Roger Diez: Carson City’s Mackena Bell ties best finish on the season | NevadaAppeal.com

Roger Diez: Carson City’s Mackena Bell ties best finish on the season

Roger Diez
For the Nevada Appeal
Chad Lundquist/Nevada Appeal
Nevada Appeal | Nevada Appeal

Carson City’s Mackena Bell ran the best race of her NASCAR K&N Pro Series East career on Labor Day at Greenville-Pickens Speedway. Starting 10th, Bell quickly moved into the top five, then ran second, challenging for the lead in the race’s middle stages. She finished in fifth, tying her best season finish of the season. Bell now sits 11th in points overall and fourth in the rookie standings. Her next race will be at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Sept. 21.

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The 95A series runs tonight at Reno-Tahoe-Fernley Speedway, with IMCA Modifieds, Sport Mods, Pro Stocks, Hobby Stocks, Dwarfs, Mod Minis, KWS Lites, and Outlaw Karts on the program. Racing starts at 6 p.m., and ticket prices are $12 for general admission, $8 for kids 6-12 and seniors 65 and over. Kids younger than 6 and military in uniform are free

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Tonight’s NASCAR Sprint Cup contest at Richmond marks the end of the race for the Chase in NASCAR’s premier series. Six drivers are locked into the Chase: Jimmie Johnson, Clint Bowyer, Kevin Harvick, Carl Edwards, Kyle Busch and Matt Kenseth. Dale Earnhardt Jr. has only to finish 32nd or better tonight to ensure a Chase berth, but 10 drivers are battling over those final five spots. Kasey Kahne is 10 points out of 10th place, but his two wins give him an edge for a wild card spot. Kurt Busch in 10th and Jeff Gordon 11th (just six points back) are both winless, while Joey Logano, Greg Biffle, Martin Truex Jr., and Ryan Newman each have one win. Gordon’s pole position should give him a shot at the win, provided he doesn’t fall afoul of more bad luck, like getting struck by lightning in turn two.

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Goodyear debuted a new tire last weekend at Atlanta, and this one is kind of special, featuring what Goodyear calls “multi-zone tread technology.” The compound on the outside portion of the tire has a stickier surface that provides more traction, while the inner portion of the tread is a harder compound that improves durability and is intended to minimize right front blowouts leading to wall contact and other nasty things.

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Speaking of nasty things, there were some vile tempers on display after the NASCAR Camping World Truck series debuted on the road course at Mosport in Canada last weekend. Ty Dillon probably won’t be sending a Christmas card to Chase Elliot this year, after Elliot collided with Dillon on the last turn of the last lap, taking the win and leaving Dillon stuffed into a tire wall. Max Papis and Mike Skeen were also unappreciative of each other’s driving techniques, resulting in Papis getting slapped after the race by Skeen’s girlfriend, Kelly Heaphy. You won’t be seeing Heaphy around the garage area any time soon, as NASCAR has banned her indefinitely in addition to a $2,500 fine. Who says road course racing isn’t fun?

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There also were hard feelings after last weekend’s IndyCar crash-fest. The series visited the streets of Baltimore for the third (and possibly final) time, and carnage was the name of the game. Turn one was totally blocked not once, but twice after restart-related accidents. Penske’s Will Power and Target-Ganassi driver Scott Dixon fell afoul of each other once again, dropping both down the point standings. Dixon was levied a $30,000 fine for on-air comments that were critical of IndyCar officiating. I wonder if he can use a Target gift card as payment. Frenchman Simon Pagenaud won the race, his second victory of the season. Points leader Helio Castroneves survived the day and extended his point lead to an almost insurmountable 49 with only three races remaining in the season; a doubleheader in Houston in early October, and the season finale at California Speedway. Indy cars also tested the road course at Indianapolis Motor Speedway last week, with an eye towards running a second race at the famed Brickyard.

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Sebastian Vettel visits the site of his first Formula 1 victory this weekend, as the series races at the famed Monza track in Italy. Vettel is on his way to his fourth consecutive championship with a commanding points lead.