NBCSN IndyCar analyst and open-wheel racing veteran Townsend Bell will once again take on the Indianapolis 500.
The American will seek to make his eighth career start at the Brickyard in a third car, the No. 6 Chevrolet, for KV Racing Technology alongside team regulars Sebastien Bourdais and Sebastian Saavedra.
Bell’s car will be sponsored by high-end clothier Robert Graham, whose hats Bell often wore when he was out of his Panther Racing car in last year’s ‘500.’
His best career finish at Indy was achieved in a KVRT machine, a fourth in 2009.
“In 2001, [team co-owner] Jimmy [Vasser] was my teammate in my first Champ Car event and in 2009, I had my best finish at Indy racing with KVRT, so coming back to the defending Indy 500 champions is special,” Bell said in a statement. “I will be working with one of my favorite engineers, Gerald Tyler, so that is also a big plus.
“Finally, I want to express my gratitude to Robert Graham for their support. Without them, this would not be possible. I wear Robert Graham clothing, as most of your know from last year’s fedora, and I am proud to represent the company.”
In both of their statements, Vasser and fellow team co-owner Kevin Kalkhoven mentioned Bell’s sizable experience as the Speedway as an important asset for their Indy program.
“Townsend has a lot of experience at the Speedway and did a great job the last time he drove there for us,” Vasser noted. “I think the entire team will benefit from his knowledge as we go through our program in preparation for the Indy 500.”
It’s known as “Carburetor Day” – or in its simplest term, just “Carb Day.”
But the final day of on-track action Friday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway before Sunday’s 102nd Running of the Indianapolis 500 is so much more.
Especially on NBCSN, which will have wall-to-wall live coverage starting Friday morning.
Here’s how Friday’s schedule breaks down:
- 11 a.m. ET: Carb Day kicks off with the final practice for Sunday’s Indy 500. The session will last one hour in length.
- 12 p.m. ET: We’re going racing! Strap in for coverage of the Indy Lights’ Freedom 100 on the famous Brickyard.
- 1:30 p.m. ET: We’ll have coverage of the annual IndyCar Pit Stop Challenge. Which teams have the best – and most importantly, fastest and accurate – pit crews? Team Penske has won 10 of the last 12, including the last two years edging out Schmidt Peterson Motorsports each time. Who can potentially beat them this year?
- 3:30 p.m. ET: We’ll have our annual Motorsports Special. Among segments included will be:
1) 2016 Indy 500 winner Alexander Rossi will discuss how it used to upset him when people suggested he “backed into” his big win and how he didn’t really feel vindicated until he qualified on the front row for last year’s race.
2) Defending 500 winner Takuma Sato, the first Japanese driver to ever win at Indianapolis, discusses the impact of his big win personally and professionally, particularly back in his native land.
3) An essay by Robin Miller on Stefan Wilson giving up his ride last year to allow Fernando Alonso to race for Andretti Autosport.
Check your local listings for replay times.