Homestead: TJ Bell race report

TJ BELL ENDS THE YEAR STRONG WITH A 10TH PLACE FINISH AT HOMESTEAD-MIAMI SPEEDWAY Bell ran an impressive race in the Ford 200 to bring home a 10th place finish for the ...

TJ BELL ENDS THE YEAR STRONG WITH A 10TH PLACE FINISH AT HOMESTEAD-MIAMI SPEEDWAY

Bell ran an impressive race in the Ford 200 to bring home a 10th place finish for the #11 Red Horse Racing team, earning his fifth top-10 finish of the season.

HOMESTEAD, FL. (November 20, 2009)- TJ Bell and the #11 Red Horse Racing team headed to the season finale event at Homestead-Miami Speedway hoping for a solid finish to end the year on a high note. Facing adversity this season, the #11 team was determined get the finish they deserved. Bell held up his end of the bargain in the race and worked his way into the top-five. A late race caution set up a green, white, checkered finish and Bell restarted sixth but was shuffled around in the wild finish. He came out of the last two laps with a 10th place finish, earning his fifth top-10 finish of the season.

The #11 Red Horse Racing team used two practice sessions on Thursday evening to find the right feel for Bell in his Tundra. Tenth quick in practice gave the team confidence that they would earn a good finish in the Ford 200. Bell qualified 18th but knew he wouldn't be there for long when the green flag dropped. He was nothing short of impressive in the race, passing four trucks in the first two laps to pick up the 14th spot.

The first caution of the night came out on lap 32 and Bell told his crew that the truck was just a little too free in the center of the corners. Crew Chief Rick Gay called his driver to pit road on lap 33 for four fresh tires and an air pressure adjustment. Bell returned the following lap for fuel and a wedge adjustment to tighten up the truck. He restarted 18th.

Bell moved into the 17th spot just after the restart and almost immediately another caution came out on lap 37. Gay asked Bell if he could tell anything about the truck and Bell reported that it was driving really well after those adjustments. Opting to stay out, Bell restarted 17th but it didn't take him long to move through the field. He grabbed the 15th spot on lap 44 and told the crew his Tundra was getting tight in traffic. He continued the forward progress by picking up the 13th spot on lap 57.

Another caution came out on lap 58 and Bell hit pit road for four fresh tires and another air pressure adjustment. He returned the next lap for fuel only and restarted 13th. It wasn't long before Bell was knocking on the door of the top-10. He claimed the 10th spot on lap 81 and moved into ninth the following lap. Bell radioed the crew that his Tundra was getting tighter in the center and off of the corners. Nearing the fuel window, competitors began making green flag pit stops on lap 113. As they peeled off to hit pit road, Bell moved up, reaching the fifth spot before hitting pit road himself on lap 118.Taking only a splash of gas, Bell merged back on the track in the eighth spot. As the pit stops cycled through, Bell once again found himself in the sixth position.

Poised for a sixth place finish Bell was shocked to see the caution flag come out with just four laps to go. Watching what the leaders did, Bell followed them to pit road on lap 131 for two fresh tires. He lined up sixth for the restart and the green, white, checkered finish. When the green flag waved each competitor was battling for every inch of real estate. While trying to hold his position, Bell got shuffled back and slid up the race track causing him to brush the outside wall. Unwilling to give up, Bell got back in line and brought home a 10th place finish in the Ford 200 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

-credit: rhr

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Series NASCAR-TRUCK