BUSCH: Phoenix II: T.J. Bell preview

Not a question of getting on the gas for Bell at Phoenix 'One of the first times I'll have to let up' SPARTANBURG, S.C. -- For rookie stock car driver T.J. Bell, mashing the gas pedal won't be a problem in Saturday's Busch 200 NASCAR...

Not a question of getting on the gas for Bell at Phoenix
'One of the first times I'll have to let up'

SPARTANBURG, S.C. -- For rookie stock car driver T.J. Bell, mashing the gas pedal won't be a problem in Saturday's Busch 200 NASCAR Busch Series race.

It will be remembering to let off the gas for the driver of the #36 Heathcliff Cat Litter Chevrolet, fielded by DCT Motorsports.

"When I ran the Phoenix oval in the past, it was in a Toyota Atlantic car," said Bell, who even with his young age is experienced in a variety of forms of motorsports.

"In those cars, you flat foot it all the way around the track. You never let up," Bell said. "That's a pretty hairy feeling the first time you go into turn one at Phoenix knowing you can't let off the gas. But once you do it one or two times, it's a lot of fun."

Could you flat foot it into turn one at Phoenix in a NASCAR stock car?

"Well . . . you could . . .," Bell mused, "but somebody from the crew is going to have to come pick you up when you land in west Arizona somewhere. Put it this way, you could do it once but it would be really tough if you want to use the same car again."

Even with the new driving technique required, Bell sees the stars possibly coming together for him and his DCT Motorsports team at Phoenix.

"Hey, here I am, a cat owner with a Heathcliff Cat Litter sponsorship on the car and racing in middle of all of the sand out there. How can that not be a good sign for us?" Bell laughed. "Seriously, everybody on this team has been working hard and we're learning more about each other. Keep in mind we've only been together for a couple of months. We've run pretty solidly when you think of it that way."

John and Nancy McGill are the only full-time owners from Cleveland in the history of NASCAR's top three series. McGill owns and operates McGill Property Group, a major commercial real estate developer. DCT Motorsports was formed in 2003, running its first race in July of that year. Since then, the team has shown a consistent improvement.

DCT Motorsports (www.dctmotorsports.com) is talking with companies regarding sponsorship for some races this season as well as the full 2006 season and beyond. McGill has developed sponsorship packages that could incorporate a full season or blocks of races. Utilizing his own business and marketing acumen, he brings creative and fresh approaches not just to team sponsorship itself but areas such as hospitality, cross-promotions and business-to-business possibilities.

Bell has made a quick name for himself in the Busch Series with consistent runs in his first four races. A native of Sparks, Nev., Bell comes to the Busch Series from the ARCA and Craftsman Truck Series. The 2004 ARCA Rookie of the year while finishing third in the national standings, Bell has 32 ARCA starts with 11 top-five and 18 top-10 finishes. He also has 13 career starts in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series.

He joined a team solidly in the top 30 of the NASCAR Busch Series standings. In its first full season as a race team, DCT Motorsports has placed itself among or ahead of many veteran established race teams, and has become more noticeable among racing veterans on a consistent basis.

-dct-

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Series NASCAR XFINITY
Drivers T.J. Bell