Martinsville II: TJ Bell race report

AN OVERHEATING ENGINE RESULTS IN A 30TH PLACE FINISH FOR TJ BELL AT MARTINSVILLE SPEEDWAY Damage to the hood of the ...

AN OVERHEATING ENGINE RESULTS IN A 30TH PLACE FINISH FOR TJ BELL AT MARTINSVILLE SPEEDWAY

Damage to the hood of the #11 Red Horse Racing Toyota Tundra caused the engine to overheat and took Bell out of the Kroger 200 before the halfway point of the race.

MARTINSVILLE, VA. (October 24, 2009)- TJ Bell and the #11 Red Horse Racing team were ready to get back to short track racing at Martinsville Speedway. An accident in the spring race left the team hungry for redemption but Mother Nature had different plans for the weekend. Rain showers washed out one practice session and left the team with only one full practice to work on the #11 machine. Bell qualified 21st and geared up for the 200-lap event. More rain on race day delayed the start of the Kroger 200 by almost two hours and washed out the track's surface. When the green flag fell, Bell was struggling to make his way through traffic. During a restart, a truck in front of Bell abruptly stopped and the #11 hit its bumper. The damage crumpled in the hood of Bell's Toyota and eventually caused the engine to overheat. Bell was out of the race on lap 87.

Inclement weather left the Red Horse Racing team with only one full practice session to get their Toyota Tundra ready for the race. Bell qualified 21st but felt like his truck would be good for the 200-lap event.

More rain showers on Saturday morning left Martinsville Speedway soaked. The race was delayed but took the green flag shortly before 3:00p.m. In the first hand full of laps, Bell slipped back to the 25th position and reported that his Tundra was loose center and off of the corners.

The first caution of the race came out on lap 32 and crew chief Rick Gay called his driver to pit road. Taking four fresh tires and an air pressure adjustment on lap 33, Bell returned the following lap for fuel and a track bar adjustment. He restarted 27th.

During the next run, Bell reported that the truck was handling much better. He had worked his way to the 25th spot when the caution came out again on lap 52. Opting to stay out, Bell geared up for the restart from the 23rd position.

On the restart, a truck in front of Bell stalled. Unable to duck out of the way, Bell hit the rear end of the slowed truck. The #11 sustained heavy hood damage but the race stayed under green flag conditions and Bell remained on the track. The #11 was still able to keep up its forward progression, capturing the 22nd spot on lap 66. Bell continued to watch his gauges to make sure the engine was ok.

A caution came out on lap 72 and Gay called Bell to pit road to assess and repair the hood damage. The #11 hit pit road on laps 74 and 75 to give the crew a chance to look over the truck and make the necessary repairs. Bell restarted 21st.

Shortly after the restart, the engine of the #11 starting going sour. Bell reported that the gauges showed his Tundra was losing oil pressure. Gay called Bell to the garage to see if there was anything the team could do. They diagnosed that the engine overheated and was beyond repair. Bell's day was done after only 87 laps. He was relegated to a 30th place finish in the Kroger 200. Teammate Timothy Peters earned his first career victory and the third win for the Red Horse Racing team.

The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series heads to Talladega, Alabama. The Mountain Dew 250 at Talladega Superspeedway is scheduled for Saturday, October 31st.

-credit: rhr

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About this article
Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Timothy Peters
Teams Red Horse Racing