 2016 DIRT Sportsman season online at www.beyoreracing.ca and on Twitter at @54Buck.
Media Contact: Clayton Johns Media // Clayton Johns Media