Next time someone says you drive like a girl, value the complement. As more females enter all venues of racing every year, podiums everywhere continue to embrace their rapid and steady rate of success. For the Bell Family Racing team, the drag racing folk from Hershey, Pennsylvania, girls racing and winning is a reality show they live, only without the annoying cameras and other distractions though. Rick and Stephanie Bell's three daughter's have raced pretty much all their lives, it's how they roll together as a family, and they spend nearly half of each year on the road committed to satisfying that passion. Bell Family Racing's home track is Maple Grove Raceway.
Amber's junior dragster was on display supporting an event to help raise money for Alex's Lemonade Stand.
Amber Bell, the "World's Youngest Drag Racer", will move up to the next age group (8.90 class) at Maple Grove Raceway for 2012.
Heather, the oldest, was first to race. Next was Allison, and awed by her sibling, Allison subsequently wanted in on the action. Then along came Amber, and with two racing sisters to look up at, she was clearly inspired to the second-power. So too was ESPN's E60 show, as they have scheduled a visit to the K&N sponsored family's home track, Maple Grove Raceway, this spring time to shoot a segment on Amber. This is a follow-up to her international exposure last year as the "World's Youngest Drag Racer." In keeping with the female theme this time around we spoke with the family matriarch, Stephanie, in order to get her take things.
We last spoke half-way through the 2011 season, how did the rest of year treat you overall?
"The last half of the season went very well. After Allison and Heather went back to college, Rick actually got back in a race car. He hasn't raced since Heather was a baby and he hasn't lost his edge - taking runner-up first time back in a drag car. We had a lot of rain throughout the season so we did not get as many races in as we had hoped. One special event took place at our track, when the Junior Dragster team hosted a lemonade stand to raise money for Alex's Lemonade Stand. Amber's junior dragster was on display for the fun."
Amber's junior dragster and Allison's Bell Family Racing Camaro are both familiar with victory at Maple Grove Raceway.
How is Heather doing and how did Allison and Amber finish the year?
"Heather and her husband Corey had a beautiful little boy on July 15, 2011. Needless to say, Heather did not drive at all last year, and she is looking forward to getting back into the driver's seat this season. She is a senior in college this year at BYU and will be graduating in April. We are very proud of her."
"Allison had a fun first season in a big car driving our '68 Camaro. It was very different than her junior dragster and she says it was a lot of fun to drive. She did very well and actually went to the finals finishing as runner-up her second time in the car."
"Amber did well, qualifying to participate in the 2011 Eastern Conference Finals and for the Division 1 race. Again, with all of the rain, a lot of our races, especially the fun ones at the end of the season were cancelled."
Anything new, different, or special on the calendar for 2012 you'd like to share?
"Heather and Allison plan to share the Camaro for next season. We were hoping to build a new car for Allison, but with the economy, that hasn't happened. Amber will move up to the next age group, and will be running in the 8.90 class. She is excited to be able to go faster and be more competitive. Her lights have been really good, but the slower kids have a hard time competing against the older, faster kids."
"We have a couple of car shows scheduled in January and February. We were invited by Motor Trend magazine to display the Camaro at the Pennsylvania Auto Show at the end of January and we will once again be displaying both the Camaro and the Junior Dragster at Motorama in February."
Are you enjoying your off-season and when does the racing kick back up for you?
"We have had a very nice off-season and have enjoyed our time over the holidays with Heather (and her family) and Allison home from college."
"We are now prepping for the new season starting with freshening all of our K&N oil and air filters to help protect our motors and help them to run the best they can."
"Maple Grove Raceway is our home track and our racing season there will begin in May. We plan to attend some test and tune events at our track, and a couple of others prior to that time, so Amber can get used to going a little faster."
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