Bell Races out of the Hospital and on to the Pole; Not even food poisoning can slow KONI points co-leader in his Homestead debut (13 March 2009) Homestead, FL--Racers are known for being a focused bunch, and Matt Bell showed some real tunnel ...
Bell Races out of the Hospital and on to the Pole; Not even food poisoning can slow KONI points co-leader in his Homestead debut
(13 March 2009) Homestead, FL--Racers are known for being a focused bunch, and Matt Bell showed some real tunnel vision on Friday as he recovered from a morning visit to the hospital to fight back from an apparent case of food poisoning to return to the track, get a few practice laps in, and then storm to pole in his very first visit to Homestead Miami Speedway.
Sharing the No. 96 Turner Motorsport H&R Springs/StopTech Brakes BMW M3 with Bill Auberlen, Bell had never seen the 2.25-mile infield road course before a brief promoter test day on Thursday. But he quickly found the line and the pace, and was looking to get more seat time in Friday morning's practice session.
Unfortunately, instead of being strapped into his Turner Motorsport BMW M3, Bell was somewhere much less pleasant as he took on fluids at the hospital on Friday morning following a sleepless night of illness. But after catching some sleep and feeling a little more balanced, Bell arrived back at the track and went on to take his first career KONI Challenge pole position in just his second GS class race to continue the momentum he started with the race-winning outing he and Auberlen opened up the year with at Daytona.
"I wasn't feeling amazing this morning," said Bell. "I missed the first practice, but you know what I came back and Bill (Auberlen) had set up an amazing car, extremely easy to drive. I was kind of struggling with things before. It was a miracle. I went out on the first lap and I felt just 100 percent different. The car just did everything I wanted it to do."
The strong start at Daytona has Bell trying to focus the pressure into improving his performance, and clearly the effort has paid off as he notched the second top-three starting spot of the season in just two tries.
"Coming from Daytona I almost feel more pressure today than I did than, simply because we won at Daytona and now there's all this pressure to maybe do it again and keep it up front. Like I said, it wasn't feeling too great this morning. It wasn't looking like a good deal. Again, I got here and the car did everything perfectly. I feel much better now!"