Off-Track


Bell shows off Homestead pace car on hit show

December 16, 2013, Pat DeCola, NASCAR.com

Bell shows off Homestead pace car on hit show
At Nationwide season finale, Justin Bell let it rip in Ford Mustang pace car

Six hundred and sixty-two horsepower reside under the hood of Homestead-Miami Speedway's Ford Shelby GT 500 Mustang, more than enough power to get into a whole heck of a lot of trouble with the law if it was taken to the streets.

When former British race car driver-turned show host Justin Bell got behind the wheel of the imposing machine, he was a good boy -- to the tune of 45 mph.

For the Nationwide Series 2013 season finale at Homestead, Bell had the honor of leading the field to green in the fabled Mustang and did a remarkable job, maintaining a steady 45 before pulling in to pit road.

He documented the whole experience for "World's Fastest Car Show", his hit web series for eBay Motors.

"Whatever race you're at, anywhere in the world, of course there's one vehicle that is guaranteed to lead the pack, and that is the pace car," said Bell during the show. "Being the pace car at the season finale of a NASCAR event carries with it a lot of responsibility. You need something that's going to be reliable, pretty damn fast and of course represents the brand well. It's really a no-brainer that the Ford guys chose the Shelby GT 500 Mustang, really, because does anything else embody the full performance spirit of Ford more than this car? I don't think so."

With the most powerful production V8 in the world, the Shelby GT 500 Mustang comes equipped with a super-charged 5.8 liter V8, 662 HP, interactive launch control and Brembo six-piston front brakes.

Prior to his debut as the pace car driver, he met and took some laps around the facility with Robert "Buster" Auton, a NASCAR-sanctioned pace car driver who also coordinates equipment logistics for the sport. With his guidance, Bell learned the ropes of what appears to be a simple job, but comes with huge responsibility.

As he quickly learned once the race was about to begin and the full field of cars was following me, there's more to it than meets the eye.

"I feel like I'm on pole, I've never seen my mirrors this full with cars. This is bloody terrifying … I felt like I was riding a massive beast ready to be unleashed, but I wasn't allowed to."

Well, hey.

Find a sponsor and a ride by February 22nd and you, Justin Bell, can find yourself unleashing that beast in the season-opening Drive4COPD 300 at Daytona International Speedway.