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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Townsend Bell
Townsend Bell - 2015 500 Festival Parade - Stierch.jpg
Townsend Bell at the 2015 Indianapolis 500
NationalityUnited States American
Born (1975-04-19) April 19, 1975 (age 45)
San Francisco, California
Verizon IndyCar Series career
Debut season2004
Starts28
Wins0
Poles0
Best finish21st in 2004
Previous series
2003
2001–2002
2000–2001
1999
Formula 3000
CART World Series
Indy Lights
Barber Dodge Pro Series
Championship titles
2001
2015
Indy Lights
United SportsCar Championship GTD

Townsend Bell (born April 19, 1975) is an American professional motor racing driver competing in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, and also as a motorsports commentator for NBC Sports’ IndyCar Series coverage.

Early career

He spent time in karting, Skip Barber, Formula Dodge and the Barber Dodge Pro Series before graduating to Indy Lights in 2000. He won the Indy Lights championship in 2001 and earned two starts in a Champ Car in a joint effort between Patrick Racing and Dale Coyne Racing as a test for a full-time seat in 2002. He earned Roberto Moreno's seat at Patrick that year. He raced a partial season and scored a best finish of fourth at Portland.

International Formula 3000 career

His efforts shifted to Europe and in 2003 he was teammate to series champion Björn Wirdheim in International F3000 competition. Bell was the first American to score a F3000 podium with a 3rd place at the Hungaroring and he finished 9th overall in a field covered with future Formula One talent - Giorgio Pantano, Patrick Friesacher, Vitantonio Liuzzi and Nicolas Kiesa among them.

His performance in F3000 led to Formula One tests with the Jaguar and BAR Honda F1 teams.

Return to IndyCar

Bell (foreground) participating in the Pit Stop Challenge on Carb Day at the 2015 Indianapolis 500
Bell (foreground) participating in the Pit Stop Challenge on Carb Day at the 2015 Indianapolis 500

Despite earning a test with British American Racing at year's end, Bell returned to America where he replaced Mark Taylor for Panther Racing in the Indy Racing League IndyCar Series midway through 2004, and posted a best finish of fifth. He started one race as an injury replacement for Tomáš Enge in the same car in 2005. He made his first Indianapolis 500 appearance for Vision Racing in 2006, qualifying 15th and finishing 22nd. He returned to the IndyCar Series in 2008 driving the No. 23 car in events where Milka Duno was not scheduled to race. His best result in 2008 was an eighth-place finish at Richmond International Raceway in June. He also was entered in a third team car in the Indy 500, where he qualified twelfth and finished tenth.

In 2009, KV Racing Technology entered Bell in the Indy 500. Bell was on a limited-month schedule but had an impressive race day, advancing from 24th on the grid up to the top five. Passing Team Penske's Will Power on the last restart, Bell impressed with a fourth-place finish.

Bell posted his best Indianapolis 500 qualifying effort to date in 2011, racing for Sam Schmidt Motorsports. By qualifying fourth fastest, he started the 95th running of the Greatest Spectacle in Racing on the inside of the second row.

Bell finished 9th in the 2012 Indianapolis 500 with Sam Schmidt Motorsports. His 2014 Indianapolis 500, back with KV Racing Technology in the No. 6 Robert Graham Dallara-Chevrolet,[1] marked his eighth start in the event and seventh consecutive.

He qualified 4th and led 12 laps in the 2016 Indy 500, racing for Andretti Autosport, before an incident on pit road during caution. He finished 21st.

Bell is a color commentator for NBC Sports[2] with lead anchor Leigh Diffey and fellow analyst Paul Tracy. Hobbs and Steve Matchett, analysts for NBC Sports’ Formula 1 coverage, occasionally rotate if Bell is on assignment.

Sports car career

Bell made his sports car debut in 2012 and won the 12 Hours of Sebring on debut with Alex Job Racing. That season, he drove a Lotus Evora GTE for Alex Job Racing in the American Le Mans Series with Bill Sweedler, before he and Sweedler drove a Ferrari F458 Italia the following year with West/AJR.[3]

He matched his Sebring feat in his first Rolex 24 at Daytona start in 2014, winning that driving with Level 5 Motorsports. Bell and Sweedler won the Tequila Patron North American Endurance Cup with AIM Autosport, after finishing first or second in three of the four races in the endurance series within the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship.[4] The pairing finished fourth overall in the full season GT Daytona class points.

