Promising Start but Tough Finish for Matt Bell in New Jersey

Promising Start but Tough Finish for Matt Bell in New Jersey

Millville, N.J. (23 July 2011) – Looking to score his third win in as many races, Matt Bell got off to a strong start in the B+ Foundation Heroes 200, but a promising beginning to the 2.5-hour New Jersey Motorsports Park event left the Stevenson Motorsports team looking to fight back in the final round.

Bell opened the ninth round of GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge competition with a remarkable run from 10th place on the grid – moving forward five positions within the first five laps. He continued to charge the No. 9 Camaro GS.R even further up the order and moved into the third position just prior to the first race caution.

Stevenson Motorsports would call Bell to pit road and the team quickly worked a routine pit stop for fuel and tires which saw the Camaro return to the track in the ninth position. However, GRAND-AM cut the forward progress short when the team was issued a 30-second stop-and-go penalty for a pit lane infraction and Bell would fall to 18th.

Despite emerging deep in the field, the poised young California racer began to steadily work his way back to the front and slotted into the ninth position following the second restart. However, the run at the front would come to an end when the Camaro made contact with another car and ended up off track. The No. 9 machine sustained significant damage to the left-front of the car and Bell was forced to return to pit lane.

The Stevenson Motorsports squad changed the entire left-front suspension but benefited from a full course caution which was displayed just after Bell hit pit road for repairs. Following fast pit work by the Stevenson Motorsports crew, co-driver John Edwards strapped in behind the wheel of the Camaro and drove to a 15th place finish.

“The car was very good,” said Bell. “You can’t see a whole lot with the Camaro so I didn’t know there was a stack of tires when I came out of our pit box and I hit the next team’s tires. We had a drive through plus-30 (second) penalty so I ended up at the back of the field and just tried to make my way back up through the field. I kind of got pinched down to the inside of turn one and it was my mistake.

“I didn’t know it was going to be that slick on the inside and the car barely slowed down and I hit the No. 01. You hate to ruin anyones race, but especially another Camamro. Stevenson once again was amazing–the team had a record-quick suspension change so that was pretty incredible. It’s unfortunate but we’re going to keep trying.”

Bell next travels to Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio for the final round of the GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge.

“We were on the pole at Mid-Ohio last year and I like that track so we’ll do our best,” offered Bell of the final round of competition in September. “We took a hit in the championship today, but we’ll see how far up the standings we can go.”

The GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge will see a break in race action with the EMCO Gears Classic at Mid-Ohio set to take place September 16-17.

SPEED will broadcast the B+ Foundation Heroes 200 on July 30 at 3:00 PM (ET).

www.sundaygroupblog.com

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Attached photo courtesy Melissa K. Smith Photography

Matt Cleary
Sunday Group Management
media
http://www.sundaymanagement.com
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.

For additional information: www.sundaymanagement.com, http://sundaygroupblog.com, www.facebook.com/sundaygroup, or twitter.com/Sundaygroup

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