Bristol: TJ Bell race report

BACK TO BACK TOP-10 FINISHES FOR TJ BELL AT BRISTOL MOTOR SPEEDWAY. Bell brings home an eighth place finish; earning his second top-10 in a row. BRISTOL, TN. (August 19, 2009)- TJ Bell was seeing double this week at Bristol Motor Speedway. Not...

BACK TO BACK TOP-10 FINISHES FOR TJ BELL AT BRISTOL MOTOR SPEEDWAY.

Bell brings home an eighth place finish; earning his second top-10 in a row.

BRISTOL, TN. (August 19, 2009)- TJ Bell was seeing double this week at Bristol Motor Speedway. Not only did he earn his second top-10 finish in a row by bringing home an eighth place finish in the O'Reilly 200, Bell earned his second top-10 finish in only two starts at the "World's Fastest Half-Mile." Radio problems loomed over the #11 Red Horse Racing team from the drop of the green flag but Bell's Toyota Tundra was running well. Despite not being able to communicate with his team, Bell was able to leave the "Bristol blender" with only a few minor bruises on his Tundra and a lot of motivation for the remainder of the season.

The #11 Red Horse Racing team had a new sponsor on board, www.fueledbyfans.com for the O'Reilly 200 at Bristol Motor Speedway and Bell gave his "fans" something to cheer about. With a full schedule of practice, qualifying, and racing all in one day, Bell was focused on earning another solid finish for this team. Two practice sessions helped the #11 team make the changes to get their Tundra just right for the high banking Bristol Motor Speedway is famous for.

Bell put his Fueledbyfans.com Tundra in the 15th starting spot for the 200-lap event; picking up his fourth top-15 start in a row. Just before the green flag dropped, the team was checking radio communications and realized that Bell's radio inside his truck was not working. They determined that the driver could hear the spotter and crew chief but no one could hear him. That would make communicating difficult but the team worked out hand signals so Bell could tell them how his truck was feeling.

When the green flag dropped, Bell wasn't letting his radio issues slow him down. He was on the move in a hurry. In just 13 laps, he had taken over the 12th position and was still charging. The first caution of the night came out on lap 35. Bell used hand signals under caution to communicate that his truck was loose in and tight off of the corners. Crew Chief Rick Gay called his driver to pit road. The pit crew worked quickly to give Bell four fresh tires on lap 37 and he returned the following lap for fuel and a track bar adjustment. The #11 Fueledbyfans.com Tundra restarted 10th.

His truck was handling better under the next green flag run and Bell moved up to the ninth position. Another caution came out on lap 65 for debris. After the restart, Bell's forward progress continued. He picked up the eighth spot on lap 77 and held onto it for 22 laps before another caution was displayed on lap 149. With just 51 laps remaining in the race, some teams opted to hit pit road but Gay played a different strategy. Knowing his truck had enough fuel to get to the end and fresher tires than most of the trucks in front of him, Bell settled in for the 42 lap shoot-out to the checkered flag. He restarted sixth.

When the green flag was in the air again Bell was vying for every inch of real estate. At one point he took his Tundra three wide in the tight turns of Bristol Motor Speedway to hold his position and came out of it with only minor bumper damage. Bell withstood the beating and banging in the final laps to cross the start finish line in the eighth position. He earned his second top-10 finish in a row and third top-10 of the season.

The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series heads to Joliet, Illinois next weekend.

-credit: rhr

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Series NASCAR Truck
Teams Red Horse Racing