Story by Chris roy

The Mainely Motorsports 400 is this weekend at Richmond Karting Speedway and 2011 NELCAR Legends Champion, Evan Beaulieu looks to take on the young guns in the kart series “I will be running both the Sr. Sportsman with the Ultramax Blaze Octane and Animal Unrestricted in the Rage Nitro Champ.”

There is a lot of work that goes into the set of the karts and the legends cars, almost like learning a new language going from one type of race car to another. As Evan explains, “They differ a ton. In a kart the only spring you really have is the tires. It takes a lot more out of you too since you’re laid down in the seat instead of up straight and barely moving like you are in a Legends Car. The Legends Car has a lot more power, but you need to be in top shape to finish 60 laps in a kart.”

Though the 56 kart is no stranger to racing at RKS, as Evan has log a lot of laps at this short track. “Handling, you need to have a kart that you can take anywhere on the track. There can be an outside groove there, if you can use it. You need to be able to get into the corner well too without the kart bouncing and losing control. The key to winning the race however, I think is restarts and how many spots you can pick up during them. Going to be a wild afternoon of racing for sure.”

With NELCAR Legend busy schedule with over 30 race this season, I asked Evan if he has had anytime to race karts this season. “I haven’t. We race every Thursday and Saturday and with both cars, we just haven’t had the time to be in karts. I’ve kept my mind in it though, and was at Woodstock Fair last weekend with the Alexander’s (which Wyatt Alexander won) to get back used to working on karts.”

NELCAR races this Saturday at Speedway 95, so the 56 team will miss practice on Saturday at RKS for the karts but, Beaulieu is confident he will do well Sunday behind the wheel at RKS. “I feel like I’ve got enough laps around RKS that it shouldn’t effect us too bad. We have a race to win Saturday night and that is where our main focus is. And I’m really looking forward to having Wyatt’s grandfather Bob drive our other car as well.”

A lot of outstanding driver will be competing this weekend in the Mainely Motorsports 400. As Evan looks to race against some top New England Kart drivers. “Anyone that makes these shows is big competition. DJ Shaw, Glen Meisenhelder, Nick Hadden, Dave Putnam, Brandon Barker will be strong, and our driver at Beaulieu Racing Alicia Perry always has strong runs in these races. It’s a stacked field in both races, and that’s what I like most about this race. If you can win it, you’ve beat the best to do it.”

Qualifying this weekend is by time trial as the field is set by the fast qualifying lap times. Rather than heat races to set the field. Though Beaulieu prefers to race his way into the feature event, “I like heat races better personally, I’m a much better racer than I am a qualifier. I say we just draw pills before and go, 250 style.”