Momentum is Building for Matt Bell ahead of Barber Motorsports Park

Momentum is Building for Matt Bell ahead of Barber Motorsports Park

Contact: Matt Cleary

Attached PHOTO courtesy GRAND-AM Communications: Having already scored a debut pole and a pair of podiums with the machine, Matt Bell hopes to push the Chevrolet Camaro even further this weekend at Barber Motorsports Park in round three of the 2011 championship. The race will be broadcast on SPEED April 16 at 2:00 PM ET

Birmingham, AL (5 April 2011) – Matt Bell is looking to build on the positive momentum he established at Homestead-Miami Speedway as he heads to Barber Motorsports Park this weekend for the Barber 200 in Round 3 of the GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge.

Bell and Stevenson Motorsports co-driver John Edwards will share the No. 9 Stevenson Motorsports Camaro GS.R as GRAND-AM returns to the picturesque natural terrain road course located outside of Birmingham.

Once again kicking off the 2011 season at Daytona International Speedway, Bell bolted to the front to fight for the lead in the early stages of the race. Despite the encouraging race pace, a series of mechanical setbacks saw the effort net a 28th place finish, hardly what the young charger had been hoping for.

Putting that tough weekend in the rear view mirror for round 2 at Homestead Miami Speedway, Bell once again led the Camaro contingent in qualifying as he rebounded from Daytona with a positive step forward, and ran as high as 2nd during the early stages of the race. With Bell running two stints behind the wheel, the race was tough on man and machine alike. “By the end of the race we had no front swaybar, no alternator, no headlights, a problem with the transmission, no tires left and hardly any brakes,” said Bell. “So to finish 11th was awesome. Hopefully we can apply everything we learned at Homestead with an even better run at Barber.”

With an established record of putting the times down when the pressure is up, Bell has once again opened the 2011 season with stout qualifying performances in the first two rounds at crunch time. With two second-row starts in two races, Bell will look to make the most of qualifying at Barber Motorsports Park as the combined-class field boasts over 60 entries. Having qualified seventh in last year’s Barber 200 as the Camaro was just starting its development, the California native hopes to score an even stronger grid spot this Friday.

Although Bell may not have a podium result to show for it just yet, Bell has displayed dominant performances each time he has visited the Alabama road course. Last year’s event saw Bell run as high as fifth before a minor pit lane penalty forced an extra return to pit lane and resulted in a disappointing 14th place finish. In 2009, Bell drove a BMW M3 with Boris Said and was running third in the closing laps when the team determined that the car was short on fuel. Despite a late-race pit-stop for a splash of fuel, Bell charged to a 5th place result over a long green flag run to the checkered flag.

“We’ve always run well at Barber, but bad luck has kept us off the podium,” said Bell. “The Stevenson guys fought through so many problems at Homestead and we still came out of that race with some points for the championship. We worked well as a team and I was really happy with the progress we made on the engineering side. Even though the race didn’t go entirely to plan, the car continued to show progress all weekend long. That’s what we’ll try to focus on this weekend at Barber. We expect that Barber will reward some of the lighter cars, particularly in the braking zones, so it’s going to be tough. But the more we learn at tracks like Barber, the more we can apply that to places where we think the Camaro will be a little better suited.”

Bell will participate in a promoter test day on Wednesday, April 6, followed by official practice on Thursday, with one more practice session ahead of qualifying on Friday morning. The Continental Tire Challenge race is set to take the green flag on Saturday, April 9 at 11:30 AM prior to the Rolex Series Sports Car event. The race will air on April 16 at 2:00 PM (ET) on SPEED.

PR inquiries about Matt Bell should be directed to Matt Cleary at Sunday Group Management; 317.908.2975 (mobile) or media

For additional information:

Matt Cleary
Sunday Group Management
317.908.2975 (m)

Based in Indianapolis, Sunday Group Management is a leading motorsports management and communications consulting firm.

Sunday Group Management works with clients in a variety of motorsports categories, including NASCAR Sprint Cup driver AJ Allmendinger, Riley Technologies, GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series organization Michael Shank Racing, Continental Tire, and several teams and drivers in Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge competition.

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