CONCORD, NC (July 2, 2012) The temperatures weren’t the only things hot at Hickory Motor Speedway on Saturday night, as both Rev Racing NASCAR Whelen All-American Series drivers remained hot and finished second and ninth in a rare caution free race.
With the air temperatures at 105 degrees, and the track temperatures in excess of 150 degrees, it was going to be a challenge for drivers, crews and fans to find a comfortable spot on or off the track.
“This was one of the hottest race weekends I have experienced,” said Mackena Bell, driver of the No. 4 Toyota Racing Development Camry. “ Practice was really not helpful since the track was so greasy and slick.”
The impact of the heat showed as Bell could only manage a 13th best qualifying position, while teammate, Trey Gibson, would make it to the outside of the second row, in fourth.
“I simply misjudged the track because of the heat and I didn’t have the qualifying effort I wanted,” added Bell.
Once the green flag waved, all the drivers in the 15-car field were blistering around the track as if they wanted to get out of the heat as quickly as possible. By the halfway point Gibson was up to third and Bell had advanced two spots to 11th. With only 18 laps remaining, Gibson was in second and Bell in ninth , which is where they would finish this 50-lap feature.
“The track temperatures were still at 105 when the race started,” said Bell. “We had gotten the car fairly close and figured out the high line was working. If it wasn’t for a caution free race, we easily could have had a much better finish but a top-10 isn’t bad.”
“All of the training and conditioning we get at the shop with Coach (Phil) Horton helps us when it gets hot like this,” said Gibson. “It’s really a lot worse outside of the car than it is while we’re racing.”
“I think the heat did cause us to simply miss it on the setup tonight,” added Gibson. “We were a little tighter than what we wanted and that caused us to be loose exiting the corner. We still managed to bring home another second place finish thanks to the help of the good Lord, my great crew and sponsors.”