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SPOTLIGHT ON SPEED: BRADLEY BELL


Topekan Bradley Bell has had one and only drag racing car since he started in the sport in 1998 -- his reliable '73 Dodge Challenger.

And when Heartland Park Topeka opened its 2011 E.T. Bracket Racing Series last Saturday, Bell and his Challenger were back in action.

"It's the same car with about three different engines,'' Bell said.

While many of his competitors have trailers and the like, Bell loads whatever he needs in the trunk and heads to the track.

"I drive it here and I drive it home,'' said Bell, who competes in the Sportsman class. "I drive it some on the street, but I try to save it.''

Bell picked up the Challenger in ’98 with the idea of putting it out on the dragstrip.

"My dad had had it previously and he kind of gave it to me,'' Bell said. "I knew he had picked it up to run in the Sportsman class and my sister-in-law ran it for a little while. It suited me.''

Bell has had success with the car, placing top-three in the season point standings, but he's looking for more this season.

"I almost won last year, I had a runner-up,'' he said. "It's been a while since I had a win, though. I need that to change.''

But win or lose, Bell will be back at the track.

"It's just a lot of fun,'' he said. "It really doesn't get old. Sometimes I get a little frustrated, but usually that goes away pretty quick.

"Even on the bad days it's still fun.''

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