Brake Failure Ends Matt Bell’s Return to NASCAR XFINITY Series Early

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Brake Failure Ends Matt Bell’s Return to NASCAR XFINITY Series Early

Lexington, Ohio (12 August 2017) – Matt Bell was hoping to use his third NASCAR XFINITY Series start to grow his experience and leave the Mid-Ohio Challenge with a strong result. Unfortunately, his outing ended much earlier than he had hoped as his King Autosports No. 90 Actev Motors Chevrolet suffered a brake failure early in the race. The blue NASCAR machine ended the day deep in the Turn 1 tire wall, but fortunately Bell emerged unscathed following the high speed contact.

Bell’s weekend back in the NASCAR XFINITY Series got off to a slow start as a severe string of storms rolled through the area during Friday’s practice sessions, ultimately cancelling all track activity. With practice moved to Saturday morning, the California driver was tasked to take his first and only laps around the 2.4-mile course just a couple of hours ahead of his qualifying session.

A short 45-minute practice was all Bell had to work with before making his third-ever NASCAR qualifying run. He closed out qualifying with a best speed of 93.641mph, an improvement from the morning practice which secured him a position inside the 14th row for the Mid-Ohio Challenge later that afternoon.

Going into the main event, Bell kept tame expectations as he looked to take the race one stint at a time. Although Bell had spent limited time in traffic, he put on a show with a phenomenal start, picking off nine cars within the first lap.

“The start was really great,” said Bell. “Everyone seemed to be going slow and they all shot to the inside of the keyhole but I took advantage of the grip on the outside. You can roll so much more speed into the corner and that’s what I did.”

Bell made additional passes after taking on another restart and was holding his own among his full season NASCAR XFINITY competitors. Unfortunately, it all came to an abrupt end on Lap 15 as the No. 90 Actev Motors Chevrolet went into Turn 1 and suffered a brake failure which launched the car off track and into the outside wall.

From what looked to be a large impact from pit lane – even breaking the wall itself – Bell exited the car unharmed, but disappointed in his race ending crash.

“I hate going out this way,” Bell said. “I don’t get too many opportunities like this, and I feel bad for the guys. It’s disappointing for me to have to give these King Autosports guys so much extra work. It looks like something with the brake went bad, but there really isn’t much you can do when the pedal drops to the floor and you can’t even pull it up with your foot. I am happy that I am okay, but these guys prepared a great car and NASCAR does a really great job at keeping their drivers intact.”

Overall, Bell was pleased to get the opportunity to work with the King Autosports crew who pulled together a competitive race car especially given that the program wasn’t finalized until close to the start of the race weekend.

“I am really proud of the guys for working so hard throughout the weekend and giving me this opportunity to race,” said Bell. “The car wasn’t perfect, but it was actually pretty good. It was really great off the corners which evened out the slower pace at the apexes. We were going to struggle toward the end to really hold our own against some of the really fast guys, but overall it was a pretty good car. Thanks to Actev Motors and everyone back home who helped this come together with such short notice.”

Bell will return to his full season ride in the IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge with Stevenson Motorsports at VIRginia International Raceway on August 25-27.