Texas II: TJ Bell race report

CONTACT WITH THE WALL LATE IN THE RACE RESULTS IN A 23RD PLACE FINISH FOR TJ BELL AT TEXAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY Bell was running in the top-10 when his truck got loose, drifted up the track, and slammed the outside wall. He was able to finish the race...

CONTACT WITH THE WALL LATE IN THE RACE RESULTS IN A 23RD PLACE FINISH FOR TJ BELL AT TEXAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY

Bell was running in the top-10 when his truck got loose, drifted up the track, and slammed the outside wall. He was able to finish the race but had to accept a 23rd place finish in the WinStar World Casino 350.

FT. WORTH, TX. (November 6, 2009)- They say everything is bigger in Texas so TJ Bell and the #11 Red Horse Racing team were hoping for a big finish at Texas Motor Speedway on Friday night. The #11 Tundra was running well all weekend so the team was optimistic about their chances to race for the checkered flag. After starting 17th, Bell was blazing a trail to the front. Eventually reaching the ninth spot, he had a top-10 finish in his sights. Unfortunately, during a restart, Bell got loose and slid up the track and into the outside wall. The contact resulted in minor damage to the right front and nose of his Tundra and caused the condition of the #11 to change dramatically. Bell struggled with the truck for the remainder of the race, eventually falling laps down and finishing the WinStar World Casino 350 in the 23rd position.

The #11 Red Horse Racing Toyota Tundra was good right from the time it unloaded at Texas Motor Speedway. After running a hand full of laps in the first practice, Bell told the team the other competitors were going to be in trouble on Friday night. Armed with a fast truck that was handling really well, Bell was excited for the race to begin.

Qualifying 17th, Bell was not concerned. He knew that once the green flag dropped, his #11 Tundra would be headed for the front. When the race started, Bell's prediction was right; he claimed the 14th spot in the first four laps.

A quick caution came out on lap 17. Bell told his crew that he needed the rear end of his truck to be in the race track even more. Crew chief Rick Gay called his driver to pit road. Working a different pit strategy, Bell picked up fuel and a track bar adjustment and headed back out on the track. He restarted 11th on lap 23.

The plan to pick up track position on pit road worked like a charm and Bell broke into the top-10 for the first time on lap 24. Reaching the ninth position, he reported that his truck had become tight in and loose off of the corners. Slipping back to the 12th spot, Bell was fighting the condition of his truck. Another caution came out on lap 55 and he headed to pit road. The team changed four tires and pulled a rubber from the left rear on lap 56. Bell returned the following lap for fuel and another track bar adjustment. He restarted 17th.

Bell knew he was going to have to get the track position back on the racetrack. With each lap, he worked his way back to the front, reaching the 14th spot in just 10 laps. Bell was focused on getting his #11 Tundra back inside the top-10 but was struggling with a truck that seemed to snap loose off of the corners. A caution on lap 88 gave Bell the chance to hit pit road again. Taking four fresh tires on lap 90, he returned the following lap for fuel and a wedge adjustment. Bell restarted from the ninth spot.

During the restart, Bell got pinned behind a slower lap-down truck in front of him. When he was able to get around that truck, Bell went for the pass but his truck got really loose and he drifted up the track and into the outside wall. The contact damaged the right front and nose of the #11 Tundra. Bell reported that his truck became extremely tight and was "pushing like a dump truck." He also told the team he thought a tire was going down. The crew watched the truck and continued to talk to Bell over the radio about the changing condition of his machine. Bell had gone from ninth on the restart to the 21st spot. He got passed by the leader on lap 116 and went one lap down.

On lap 121 Bell radioed his crew that his right front tire was flat. Bell was unable to steer with a flat right side tire and the #11 Tundra drifted back up the race track and into the outside wall for a second time. Gay had no choice but to call his driver to pit road under green flag conditions to replace the tires. The team changed right side tires only on lap 122 and made sure the pushed in fenders were not rubbing the tires. Bell merged back on track in the 24th spot.

Feeling a vibration in his seat, Bell had to hang on for the last 19 laps of the race. He was able to pick up one position before the checkered flag fell to earn a 23rd place finish at Texas Motor Speedway.

The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series heads to Phoenix, Arizona. The Lucas Oil 150 at Phoenix International Raceway is scheduled for Friday, November 13th. It will be televised on SPEED Channel at 8:00p.m. EST.

-credit: rhr

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Series NASCAR Truck
Teams Red Horse Racing