Early Spin, No Blower, Contact with Other Cars Makes for a Long, Hot Night in Phoenix For the Bell Motorsports Kodak Car PHOENIX, April 10 --A thirteenth-place finish overall and 11th in the Daytona Prototype class in the Food City 250 Rolex ...
Early Spin, No Blower, Contact with Other Cars Makes for a Long, Hot Night in Phoenix For the Bell Motorsports Kodak Car
PHOENIX, April 10 --A thirteenth-place finish overall and 11th in the Daytona Prototype class in the Food City 250 Rolex series race certainly wasn't a just reward for the heart that the Bell Motorsports team displayed Saturday night at Phoenix International Raceway with its Kodak EasyShare DORAN JE4 Pontiac #54.
Forest Barber of Fort Worth was hit by another driver in turn one on the very first lap of the two-hour and-45-minute race and spun, which unfortunately was just the first of even bigger problems later. The biggest of those was that the blower which is supposed to keep the drivers cool didn't operate for most of the race, and Terry Borcheller suffered for literally two hours in an incredibly hot cockpit while bringing the car back up as high as seventh in the late stages of the race.
Due to the early incident the car's handling was challenging to say the least, and it didn't get any better when Borcheller hit the wall once during his march back up through the field. Somehow he kept going despite the heat. Efforts the crew made to cool him off during a pitstop under yellow didn't do the trick, and he continued to suffer.
After all that, the Stevenson Motorsports Porsche hit Borcheller under yellow late in the race, damaging the right-side suspension of the Kodak EasyShare DORAN JE4 Pontiac even more and pushing the team back down the scoreboard yet again.
Barber, team owner Jim Bell and the rest of the crew were unanimous in their praise of Borcheller's effort, which saw the team come from 32nd on lap two to tenth by lap 74 of the 133-lap race and seventh by lap 83. The team fell back a bit after pitting on lap 90, but Borcheller passed the Howard-Boss Crawford Pontiac for eighth pace on lap 105 before the run-in with the Porsche on the next lap. That knocked him back to 11th before the team eventually finished 13th.
Barber knew it was going to be difficult to regroup after his early spin.
"I thought I had a clean line going into the turn, but somebody hit me in the left rear. Then I spun around and got clipped by somebody else," he said. "It was exactly what we did not need to have happen. We went down one lap and almost two laps after the pit stop. Terry drove his heart out to make the ground up, but I guess Phoenix just isn't our track, at least not this year. Hopefully we'll have better luck at Mont-Tremblant."
The next race is at Mont-Tremblant, Quebec on May 21-23.
Saturday night's race was broadcast live on SPEED.
For more information, see the brand-new Web site at www.feedstheneedracing.com, www.kodak.com and www.tborcheller.com.