SCC: VIR: Matt Bell qualifying report

Stevenson Motorsports Rallying Behind Bell 23 April 2010-- While the focus and attention rarely leaves the driver, racing is truly a team sport. And that was on clear display on Friday afternoon as Stevenson Motorsports rallied to prepare the...

Stevenson Motorsports Rallying Behind Bell

23 April 2010-- While the focus and attention rarely leaves the driver, racing is truly a team sport.

And that was on clear display on Friday afternoon as Stevenson Motorsports rallied to prepare the No. 6 Sunoco Racing Fuels Chevrolet Camaro for the GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge qualifying session at Virginia International Raceway for driver Matt Bell. The controlled thrash to replace the motor came up just minutes short for Bell to return to the track to set a qualifying time.

The setback started during Thursday's promoter test day, which ended early when a drivetrain issue forced the team to install a new powerplant ahead of the first official practice session on Friday. But the morning practice session saw Bell's co-driver Jeff Bucknum lose drive while out on course, compelling the entire team to put its full effort behind the motor change.

The Stevenson organization, which has an extensive network of dealerships and has long carried the banner for GM, kicked into full motion, dispatching a rig to score a new motor at the closest possible GM Racing dealer. Meanwhile at the track, the Camaro was fully removed to prepare for the motor change, looking like a gutted animal. But despite the appearance, the team's hard work saw the machine looking like a race car once again just two hours later.

But despite the massive effort, the clock just ran out on the qualifying session as Bell waited patiently while strapped in the car. The setback was a disappointment, as Bell had been hoping to make the most of the weekend, given that the race marked the first return-event for the Camaro, which made its GRAND-AM debut at the track in October. While the effort fell short, Bell is no less looking forward to Saturday's 2.5 hour Bosch 200 and making up as much ground as possible.

"It's disappointing to not be able to set a time in qualifying, and of course losing the track time means that we're not able to work on our set up," offered Bell. "But on the other hand it's impossible not to see how hard everyone is working here so I just have to be patient and hope we can be on track without any problems tomorrow. I've been very impressed with the Stevenson Motorsports all season long and even though I'd prefer to be out on track right now I can certainly say that it isn't due to a lack of effort from the team. So we'll just hope for the best tomorrow and see how far forward we can move!"

-source: sgm

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Jeff Bucknum , Matt Bell
Teams Stevenson Motorsports