Bell Qualifies on Front Row Yet Again; Pole streak ends, but Bell is still ready to go on Monday

(23 May 2009) Lakeville, CT--Matt Bell was hoping to continue his record run of pole-winning Grand-Am KONI Sports Car Challenge qualifying performances on Saturday at Lime Rock Park, but came up just .056 seconds short as he scored second on the grid for Monday's Lime Rock Park Road Racing Classic in the No. 96 Turner Motorsport H&R Springs/StopTech Brakes BMW M3.

Bell has now scored a top-three qualifying position for every race thus far this season as he contests his first season of GS class competition after stepping up from an ST campaign last year. Bell will once again start the Turner Motorsport machine before turning the controls over to Bill Auberlen.

"The track changed just a little bit more between practice and qualifying than we expected it was going to, and that cost us a tenth right there," said Bell, who has been enjoying the relaxed atmosphere inherent with a Lime Rock Park race weekend. "Traffic was also quite a challenge. This track is so small that there just is no room to give yourself a gap. I was happy that I was able to fight back and keep improving my times through the session, but we just ended up a little short. But given how the last few races have ended up for us after starting on the pole, maybe this will be a good luck charm for us and hopefully we can get back up on the podium on Monday."

Sunday is a no-race day at Lime Rock Park due to local ordinances, giving Bell the opportunity to take in some local color and spend time with his family before returning to work on Monday for the 2.5-hour event, which is slated for a 2:00 PM ET start time.

-credit: sgm