HICKORY, NC. (MARCH 25, 2012) – In only their second race of the 2012 season, Rev Racing drivers Mackena Bell and Trey Gibson made another impressive showing at the famed .363 mile oval here last night.
After running strong during practice, both Bell and Gibson had difficulties finding their line during qualification and would start the night in 16th and 13th position, respectfully.
“I didn’t quite qualify where I would have liked,” said Bell, who started the night 5th in points. “I couldn’t hit my line on the fresh tires but I knew I had a car to get me to the front during the race.”
With thunderstorms all around the track, the seventeen Late Model drivers and NASCAR officials were all concerned about even getting the race in. Officials adjusted the race schedule and moved up the Bojangle’s Late Model race in an effort to avoid the approaching weather.
The first caution of the night occurred on lap 10 of the scheduled 50-lap event. Bell had already moved up two spots to 14th. After the restart, only two laps were completed before the night’s second caution flew. With just twelve laps in the books, Bell was in 11th position and Gibson was solidly in 12th. By lap 15, both Gibson and Bell had cracked the top-10 and were holding their own in positions 9th and 10th.
For most of the night the two Rev Racing and NASCAR Drive for Diversity drivers showed they had the cars and ability to be contenders. When a caution came out on lap 44, Gibson was in 7th and Bell in 8th. With only six laps remaining, both drivers were poised for a strong finish in their Toyota Camry’s.
“I knew we had a top-5 car,” said Gibson. “I didn’t know if I could catch the leader, but I knew if I could get a few clean runs, I could move up a few positions.”
Those few clean runs would not materialize. On the restart, Bell’s Toyota Camry lost pick-up in turn two and showed the first signs that the car might have a problem. A caution on the restart allowed Bell the opportunity to drop into the pits for a quick check under the hood. With no visible issues, Bell was sent back out with hopes of holding on to her eight-place position for the final four laps. However, as the green flag flew, Bell’s car came to a complete stop in turn four on Lap 47, with an apparent alternator issue. Bell would end the night in 15th position.
On the final restart Gibson would get around Chandler LeVan and bring his Toyota Camry home for a sixth place finish, as 2011 Track Champion, Jesse LeFevers would win the night’s event. Gibson’s finish gives Rev Racing a top-5 and a top-10 finish in the first two NASCAR Whelen All-American Series races at Hickory Motor Speedway.
“Trey and Mackena have both started the year off strong,” said Jefferson Hodges, Rev Racing’s Director of Competition. “We’re going to work on improving their qualifying runs. When we get them in a position to start the races at or near the front, look out!”
The next Rev Racing NASCAR Whelen All-American Series race at Hickory Motor Speedway is scheduled for April 14, 2012.
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