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Bell wins Box Stock crown

Nevada Appeal Staff Reports

By Roger Diez

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote that Kellcy Bell was leading the season points in the Outlaw Kart Beginner Box Stock division at the highly competitive Red Bluff (Calif.) track. Well, the diminutive 8-year-old made history the next weekend when she became the first female racer to win a Beginner Box Stock championship at Red Bluff.

Following her big sister Mackena’s tire tracks into kart racing just two years ago, Kellcy rapidly developed into a front-runner, winning Rookie of the Year title at Thunder Bowl Speedway in Mound House while finishing second in points. Proud parents Kelly and Shannon Bell are delighted with the accomplishments of both sisters, but awed with Kellcy’s progress.

“She tells her dad what changes to make on the car, telling him it’s too loose or too tight, just like the NASCAR drivers,” Shannon said with a laugh.

Although Kellcy was fast from the first part of the season this year, she has learned to be more aggressive and to lean back when one of the other racers leans on her. She is a big favorite with the fans at Red Bluff, who respond with cheers when the track announcer calls her the “Teacher” in the Beginner Box division.

Kellcy, who will move up to the Box Stock division and race in the QRC Cup traveling series in 2004, left a set of statistics for the next Beginner Box Stock champ at Red Bluff to try and match. She was fast qualifier in 12 of the 14 races that made up the winter season, captured four trophy dash wins, and scored five main event victories. She raced with fields that averaged 26 karts per weekend, making her accomplishments even more impressive.

There is still one area that needs work, though. She’s a little shy when being interviewed in Victory Circle, especially when the local television news crew showed up to feature her the night she won the championship.

All this was not without sacrifice, however. Not only for her parents, who have lots of time and money invested in the girls’ racing, but for Kellcy herself.

“She had to give up a lot of little girl things, like birthday parties and other sports,” says Shannon.

Kellcy also plays basketball, and says that swimming is her favorite sport (after racing, of course). She has had to miss a lot of basketball games, but hopes to catch up now that racing season is over.

Of course, money is the lifeblood of racing, and both sisters have been fortunate to have sponsors to help out with the costs and (in some cases) to provide valuable expertise. K. Bell Tile and Marble is, as one might expect, the primary sponsor. Clarence Marshall provides PREDATOR motors for the Bells’ racing efforts, and Kenny Barrette applies the distinctive paint jobs. Vital Signs, No Stress Express Airport Shuttle, Joe the Chromer, and Scotty’s Paint Etc. also help pay the bills along with Ron Copeland of Quality Transmission. A new sponsor has also signed on for the QRC tour, J. Millett Construction, and I’m told a couple of other sponsors may join up soon.

Kellcy is a third grader at Seeliger Elementary School when she’s not tearing up the race track. Last summer her teacher got an eye-opener when she attended a race at Thunder Bowl. She had envisioned something like the little go-karts at amusement parks and was amazed at the speeds the youngsters can achieve in a Box Stock kart! The Bell girls will be racing at Thunder Bowl again this year, but not running for championships. They will only be able to race at their home track on weekends when there’s not a conflict with a QRC Cup event. Fortunately, there is a point of congruence when the QRC circus visits Thunder Bowl on Labor Day weekend. More than 200 karts are expected, and you can bet that both Bell girls will be in the thick of the action.

If you’ve got kids who are interested in racing, show up at Thunder Bowl on March 20, when the Super Outlaw Karts of Nevada have scheduled their first “play day.” It will be a great opportunity to find out how to get started racing and learn some skills that could just make them the next NASCAR star.

Roger Diez is the Nevada Appeal motorsports columnist. He can be reached at Racytalker@aol.com