March 22, 2016
Bell Runs First NHRA Pro Mod Race
of 2016 After Test Session Wreck
JIM BELL RACING (JBR) driver Jim Bell made a good recovery after a
pre-season test session brush with the wall and put on a strong show
in the Pro Mod class at the 47th annual Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals
at Gainesville Raceway in Gainesville, Florida on March 18-20, 2016.
After a successful 2015 season which included partnering with fellow
Pro Mod racer Kevin Fiscus, Bell started off his 2016 year in late
February with pre-season testing at Palm Beach International Raceway
in Jupiter, Florida. Bell fought some issues with his twin turbo 13
Mustang, but the team eventually got the car to make a decent run.
At the end of the quarter-mile stretch when it came time for Bell
to stop, he hit the chutes and they didnt deploy properly.
He went for the brakes, which were set up with more sensitivity than
his Camaros, and the Mustang made a hard left into the wall
at 228 MPH. While the car was damaged, Bell, fortunately, was not.
Both Bells Camaro and his damaged Mustang were taken to RK Racecraft
in Cartersville, Georgia. There, Ryan Rakestraw and his team pulled
the Pro Line Racing 481X motor out of the Camaro and replaced it with
the more competitive and powerful PLR Hemi which had previously been
in Bells Mustang.
The repairs were finished in time for the first NHRA Pro Mod race
in Florida, and Bell officially began his 2016 season. During the
first round of qualifying on Friday, the team was busy working out
the bugs in the Camaros new setup. Bells first hit resulted
in a lot of tire shake, and he clicked it off to run a 7.043 at 147.23
MPH pass which ranked him seventeenth. In round two, Bell encountered
even more tire shake and had to abort the run once again. This time,
the scoreboards lit to show he had gone 8.002 at 124.96 MPH, and Bell
slipped into twenty-fifth. Finally, for round three of qualifying
on Saturday, Bell had a strong .99-second 60-foot time and the car
was on a solid pass, but it again encountered more shake. Bell pedaled
it, but the resulting 6.670 at 191.97 MPH run told crew chief and
head tuner Brad Personett that the car was way down on power. Back
in the pits, the team discovered a damaged bypass valve which resulted
in low boost and the reduced horsepower. After it all, Bell remained
twenty-fifth. The incredibly tough Pro Mod qualifying field had a
bump spot of 5.982-seconds.
Im disappointed not to have qualified or made a decent
run, but were still working on getting the Camaro back to where
it should be with the new engine combination. I have every confidence
that we will get the JBR Camaro flying and competitive again in NHRA
Pro Mod trim, especially with the help of a legendary Pro Mod racer,
tuner, and crew chief like Brad Personett! said Bell, with his
trademark positivity and calm demeanor.
Bell will run at each of the ten NHRA Pro Mod races for 2016 and will
continue his season at the 29th annual O'Reilly Auto Parts NHRA SpringNationals
event in Baytown, Texas on April 29-May 1 at Royal Purple Raceway.