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Mackena Bell Makes History While Giving Back to Cancer Resource Center


CARSON CITY, NV ~ Rookie Mackena Bell made history at TOYOTA Speedway at Irwindale Saturday evening with her ground breaking podium finish. The third place result is the highest finish for a woman driver in a Super Late Model feature race at the infamous 1/2 mile speedway.

The nineteen-year old, NASCAR Drive for Diversity driver wore some emotion on her sleeve Saturday as back in April, Bell lost her beloved great-grandfather to lung cancer. This weekend would have been his 80th birthday and she was dedicating the weekends pair of races to his memory and will donate her winnings to the Carson Tahoe Cancer Resource Center in his honor.

On the hood of the #30 Position One Motorsports machine it read, “In Loving Memory of my Papa, Leon Mayfield. As you stroll through heaven on your 80th birthday, I hope you’ll race with me here on earth.”

Sitting in the pole position for Race #1, Bell took the green flag start next to her teammate Luis Martinez, Jr. Struggling with no forward bite, she battled with the #6 Dave Beat and then with the #95 of Bear Rzesnowiecky. Racing side-by-side for several laps, Bell struggled to stay within the Top 5 and would fall to 6th at the start/finish line. This would be Bell’s seventh consecutive Top 10 finish of the season.

Veteran driver and 2007 track Champion, Rip Michels said, “It’s been great to watch Mackena progress and get better every week. She definitely gets up on the wheel and with Stevie Boldorff as her crew chief, she will be a contender for wins.”

As Race #2 rolled to a start, the Carson City native took the green flag with her foot on the floor board. On Lap #3 Bell was sitting sixth but in just two laps was passing her teammate for the fifth place position and focused on holding off the #95 of Bear Rzesnowiecky who was on her bumper.

As the battle between Bell and Rzesnowiecky intensified, Rzesnowiecky got by Bell. Driving a smart and calculated race, Bell shot to the low line on Lap #25, regaining the Top 5 position on Rzesnowiecky and set her focus forward to the #01 of Danny Gay.

As a three-way battle incurred, Bell and Gay used the entire track for eleven intense laps. Never letting up, she made her way around Gay for fourth where it looked like she would settle. But with sheer determination she continued to propel forward and found herself on the bumper of Beat with one lap to go.

In dramatic fashion, she had the crowd on their feet as she made a hard charge, dove to the bottom of Turn #4 and came to the white flag, clearing Beat in Turn 1. Pulling away, Bell would land her first Top 3 finish behind 2008 track Champion and current points leader #71 Nick Joanides and TOYOTA Speedway veteran and 2007 track Champion, #12 Rip Michels.

“Mackena has shown amazing progress in such a short time,” said Nick Joanides. “To score a Top 3 finish as a rookie at Irwindale among a field of multi-time champions is incredible. I was very impressed with her ability to race hard and keep it clean in both of the evenings races.”

Bell has jumped to 8th in the AC Delco 2009 Season Points Standings, only 26 points from 7th. With just two race dates remaining this season, Bell will return to TOYOTA Speedway at Irwindale on Saturday, August 29th for Law Enforcement Appreciation Night.

“I can’t put into words how special this night was!” said an excited Bell. “First a Top 3 in memory of my Papa and then to finish behind Rip and Nick is just awesome. My crew worked so hard for this result and the long hours and dedication finally, finally paid off. Congratulations to my teammate, Luis Martinez, Jr. on his first Super Late Model win and thank you to my team owner, Luis Martinez for allowing me to honor my Papa on his race car. I’m excited for the remaining races and looking forward to what 2010 holds for me.”

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