Talladega: TJ Bell race report

AN EXPLODED BRAKE ROTOR RELEGATES TJ BELL TO A 29TH PLACE FINISH AT TALLADEGA SUPERSPEEDWAY A brake rotor on the ...

AN EXPLODED BRAKE ROTOR RELEGATES TJ BELL TO A 29TH PLACE FINISH AT TALLADEGA SUPERSPEEDWAY

A brake rotor on the #11 Red Horse Racing Tundra exploded on lap six of the Mountain Dew 250 and Bell spent most of the race in garage while the team replaced it. He returned to the track and earned a 29th place finish.

TALLADEGA, AL. (October 31, 2009)- TJ Bell and the #11 Red Horse Racing team were excited to get back to plate racing at Talladega Superspeedway. Bell finished 11th at Daytona in the season opener, so the team knew he could get it done on the Alabama 2.66-mile Superspeedway. Bell qualified 21st for the Mountain Dew 250. When the green flag dropped, he was charging to the front. Unfortunately the team never got to see how their Tundra would perform because only six laps into the race, the right front brake rotor exploded and blew the right front tire. The team spent many laps in the garage fixing the damage. Bell got back out on the track to pick up as many positions as possible. He took home a 29th place finish in the Mountain Dew 250.

The #11 Red Horse Racing team had only one two-hour long practice session to get their Tundra ready for Saturday's race. Bell spent most of the practice in the draft and proved his truck could lead just as well as it could follow. Optimistic about what that would mean for the race, Bell put the #11 in the 21st starting spot for the race.

Rain showers in the area on Saturday morning delayed the start of the Mountain Dew 250 by about an hour. When the green flag dropped just before 4:00p.m.CDT, Bell was on a mission to get to the front. He took his #11 machine four-wide on the first lap and picked up seven positions. Riding in the 14th spot, Bell continued to make progress, moving up to the 13th position by lap five.

The following lap, Bell's right front tire blew out and he limped back to pit road. The team took the right front tire off and found that the right front brake rotor had exploded. Crew chief Rick Gay told Bell to take the truck to the garage so they could make the necessary repairs and get him back out on the track.

The crew thrashed to replace the brake rotor and repair the damage that the explosion caused. Bell returned to the track on lap 55 running in the 33rd position. He told the crew the truck felt pretty good as he rode 20 truck lengths back from the draft. A caution came out on lap 65 and Bell hit pit road for service. Taking four fresh tires the first time, he returned the following lap for fuel. Bell restarted 32nd.

The #11 Red Horse Racing team had only one goal at this point of the race. Bell needed to run only as many laps as necessary to pick up the positions he could reach being so many laps down. He ran his own race, just logging laps until he had picked up the 29th spot. Knowing he could not pick up any more positions and seeing the risky moves other competitors were making, Bell knew he had everything to lose and nothing to gain. He pulled his Tundra back into the garage and parked it for the day. The #11 team took home a 29th place finish in the Mountain Dew 250 at Talladega Superspeedway.

The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series heads to Forth Worth, Texas.

-credit: rhr

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About this article
Series NASCAR Truck
Teams Red Horse Racing