Stevenson Motorsports day on CTSCC ends early at Brickyard after contact

Stevenson Motorsports will return to action in two weeks at the famous Road America circuit in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin August 8-10.

Indianapolis, Ind. - Hoping to kiss the bricks and make inroads on the GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge championship battle, Stevenson Motorsports had dual goals in Friday’s Brickyard Sports Car Challenge.

Unfortunately, neither of the team’s ambitions were met, as contact with another car ended the day early for Matt Bell and John Edwards in the No. 9 Stevenson Automotive Camaro.

#9 Stevenson Motorsports: Matt Bell, John Edwards
#9 Stevenson Motorsports: Matt Bell, John Edwards

Photo by: Jay Alley

The newlywed Bell opened from fourth and was soon running in second place before taking the lead on lap 26. Unfortunately, his move to the front was not without incident, as Bell was hit from the side while passing ST traffic.

“I ran the same line as you would when overtaking ST cars going into that corner and he was so far wide at entry that it seemed clear to me that he was giving me the inside line,” said Bell. “Unfortunately, he dove right for the apex and we hit.

That really knocked the car out of line, and the steering wheel was not straight for the rest of my run. John did a great job to drive the car as quickly as he did with the car being the way it was.”

Bell ceded the lead for seven laps before retaking the point on lap 34 until a full course caution slowed the field four laps later. He pitted from the lead and turned the car over to teammate Edwards.

Edwards took over and was seventh for the restart, moving up to sixth shortly thereafter. With an eye on the top-five, the young American looked to make the most of his opportunity to make up ground on the championship-leading Porsche which was running behind.

Unfortunately, that upward mobility was halted as Edwards made a move for third place, only to be slammed out of line. The hit was hard enough to break the Camaro’s suspension, ending the day prematurely for the team.

“Obviously, I’m very disappointed,” said team manager Mike Johnson after the race. “We really needed to get some points on the 13 car and we ended up just going backwards. John did exactly what he had to do. He had to make a move on that 45 car, and he had to do it on the infield because the 13 was coming, and we had some damage and were just going to go backwards, so I’m not upset at anybody, just kind of upset at the finish.

Now, instead of having a pretty, good comfortable gap in second place, we’re going to be fighting for that second or third, wherever the points end up after this. But we’ve had a good car the last few races, and we’ve been running strong, so we’ll just fight it out to the end.”

"Unfortunately I don't think with the car bent we were going to win the race, but I think if everything was straight we probably would have had one of the best cars, and Matt certainly showed that at the beginning of the race,” said Edwards. “We definitely could have stayed ahead of the 13 car.

I knew that we weren't going to be able to pass the BMWs on the front straight so we needed to do something aggressive. I made an aggressive, but what I thought to be a calculated risk, and unfortunately, I'm not sure if Al (Carter) couldn't see me or what because I could see on his in-car camera that I got beside him, but it didn't work. So it's disappointing, but we just have to keep moving forward."

Stevenson Motorsports will return to action in two weeks at the famous Road America circuit in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin August 8-10. Live coverage begins at 5:00 PM (ET) on SPEED.

Stevenson Motorsports

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Mike Johnson , John Edwards , Matthew Bell
Teams Stevenson Motorsports
Article type Race report
Tags bell, brickyard, camaro, edwards, grandam, stevenson motorsports