CONCORD, N.C. (Sep. 19, 2014) — Mackena Bell lives by one word: Believe. So much so, that she has a tattoo on her right wrist that reads “Belleve” which combines her last name and her old car number 11.
Throughout her 13 years of racing, Bell has remained mentally tough overcoming many challenges to pursue her racing dreams.
Though Bell, 24, has been racing for over a decade, during her childhood, she played soccer with a traveling team, which required plenty of invested time. Eventually, the time had come when she was forced to make a decision between the two sports.
“Once I started getting more into racing, I realized that it was lifestyle and not just a hobby,” Bell said. “The racetrack is the happiest place I can be. When I get in that racecar, I don’t think about anything. It’s just me and the racecar.”
Without looking back, she chose the sport she had been around her entire life, and she and her younger sister, Kellcy, raced for her family’s team in her hometown of Carson City, Nevada.
After much success on the west coast with her father, Kelly, as her crew chief and her mother, Shannon, as one of her biggest supporters, she moved to North Carolina in 2010 and became Rev Racing’s first female driver. However the move wasn’t easy.
“I didn’t think it would be as hard as it was. It was 3,000 miles away from anything I had ever known,” she said. “I packed my car full of everything that I could, and I didn’t have a bed, so I slept on the floor.”
She was initially selected to drive in the K&N Pro Series.
“I destroyed every single car I had been in. I caught on fire,” she said. “My confidence was terrible. I was miserable.”
She was so discouraged that she contemplated giving up, but after speaking with Rev Racing’s owner, Max Siegel, she decided that she wanted to keep pursing her dream. In order to progress, she took a step back and raced late models in the Whelen All-American Series for three years before moving back up to K&N.
In addition to overcoming the distance between her and her family, Bell also struggled with her weight throughout her racing career, but she didn’t let that stop her. She began eating healthy and exercised daily; a regiment that included running 3.5 miles every day.
“To overcome all that, I really felt like I could overcome anything at this point,” she said. “I have a better grasp on racecars and NASCAR in general and what it takes.”
In 2013, she became the second female driver to finish in the top-5 of a K&N Pro Series race. During her career with Rev Racing, she’s accumulated seven top-fives and 31 top-10 finishes.
Though she doesn’t like to play the “girl card,” Bell understands the challenges of being a woman in a male-dominated sport, which is why she generally has a serious demeanor and tone at the racetrack. She expects to be taken seriously as a competitor.
As a driver, she tries her best to set a good example for younger drivers and also mentors one of Rev Racing’s Bandolero drivers, 11-year-old Ryleigh Lemonds.
“I want to be a good role model,” Bell said. “Little girls like Ryleigh motivate me. They make me want to be better and work hard.”
Along with her desire to be a positive influence for young girls, she enjoys giving back to the community.
In 2013, Bell partnered with the American Lung Association to speak out in the fight against lung disease. She lost her great-grandfather to lung cancer.
“That was really hard on me because he was really big in my racing. He always supported me. I never had a racecar that didn’t have his name on it because he sponsored me,” she said.
Aside from racing, Bell grew up wake boarding and jet skiing at Lake Tahoe, just 20 minutes away from her house and still enjoys simply relaxing on the lake when she can.
When she’s not racing or in the shop working on her car, Bell works Monday thru Friday as a waitress in Huntersville, where she’s acquired new fans who support her at races both near and far.
ABOUT REV RACING: Headquartered in Concord, NC, Rev Racing, owned by Max Siegel, operates the NASCAR Drive for Diversity Program, which is the industry’s leading developmental program for ethnic minorities, women drivers, and pit crew members. For more information about Rev Racing visit https://revracing.net and follow us on Twitter @RevRacin.
Back to News