In 2015, Bell and co-driver Bill Sweedler took home the IMSA GT Daytona Championship. In addition, they had a dominant win at VIR and podium finishes in the 12 Hours of Sebring and 24 Hours of LeMans.[5]

In 2016, Bell along with teammates Jeff Segal and Bill Sweedler won the 24 Hours of LeMans in only their second try.

In the famous Indy500 in 2016 Townsend clocked a top speed of 241.637 mph.[6]

He is competed full-time in the 2017 WeatherTech SportsCar Championship GT Daytona class with Alex Job Racing in an Audi R8 GT3 and returned to Le Mans with Ferrari in 2017.

Most recently, Bell has competed in the AIM Vasser-Sullivan Lexus RC F GT3 for the 2019 & 2020 GTD class seasons.[7]

Television

Bell is a color commentator for NBC Sports with lead anchor Leigh Diffey and fellow analyst Paul Tracy

Bell has filled in for Formula One coverage on NBC, most notably in 2016 when he replaced Will Buxton, who was on bereavement leave for the races at Sepang and Mexico City.

Bell is also a color commentator for NBC Sports's IndyCar, Global RallyCross Championship as well as the host of What'Cha Got on Fox Sports 1.

Bell has also both competed and commented in the Stadium Super Trucks.[8]

At the 2013 X-Games in Munich, Bell competed in Global Rallycross and finished 6th in the final.

Racing record

American open–wheel racing results

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position; races in italics indicate fastest lap.)

Barber Dodge Pro Series

Year 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 Rank Points
1998 SEB
28
LRP
13
DET
28
WGI
22
CLE
16
GRA MDO ROA LS1
5
ATL
3
HMS
23
LS2
8
16th 36
1999 SEB
30
NAZ
3
LRP
1
POR
4
CLE
8
ROA
5
DET
16
MDO
21
GRA
8
LS
3
HMS
19
WGI
2
3rd 104

Indy Lights

Year Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 Rank Points
2000 Dorricott Racing LBH
17
MIL
6
DET
7
POR
2
MIS
4
CHI
2
MDO
1
VAN
4
LS
18
STL
1
HOU
2
FON
2
2nd 146
2001 Dorricott Racing MTY
2
LBH
1
TXS
8
MIL
1
POR
6
KAN
5
TOR
1
MDO
1
STL
9
ATL
2
LS
1
FON
1
1st 192

CART

Year Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 Rank Points
2001 Patrick Racing MTY LBH TXS NZR MOT MIL DET POR CLE TOR MIS CHI MDO ROA VAN LAU
13
ROC
12
HOU LS SRF FON 30th 1
2002 Patrick Racing MTY
19
LBH
15
MOT
14
MIL
13
LS
7
POR
4
CHI
12
TOR
15
CLE
18
VAN MDO ROA MTL DEN ROC MIA SRF FON MXC 20th 19

IndyCar Series

Year Team Chassis Engine 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 Rank Points
2004 Panther Racing Dallara Chevrolet HMS PHX MOT INDY TXS RIR KAN
17
NSH
5
MIL
6
MIS
8
KTY
21
PPIR
12
NZR
18
CHI
22
FON
9
TX2
9
21st 193
2005 HMS PHX STP MOT INDY TXS RIR KAN NSH MIL MIS
15
KTY PPIR SNM CHI WGL FON 30th 15
2006 Vision Racing Honda HMS STP MOT INDY
22
WGL TXS RIR KAN NSH MIL MIS KTY SNM CHI 34th 12
2008 Dreyer & Reinbold Racing HMS STP
21
MOT1
10
LBH1
DNP
KAN INDY
10
MIL
11
TXS IOW RIR
8
WGL NSH MDO EDM
25
KTY SNM
19
DET CHI SRF2
23
26th 117
2009 KV Racing Technology Dallara IR5 STP LBH KAN INDY
4
MIL TXS IOW RIR WGL TOR EDM KTY MDO SNM CHI MOT HMS 32nd 32
2010 Sam Schmidt Motorsports SAO STP ALA LBH KAN INDY
16
TXS IOW WGL TOR EDM MDO SNM CHI KTY MOT HMS 38th 18
2011 STP ALA LBH SAO INDY
26
TXS2 TXS2 MIL IOW TOR EDM MDO NHM SNM BAL MOT 35th 40
Dreyer & Reinbold Racing KTY
11
LVS3
C
2012 Schmidt–Hamilton Motorsports Dallara DW12 STP ALA LBH SAO INDY
9
DET TXS MIL IOW TOR EDM MDO SNM BAL FON 30th 26
2013 Panther Racing Chevrolet STP ALA LBH SAO INDY
27
DET DET TXS MIL IOW POC TOR TOR MDO SNM BAL HOU HOU FON 35th 10
2014 KV Racing Technology STP LBH ALA IMS INDY
25
DET DET TXS HOU HOU POC IOW TOR TOR MDO MIL SNM FON 32nd 22
2015 Dreyer & Reinbold Racing STP NLA LBH ALA IMS INDY
14
DET DET TXS TOR FON MIL IOW MDO POC SNM 35th 32
2016 Andretti Autosport Honda STP PHX LBH ALA IMS INDY
21
DET DET RDA IOW TOR MDO POC TXS WGL SNM 27th 55
1 Run on same day.
2 Non-points race.
3 The Las Vegas Indy 300 was abandoned after Dan Wheldon died from injuries sustained in a 15-car crash on lap 11.
Years Teams Races Poles Wins Podiums
(Non-win)
Top 10s
(Non-podium)
Indianapolis 500
Wins
Championships
8 6 25 0 0 0 9 0 0

