24-year-old Evan Beaulieu, fresh off his best finish of the Beech Ridge NASCAR Nite season, is no stranger to the trials and triumphs that come with racing competitively. As many drivers do, Evan made his start in go-kart racing at a young age. From 2004-2007, he competitively raced go-karts. He then moved up to the Amsoil Nelcar Legends Tour in 2008, where he raced in the Legends division at Beech Ridge Motor Speedway, securing the Thursday Night Thunder Legends Championship in 2011. 2013 was Evan’s first year in the Pro Series at Beech Ridge, which is the division that he still competes in today. 2013 was also Evan’s most successful year in the series, where he scored his first career Pro Series victory. After a near 2-season hiatus from racing NASCAR Nite weekly at Beech Ridge, Evan is back this year with vengeance. With a growing career off-track and a wedding on the horizon to his fiance Lindsey, Evan has a lot on his plate. But, he handles all of the pressure with grace and dignity; showing more strength each and every week of competition. Luckily, Evan has an entire support system there with him weekly, cheering him on and helping him get the #56 machine back to a competitive state.
Evan’s been racing since early childhood, and he’s always had the support of his family. “I have such a supportive family and I’m beyond lucky to have parents that have always lead me in the right direction and push me to follow my goals.”, he says. His father Todd is a constant figure in the pits, sticking by Evan’s side every step of the way. He also lends thanks to his fiance Lindsey, his manager Bobby, Wyatt Alexander and family, and all of his crew members that have tirelessly helped him on his race car over the past 5 years. NASCAR legend Jeff Gordon is his ultimate driving influence, being his favorite driver growing up. “He’s one of the main reasons I got into racing to begin with and I always appreciated how competitive he was and how they wanted to win every week” he says, of Jeff. As far as Beech Ridge competitors go, Evan has always looked up to Kelly & Ryan Moore, as well as Dan (“Naughty 40”) McKeage, cheering them on each and every week as a kid. All of these drivers combined influenced Evan to try his hand at a Pro Series car, but it hasn’t exactly been the easiest journey for him.
2013 was Evan’s breakout season in the Pro Series, which is where he scored his first (and only) career victory on NASCAR Nite at Beech Ridge. The years following have been a struggle for Evan and his team, where they have found difficulty in running toward the front of the pack. This past weekend, Evan scored a 4th place finish in the Pro Series 125, giving both he & his team plenty to be proud of after struggling to find momentum for so long. “It’s been discouraging when coming up through the ranks, we were able to win at every level we raced. I know I can get the job done at this level, but it just takes a lot of preparation and precision in the setup, tires and your driving. It all has to be perfect to run well when it’s competitive.” he says, about his frustrations. He also said that the 125 being a 4-tire race worked to his advantage, and that Charlie Buxton and Dalton Myers were to thank for a lot of the improvements in his car. He says that he is hungry for more success and continued improvement, with his primary goal of being able to visit Victory Lane once again. He says that there’s nothing like the feeling you get after winning a race, which is a feeling that he wants to experience with his fiance, who makes a lot of sacrifices in her own life to be with him every race weekend. Winning isn’t everything to him, though. Evan says that racing every weekend isn’t just about him and his success, it’s about the children and families that visit the track too.
Evan strives to be a great role model for kids looking to get their start in racing. He says that kids are the “future of our sport” and that he doesn’t waste any opportunity to jump on the Bunny Bus and interact with all of the kids at the track. “We, as a sport, can’t do enough to get the kids interested and to the racetrack.” he says, also adding that he always makes sure to personalize his autographed hero cards on Autograph Nights and during Happy Half Hour, giving each kid an individualized experience that will leave them feeling fulfilled after a night at the race track. After his competitive racing days are over, Evan still wants racing to remain a big component of his life, saying, “I want to do more events with schools and automotive programs to get more people into Motorsports and help new people in the sport.” Racing is forever going to remain a constant in Evan’s life, but he also has big plans for his future.
A lot of Evan’s future plans surround his upcoming wedding and plans to start a new life with his fiance, Lindsey. “There’s a lot of wedding planning going on right now, which is fun with Lindsey. We plan on building a house soon and hope to be moved in before we are married.” he says, of his future plans. He’s also a longtime employee of Hancock Lumber, who also happens to be his primary sponsor. He plans on continuing his work for them as well as working on his own company, Nitro Designs. Nitro Designs is Evan’s own company, which started as a hobby and has turned into something a little bigger. Evan does website work, print design and car design, working with fellow drivers and local businesses as well. He says that Nitro Designs has opened the door for great opportunities to meet new people and create new connections, whether that be in the racing or business world. Evan’s not only a driver, he’s a businessman as well. But, even businessmen like to have fun sometimes.
Evan’s a huge music buff; one of his all-time favorite musicians is the one & only Bruce Springsteen. He enjoys attending concerts when he has the chance to, and some of his other favorite artists include Metallica, AC/DC and more. He says that ‘A Warriors Call’ by Volbeat would have to be one of his favorite pump-up jams that gets him excited for race day. “Derek, who has been helping us for seven years now, and I always used to jam to that song when we ran the Legends cars and it still gets me pumped up.” he says, reminiscing on the old days running the Legends division. He’s also a huge New England sports fan, constantly cheering on the New England Patriots and the Boston Red Sox. He says that Tom Brady is “easily” his favorite professional athlete, saying, “He is just a freak when it comes to preparation and how he handles himself on and off the field. He’s the greatest of all time…it’s hard not to look up to someone like that.” When he’s not cheering on (or tweeting about) the Patriots during the winter months, he likes to get out and enjoy the New England winters, taking to the trails on his snowmobile. Racing is constantly in the back of his mind, though. “When I’m not racing, I’m watching racing. But, my fiance has helped me grow as a person and open up to more things.”, he says. Racing, to Evan, is also about opening your eyes (and ears) and accepting advice from other competitors.
Evan says that over the years, he has received a lot of great advice from his fellow competitors. “In Legends cars, I learned a lot from my fellow competitors and some of the veteran drivers about how to race fairly and how to carry yourself when things don’t go well.”, he says. He says that, as a young driver, it’s important to remain level-headed and realize that every race is a new learning experience. As far as his advice for the Whiz Kids making their way up to the more competitive series’ at Beech Ridge, he says, “You have to always believe in yourself. You can’t go anywhere far in life if you don’t believe in yourself or have confidence.” Even when he’s struggling, Evan goes into every week with a positive attitude, believing that he can capture the checkered flag. That sort of mentality is hard to maintain in such a competitive sport, but Evan Beaulieu has it nailed down and doesn’t plan on giving up on his dream any time soon, no matter how rough the road may get.
Join Chasing the Checkered in cheering on Evan (and all other Beech Ridge competitors) every Saturday night (weather permitting) at Beech Ridge throughout the summer months! Racing action always begins at 7:00 pm.
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