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NBC IndyCar analyst Townsend Bell’s house is robbed while he was at Rolex 24

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NBCSN IndyCar analyst Townsend Bell just lost a large part of his racing career and he’s asking the motorsports community to keep its eyes and ears open.

While Bell was in Daytona Beach, Florida this past weekend to compete in the Rolex 24 Hours, his Los Angeles home was burglarized.

The thieves got away with a substantial part of memorabilia from Bell’s racing career, including rings and other mementos.

According to a report by The Associated Press, the thieves took 10 rings from his appearances in the Indianapolis 500, a ring for winning the 2001 Indy Lights championship, a Rolex watch for being on the winning team in the 2014 Rolex 24 Hours and also another Rolex for winning the IMSA title in 2015.

“All the work you put in to get all that stuff, and at least you have recognition of the achievement, and now it’s gone,” Bell said to AP.

Bell’s home was among five that were burglarized in the Pacific Palisades area of Los Angeles, which is located just north of Santa Monica and runs along the Pacific Ocean.

Not only was jewelry stolen, also taken was a safe, a locked drawer in a closet was removed and the overall house was ransacked, Bell told the AP.

Bell’s family did not want to tell him about the burglary because he was competing in the Rolex, so he wasn’t made aware of the theft until he returned home late Sunday night after competing and finishing fifth in class in the race.

But Bell tried to take the theft in stride.

“I don’t really think I’d be focused on a stolen Rolex while I was racing,” he told the AP. “Well, actually, I’m back to zero now on Rolex watches, so maybe I would have been thinking during the race I had to win because I’ve got to start my whole collection over now.”

The thieves may have a hard time fencing much of Bell’s memorabilia as all items are engraved with his name, year and achievement, according to the AP. Bell tweeted to the motorsports community to keep their eyes open if the pilfered mementos wind up on places like Ebay or Southern California area pawn shops.

As the saying goes, if you see something that’s related to Bell, say something.

According to police, the thieves scaled a six-foot privacy wall and broke into the house through a master bedroom window.

Los Angeles police investigators are working the case.

NHRA: Brittany Force cleared to race this weekend in Phoenix after bad wreck 2 weeks ago

Photo: John Force Racing
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Drag racing is a Force family tradition. So, too, is not keeping a Force family member down.

Just 12 days after the most serious wreck of her six-year drag racing career, Brittany Force and John Force Racing announced late Thursday afternoon that the defending 2017 NHRA Top Fuel champion has been medically cleared and will indeed race in this weekend’s NHRA Arizona Nationals at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park in suburban Phoenix, Arizona.

“I flew into Phoenix early this (Thursday) morning and headed straight out to the race track to meet up with my team,” Force said. “I suited up and got belted back into my car that I ran all last season.

“It honestly felt good to be strapped back in and I was surprised how comfortable I was. I’m looking forward to getting back in my car tomorrow (Friday’s first two rounds of qualifying) and getting back in the swing of things with my guys.”

The 31-year-old Force, one of four daughters of 16-time NHRA Funny Car champ John Force, suffered a concussion and bruising after the hard crash she was involved in on February 11 in the first round of eliminations of the season-opening NHRA Lucas Oil Winternationals in Pomona, California.

Shortly after leaving the starting line in a race vs. Terry Haddock, Force’s dragster crossed from the right to left lanes, impacted the retaining wall with a very hard lateral crash, bounced off, spun, went on its side and briefly caught fire after crossing the finish line wheels-up.

While she is still recovering from the bruising, Force feels strong enough to get back behind the wheel. Getting back in the race car could be the best medicine of all, since she has three runner-up finishes in Phoenix, including back-to-back second-place showings in both the 2016 and 2017 national events.

The three-day event kicks off Friday with qualifying rounds at 4 and 6:30 p.m. ET, the same times as Saturday’s qualifying. Final eliminations begin at 1 p.m. ET Sunday.