Indianapolis 500

Year Chassis Engine Start Finish Team
2006 Dallara Honda 15 22 Vision Racing
2008 Dallara Honda 12 10 Dreyer & Reinbold Racing
2009 Dallara Honda 24 4 KV Racing Technology
2010 Dallara Honda 10 16 Sam Schmidt Motorsports
2011 Dallara Honda 4 26 Sam Schmidt Motorsports
2012 Dallara Honda 20 9 Schmidt–Hamilton Motorsports
2013 Dallara Chevrolet 22 27 Panther Racing
2014 Dallara Chevrolet 25 25 KV Racing Technology
2015 Dallara Chevrolet 24 14 Dreyer & Reinbold Kingdom Racing
2016 Dallara Honda 4 21 Andretti Autosport

Complete International Formula 3000 results

(key)

Year Entrant 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 DC Points
2003 Arden International IMO
9
CAT
12
A1R
7
MON
6
NUR
Ret
MAG
12
SIL
7
HOC
5
HUN
3
MNZ
Ret
9th 17

24 Hours of Le Mans results

Year Team Co-Drivers Car Class Laps Pos. Class
Pos.
2015 United States Scuderia Corsa United States Jeff Segal
United States Bill Sweedler
Ferrari 458 Italia GT2 GTE
Am
330 24th 3rd
2016 United States Scuderia Corsa United States Jeff Segal
United States Bill Sweedler
Ferrari 458 Italia GT2 GTE
Am
331 26th 1st
2017 United States Scuderia Corsa United States Bill Sweedler
United States Cooper MacNeil
Ferrari 488 GTE GTE
Am
331 29th 3rd

References

  1. ^ Cavin, Curt (April 12, 2014). "Townsend Bell back in Indy 500; Reinbold and Hamilton working together". The Indianapolis Star. Retrieved April 12, 2014.
  2. ^ DiZinno, Tony (May 6, 2013). "Townsend Bell confirms he's running the Indy 500 again this year". NBC Sports. Retrieved December 13, 2013.
  3. ^ "Townsend Bell Bio". Official Website. December 23, 2014. Archived from the original on February 4, 2015. Retrieved February 3, 2015.
  4. ^ "TUDOR Night Of Champions In NYC Celebrates Inaugural Award Winners". IMSA. October 16, 2014. Retrieved February 3, 2015.
  5. ^ "Scuderia Corsa Reveals Rolex 24 at Daytona Lineup". IMSA. December 23, 2014. Retrieved February 3, 2015.
  6. ^ http://www.racer.com/indycar/item/129852-indy-500-top-speeds-crack-240mph-barrier
  7. ^ "Townsend Bell Career Statistics". www.racing-reference.info. Retrieved 2020-12-08.
  8. ^ "Justin Lofton Wins Round No. 7 of SST Competition on the Streets of Toronto". Stadium Super Trucks. July 14, 2013. Archived from the original on December 14, 2013. Retrieved December 13, 2013.

External links

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Scott Dixon
Indy Lights Champion
2001
Succeeded by
A. J. Foyt IV
(Infiniti Pro Series)
This page was last edited on 16 December 2020, at 23:40
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