Nashville: TJ Bell race report

TJ BELL AND HIS RED HORSE RACING TEAM BRING HOME A 10TH PLACE FINISH AT NASHVILLE SUPERSPEEDWAY; EARNING THEIR SECOND TOP-10 OF THE SEASON. Bell proves he has finally turned his season around by running up front during the 150-lap event and ...

TJ BELL AND HIS RED HORSE RACING TEAM BRING HOME A 10TH PLACE FINISH AT NASHVILLE SUPERSPEEDWAY; EARNING THEIR SECOND TOP-10 OF THE SEASON.

Bell proves he has finally turned his season around by running up front during the 150-lap event and capturing a 10th place finish in the Toyota Tundra 200.

LEBANON, TN. (August 1, 2009)- TJ Bell and his #11 Red Horse Racing made a pact several races ago to put the rocky first part of the season behind them and start fresh. The way the past three races have been going, it's hard to remember anything other than success. Bell has qualified in the top-13 in the past three events. Coming off a 15th place finish at ORP, He was determined to get his #11 Red Horse Racing Tundra back inside the top-10 and he did just that on Saturday night in Nashville. Bell qualified 12th and drove his Tundra to the front, running as high as fourth. Experiencing tire issues towards the end of the race, Bell was able to bring home a 10th place finish despite his right rear tire being flat. Bell drove an impressive race and was able to earn a top-10 finish and successfully turn his season around.

After two practice sessions on Friday afternoon, Bell and the #11 Red Horse Racing team felt like their truck would be really good for the race. Bell put the #11 in the 12th starting spot on Saturday afternoon and could hardly wait to see how the race would unfold. Rain showers in the area delayed the start of the Toyota Tundra 200 but when the track was dry, Bell was anxious to get behind the wheel. Once the green flag waved, the #11 Tundra was on its way to the front. Bell broke inside the top-10 on lap four and kept right on going. He reached the eighth spot by lap 10 and radioed the crew that the truck was really good but just a little tight.

Bell's forward progress continued and he was running in the sixth spot on lap 35 when NASCAR threw a competition caution to give teams a chance to check their tire wear. Crew chief Rick Gay called his driver to pit road for four fresh tires. Bell returned on the following lap for fuel and an air pressure adjustment. He restarted eighth.

It didn't take Bell long to start his forward march once again. He quickly grabbed the seventh spot and kept right on going. A couple cautions kept Bell from gaining much ground, but he was reporting that the truck was a lot better after the adjustments on the pit stop. Bell maintained his position until another caution came out on lap 83. He brought his #11 Red Horse Racing machine to pit road for two right side tires only. He returned the following lap for fuel and opted for no adjustments since the truck was handling so well. The two tire stop helped gain track position and Bell found himself in the sixth position for the restart. The green flag waved and just two laps later Bell had claimed the fifth position. He got up to the fourth spot before rain drops that started off very mild had picked up and were covering the track. Bell reported that the track had gotten very slick and NASCAR threw the caution for rain on lap 100. The rain seemed to let up enough that NASCAR could restart the race on lap 105. Bell was fifth but was still reporting the track being slick in some areas and slipped back to seventh. Trying to take care of his truck, he held on to that spot for the next 40 laps. In the closing laps of the race, a competitor blew a tire and brought out the caution flag, setting up a green, white, checkered flag restart. Bell was concerned that his right rear tire was also worn out. Just as the green flag flew on the restart, Bell's fears were realized. His right rear tire felt flat but he knew he needed to finish the race. Unable to drive as hard as he had been, Bell slipped back but was able to cross the finish line in the 10th position on a flat right rear tire. The team inspected the tire after the race and could see a large hole in it. Bell had finished the race on the interliner of the tire. After having such a strong truck all race long, the team felt lucky to be able to bring home a 10th place finish with a flat tire.

The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series will enjoy two weekends off before heading to Bristol, Tennessee.

-credit: rhr

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Series NASCAR Truck
Teams Red Horse Racing