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Bell’s bad luck continues

Roger Diez
For the Nevada Appeal

Carson City racer Mackena Bell’s bad luck streak continued last Friday at New Hampshire.

Bell went high to avoid spinning teammate Sergio Pena, who promptly spun up the track into her path. The ensuing wreck put Mackena in the garage at about the two-thirds mark of the race, with an official finish of 27th.

This weekend she will be at Lime Rock Park in Connecticut for her first-ever road race in a stock car. She improved her time from 1:01.2 to 59.8 seconds from the first practice to the second practice, and was 24th quickest after the second round. All of Mackena’s fans have an opportunity to show their support, because most popular driver voting is now open on NASCAR.com, and each division will select a winner. To vote for Mackena as the K&N Pro Series East’s most popular driver, visit NASCAR.com at http://www.nascar.com/news/features/2010.kn.east.mpd/index.html and register your vote.

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As you may have seen in Wednesday’s Nevada Appeal, there was a fatality last weekend at the Speed by Spectre 341 Challenge.

This event has been run for many years as the Virginia City Hill climb, and has seen a number of fatalities. A driver and passenger lost their lives just a few years ago, too. I have been up the hill as a passenger, and I can attest to the inherent danger of the event.

While racing in major race series has been made infinitely less hazardous with advances in wall technology, car construction, and driver gear like the HANS device, the Virginia City event is a throwback to the past. The cars are basically street legal machines without racecar safety construction, and much of the course is devoid of guardrails and other safety amenities. So an accident that would probably be survivable in a Sprint Cup, Formula 1, Indy, or World of Outlaws sprint car race ends up with a tragic result in an event like this.

I am not by any means advocating for this event to be stopped, only saying that entrants should be aware of possible consequences.

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It’s Fourth of July Weekend, and that means nightracing at Daytona to NASCAR fans. Tonight is the Coke 400 for the Sprint Cup cars. It should be an interesting race, given the new spoiler and an enlarged restrictor plate.

But what is really exciting is the introduction of new body styles to the series. Ford Mustangs, Chevy Camaros, Dodge Challengers and Toyota Camrys in the series will all sport noses that more closely resemble the production version of each make. The Mustangs even have door handle and tailpipe decals to simulate the real thing.

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Finally, you can join a new NASCAR race team if you have $299.95. The formation of America’s Racing Team was announced at Daytona, with the first 10,000 members to have input on driver selection. Members also have been promised unique team gear and merchandise, plus discounts on race tickets and accommodations. Visit http://www.americasracingteam.com for details.