Townsend Bell To Drive No. 24 Robert Graham Special in 99th Indianapolis 500
Townsend Bell To Drive No. 24 Robert Graham Special in 99th Indianapolis 500
LONG BEACH, Calif. (April 18, 2015)
Dreyer & Reinbold
April 18, 2015
For Immediate Release
– Dreyer & Reinbold - Kingdom Racing announced today veteran open-wheel racer Townsend Bell will drive the No. 24 Robert Graham Special in the 99th running of the Indianapolis 500 on Sunday, May 24, 2015.
Bell, 39, will compete in his ninth Indy 500 with the Robert Graham Special, a Chevrolet-powered Dallara chassis with the new Chevrolet speedway body kit. Bell previously drove for Dreyer & Reinbold Racing in 2008.
Robert Graham, the New York-based luxury men’s fashion brand, returns to the Indy 500 after debuting in 2014 as a primary partner of Bell’s entry in the “Greatest Spectacle in Racing.”
“We are extremely pleased to have Townsend back in our car for the Indianapolis 500,” said Reinbold, a longtime Indy 500 owner. “Townsend has proven to be contender at Indy for many years including last year’s event when he was running second with ten laps to go. With the Robert Graham brand, we feel Townsend and No. 24 Chevrolet-powered machine will be right in the thick of things when the checkered flag is in the air on May 24.”
The Dreyer & Reinbold family has a tremendous legacy at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway dating back to 1927 when Dennis’ grandfather, the legendary Floyd “Pop” Dreyer, served as a mechanic and crewman in the Benny Shoaff/Babe Stapp-driven Duesenberg.
Dreyer, an Indian factory motorcycle racer in the 1920s, later became a world-renown race car builder including cars on the front row of the Indy 500 in the 1930s and series and race-winning sprint cars and midgets.
“I am very excited to come back to the Indy 500 with Robert Graham as well as Dreyer & Reinbold this year,” said Bell, the 2001 Indy Lights champion. “Robert Graham is a very unique partner. They bring a world-class luxury brand to the greatest race in the world. We have a great opportunity to put them in victory lane on May 24. The Robert Graham Special will once again sport a very distinctive look at IMS this May.”
In addition, the Robert Graham Special will salute NASCAR legend and Indiana favorite Jeff Gordon in his final full-season in motorsports. The 24 script on Bell’s Indy 500 mount will match the No. 24 of Gordon’s Chevrolet race car.
“We felt it was appropriate to salute Jeff’s tremendous career by running the number he’s made so famous,” said Bell, who’s best Indy 500 finish was fourth in 2009. “We will unveil a tribute to Jeff during May that the fans will enjoy.”
Bell, a 24 Hours of Daytona and 12 Hours of Sebring champion, continues his many 2015 activities on and off the track as the Californian also competes in the TUDOR United Sports Car Championship in the Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 458 along with his debut at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Bell is the only driver that will compete in both Indy 500 and Le Mans this season.
Bell also serves a race analyst for NBC Sports Network in the Verizon IndyCar Series and hosts other television shows including “Shut Up and Drive” and "What'Cha Got.”
Practice for the 99th Indianapolis 500 is scheduled to begin on Monday, May 11 with qualifications set for Saturday, May 16 and Sunday, May 17. The famed 500-mile classic will start at noon EDT on Sunday, May 24.
# # #
Contact: Tom Blattler, Dreyer & Reinbold Racing, 317-525-5692
About Townsend Bell: Townsend Bell was the Indy Lights Rookie of the Year and championship runner-up in 2000. The following year he captured the Indy Lights title. He also made his Champ Car debut in 2001 contesting two races for Patrick Racing with a best showing of 12th at Rockingham, England. In 2002, Bell made nine starts for Patrick Racing with a best finish of fourth in Portland. Heading overseas in 2003, he competed in the FIA Formula 3000 Championship placing ninth in the standings with a best showing of third at Hungary. He also tested for BAR-Honda and the Jaguar Formula One teams in 2003. Bell made his IndyCar debut in 2004 competing in 10 events for Panther Racing recording five top-10 finishes including an IndyCar career high of fifth at Nashville in his second start. He made one IndyCar start in 2005 competing at Michigan for Panther, made the one start at Indy in 2006 and did not compete in 2007. Bell made seven starts in 2008 with Dreyer & Reinbold Racing with a best finish of eighth in Richmond. He has only contested seven IndyCar events since 2009 running the Indy 500 six times and contesting one race at Kentucky Speedway, but has been a consistent competitor in the American Le Mans Series and now the United SportsCar Championship. He won the 12 Hours of Sebring in 2012. In 2014, won the 24 Hours of Daytona in 2014 (GTB class) and won the Tequila Patron North American Endurance Cup with AIM Autosport. He currently competes full-time in the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship’s GT Daytona class with Scuderia Corsa in a Ferrari 458 Italia GT3. He is also a color commentator for NBCSN’s IndyCar broadcasts.
About Dreyer & Reinbold Racing: Dreyer & Reinbold Racing was founded in 2000 by Indianapolis car dealer Dennis Reinbold by the legacy of the Dreyer-Reinbold family dates back to the 1920s with Rienbold’s grandfather, the legendary Floyd “Pop” Dreyer, a former factory motorcycle racer. Dreyer served as a crewman and mechanic on the famed Duesenberg driven by Benny Shoaff and Babe Stapp in the 1927 Indy 500. Dreyer went on to build Indy 500 cars in the 1930s which many started on the front row. In addition, Dreyer constructed championship-winning sprint cars and midgets as well as kid cars. Dreyer & Reinbold Racing captured its first win in 2000 with driver Robbie Buhl at Walt Disney World Speedway in Orlando, Fla., and has fielded a variety of drivers including Buhl, Buddy Lazier, Sarah Fisher, Buddy Rice, Ryan Briscoe, Al Unser Jr., Townsend Bell and, most recently, Sage Karam in the 2014 Indy 500. Dreyer & Reinbold Racing will field Bell in the 2015 Indy 500 with the No. 24 Robert Graham Special.
About Kingdom Racing: Kingdom Racing is a race and ministry team, also will serve as joint entrant of the Robert Graham Special in this year’s Indy 500. Kingdom has competed in the IndyCar series since 2008, including seven Indy 500 races with a mission is to Deliver God’s Word through Motorsports.
About Robert Graham: Robert Graham is 'American Eclectic.' Since its launch in 2001, Robert Graham was created on the premise of introducing sophisticated, eclectic style to the fashion market as an American-based company with an intention of inspiring a global movement. Robert Graham creates four menswear and women's wear collections a year-spring, pre-fall, fall and resort. Robert Graham now operates freestanding stores in locations including: Venice Beach, Houston, Las Vegas, Boca Raton, Palm Beach Gardens, New York’s Long Island in Roosevelt Field, Short Hills in New Jersey, Bleecker St in New York City, Mohegan Sun Resort and Casino, Scottsdale Fashion Square in Arizona, NorthPark Center in Dallas, Texas, Sarasota and Grand Canal Shoppes in Vegas. At the time of publication, the following stores are being constructed: Time Warner Center in New York City, and Phipps Plaza in Atlanta. The brand also sells at luxury department stores and boutiques including Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, Saks Fifth Avenue and Bloomingdales nationwide, and Harry Rosen throughout Canada. Robert Graham has retail presence in more than a dozen countries around the world and has showrooms located in New York City, Los Angeles, Dallas, Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, and Dusseldorf. (www.robertgraham.us).