Darlington, SC (March 12, 2011)—Starting 29th in the “Too Tough To Tame 200” on Saturday night, driver TJ Bell anticipated 200 miles of hard racing at the “Lady in Black” and hoped to emerge with a solid finish. In traditional Darlington Raceway fashion, several cautions littered the 147-lap event and gave Bell several obstacles to avoid along the way.
A tangle in turn one and two just after the drop of the green flag left Bell with a hole in the right front fender after a chain reaction pushed the Pinnacle Rubber Mulch Chevy into the truck just ahead of it. Spotter Mike Skinner saw the damage from the spotter’s stand and suggested the team bring TJ down pit road under the next caution on lap 14 to fix the fender that was causing a slight tire rub.
The MAKE Motorsports crew would continue to make repairs to the fender during the next several pit stops, with coaching from Crew Chief Mike Cheek and Skinner to get the correct patches made up before coming down pit road. The team pulled the fender out as far as it would go during a stop on lap 75, and driver and spotter commended the team for their continued hard work on each stop.
“I have to give you guys an ‘E’ for effort tonight because you have all worked your tails off trying to get this thing going again,” Mike Skinner said over the radio.
A two-truck accident on the front stretch on lap 96 led to a red flag that would pause the field before a restart on lap 102. Heading into turn one, TJ scraped the nose of the Pinnacle Rubber Mulch Chevy on the apron, shooting him up the track and into the outside wall. The Nevada-native held on and kept his truck under control after sustaining slight damage and an infamous “Darlington Stripe” on the right side of the truck.
He continued to log laps mid-pack until leader Kasey Kahne in the No. 18 caught TJ on lap 117, placing the MAKE Motorsports Chevy one lap down. After falling a lap behind the leader, the crew pulled TJ down pit road on the caution that would follow on lap 119. Cheek’s crew gave their driver four fresh sticker tires and some final adjustments to the truck and damaged right front fender, sending him back out into battle to put himself into the “Lucky Dog” position for the next caution.
Restarting just outside the top 20 on lap 122, Skinner relayed to Bell to be smart and keep the fenders on it to stay in position to get his lap back. TJ immediately went to work and stayed tight with the lead pack, avoiding trouble and staying in contention to get his lap back.
Just prior to the final yellow flag for debris with less than ten laps to go, the No. 15 truck driven by Dusty Davis fell behind the leader and became the first truck not on the lead lap, unfortunately taking the “Lucky Dog” position away from Bell. A restart with three laps to go left TJ with no time to make up any more ground, and he crossed the finish line in the 22nd position.
“I’m happy that we came home with the truck in one piece and we’ll have something to work on for the next race,” TJ explained. “The guys worked their tails off to fix this truck every time we pitted and continued to make it better and better each time. Liberty Tire Recycling brought a ton of support to the track this weekend and I can’t thank them and this MAKE Motorsports team enough for the job they did and the truck they provided to me.”
Co-Owner of Make Motorsports, Mark Beaver, was also pleased the race truck came home in one piece after a wild night at Darlington Raceway.
“TJ did a great job staying out of the wrecks and keeping the truck on the track,” Beaver said. “We can’t thank Liberty Tire Recycling, Pinnacle Rubber Mulch, Lilly Trucking, VP Parts Warehouse, Pro Gold Engine treatment and all of our partners that helped us get to this point enough. It was a long night but we’re going to work hard to get ready for the next race with what we’ve learned from tonight.”
About Liberty Tire Recycling: Liberty Tire Recycling is the premier provider of tire recycling services in North America. By recycling more than 110 million tires annually, Liberty Tire reclaims about 1.5 billion pounds of rubber for innovative, eco-friendly products. The recycled rubber produced by Liberty Tire is used as crumb rubber and industrial feedstock for molded products; as tire-derived fuel for industrial kilns, mills and power plants; and as rubber mulch for landscaping and playgrounds. The company maintains a nationwide network of processing plants, and comprehensive door-to-door collection services. Liberty Tire Recycling is headquartered in Pittsburgh, PA. For more information, please visit LibertyTire.com.
About Pinnacle Rubber Mulch: Pinnacle Rubber Mulch is an innovative and eco-friendly alternative to traditional wood mulch for landscaping and playgrounds. Unlike wood mulch, rubber mulch is resistant to wind and water erosion, bug and rodent infestation, fading caused by sunlight, and decomposition. Plus, rubber mulch is clean, and minimizes airborne dust and particles.
LTR Products transforms recycled rubber into smart, eco-friendly landscaping products for landscapers, builders, school districts and businesses across the nation. For more information, updates and promotions, please visit PinnacleRubberMulch.com.
About MAKE Motorsports: Founded in 2010 by Mark Beaver and Tracy Lowe, diverse motorsports owners with 50 years combined in racing, MAKE Motorsports made a natural progression into the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. In previous endeavors, Mark Beaver has owned NHRA, IHRA, Super Late Model Dirt Series, Legends, SCCA Trans Am and SCCA World Challenge teams. One of the only female team owners in racing, Tracy Lowe has owned and competed in Dirt Late Models and SCCA before taking on the NCWTS ranks.
Believing only in the best quality prepared vehicles, experienced crew and sound business practices, MAKE Motorsports is the first NCWTS team to be operated out of historic Shelby, NC in 15 years. MAKE has partnered with Liberty Tire Recycling and Pinnacle Rubber Mulch, ProGold Engine Treatment, VPPartsWarehouse.com, Twin Oaks Services South, Dedmon Trucking, All Sport, Beaver Bail Bonds and Lilly Trucking for the 2011 season. For more information, visit www.MAKEMotorsports.com, Find us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter at www.Twitter.com/MAKEMotorsports.