Martinsville: TJ Bell race report

TJ BELL HITS THE WALL HARD ENDING HIS DAY IN MARTINSVILLE Bell ran in the top-15 for most of the Kroger 250 despite a tight race truck and his eyes burning from exhaust fumes. Unfortunately, on lap 212 of the 250 lap race, Bell smacked the wall...

TJ BELL HITS THE WALL HARD ENDING HIS DAY IN MARTINSVILLE

Bell ran in the top-15 for most of the Kroger 250 despite a tight race truck and his eyes burning from exhaust fumes. Unfortunately, on lap 212 of the 250 lap race, Bell smacked the wall in turn one after his rear bumper was clipped by another driver, ending his day at Martinsville with his first DNF and a disappointing 31st place finish.

Looking forward to Martinsville and coming away with another great finish was all that was on TJ Bell's mind as he qualified his #11 Toyota Tundra in a solid 15 place to start the rain delayed Kroger 250. However, unfortunate events unfolded late in the fourth race of the Camping World Truck Series at Martinsville that cost TJ Bell a top-10 finish and, more importantly, about 65 points in the Camping World Truck Series standings.

Bell was running 12th under the ninth caution of the day with 44 laps to go, when he reported the truck was finally starting to feel real good and knew he would easily run down another two trucks to capture another top-10 finish. Bell had been suffering most of the Kroger 250 with his eyes burning from the exhaust fumes, since his crush panels were knocked in from the banging and bumping racing conditions at Martinsville Speedway.

Bell spent the majority of the 131.5 mile race working together with crew chief Rick Gay to dial in his tight handling race truck. After Gay made several air pressure and track bar adjustments along with the pit crew handing Bell a cold wet rag to wipe his eyes, Bell stated on lap 206 that he was finally comfortable behind the wheel of his #11 Toyota Tundra.

Unfortunately, the 10th caution flag waved just six laps later on lap 212 when the #11was hit from behind and sent him hard into the wall in turn one, ending the day for Bell and the #11 Red Horse Racing Team. Instead of Bell receiving the hard earned top-10 finish he was racing for, Bell finished 31st. Bell fell from 8th to 13th in points. Bell sits 200 points behind the leader and 14 points away from the 10th place position.

"I don't know what to say," Bell said. "Our #11 Red Horse Racing Toyota Tundra was finally feeling really good and I thought we would have a top-10 truck for sure. It is unfortunate that we got turned into the wall and to get a DNF for this #11 team is a real bummer. Rick Gay and his crew work hard all day long on this #11 truck, and I just hate it for them too. I am looking forward to Kansas and getting back behind the wheel of truck #93 which is the same truck I ran in California and received my first top-5 finish".

Crew chief Rick Gay's comments on the DNF at Martinsville; "It sure would have been nice if people would learn to keep their patience out there, but our #11 crew is proud to have TJ Bell behind the wheel and we are definitely looking forward to Kansas and racing our way back into the top-10 where we should be".

Next up for TJ Bell and the #11 Red Horse Racing Team on the Camping World Truck Series schedule is the O'Reilly 250, April 25th at Kansas Speedway.

-credit: rhr

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Series NASCAR Truck
Teams Red Horse Racing