Good test behind them, DCT heads to Memphis Key race for Busch teams; last without Cup driver onslaught SPARTANBURG, S.C. -- For a driver who has been doing everything he can to pick up experience quickly, Saturday's 250-lap NASCAR Busch...
Good test behind them, DCT heads to Memphis
Key race for Busch teams; last without Cup driver onslaught
SPARTANBURG, S.C. -- For a driver who has been doing everything he can to pick up experience quickly, Saturday's 250-lap NASCAR Busch Series race at Memphis (Tenn.) Motorsports Park offers something of a respite.
With testing time at Memphis under his belt, rookie driver T.J. Bell feels he might have a leg up on one of the series' tougher speedways when he gets behind the wheel of the #36 DCT Motorsports Chevrolet.
"Every lap on every race track -- especially the ones I am seeing for the first time -- is precious," said Bell, who was an accomplished driver in several other series before moving to Busch just over a month ago.
"Keep in mind, as talented as he is, T.J. is less than a rookie when it comes to on-track experience," pointed out veteran crew chief Ricky Pearson, a championship and race winner in the series and one of its top mechanical minds.
"A rookie could have run a ton of races -- a lot of them have run more than 30 or 35 races already," Pearson said. "T.J. is starting his sixth Busch race Saturday. Experience-wise, that's a big difference."
The Memphis event being the last this season without a flurry of full-time Cup drivers also added to the importance of testing.
"With this team looking for primary sponsorship for next season, it's important to do everything we can do to get a good run," Bell said. "DCT has shown a tremendous amount of stability and consistency all season long, and solid runs these last four races would just add to that. They have shown consistent improvement throughout their history as a race team and, with a good sponsorship package, could take that to the next level in 2006."
That could start with a good run at Memphis.
"We had a good test and I got a quick feel for the track," Bell said. "I think we can have a pretty solid day at Memphis. The test gave me some experience and I got my 'adjustment time' done before we get there. That can't do anything but help."
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.
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 their first race in July of that year. Since then, the team has shown a consistent improvement.