UPDATED: Townsend Bell’s Robert Graham Special for Dreyer & Reinbold-Kingdom Racing revealed Friday

Leave a comment

INDIANAPOLIS – Last Sunday saw the “soft launch,” as you were, of the No. 24 Robert Graham Special Chevrolet for Dreyer & Reinbold – Kingdom Racing with Davey Hamilton behind the wheel for opening day at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Today saw the full reveal of the car that Townsend Bell will be in for the remainder of the month of May.

Bell, our NBCSN Verizon IndyCar Series analyst who returns to DRR for the first time since 2011, has the No. 24 pay tribute to one current legend of the sport and one historic car from the 1930s.

As part of the team’s “The Old and the New” livery unveil on Friday, the No. 24 Robert Graham Special Chevrolet car was displayed on the bricks behind the Pagoda along with a historic Floyd “Pop” Dreyer-built and owned race car from the 1930s.

Here is the reveal and further photos:

Bell’s No. 24 this year features a similar styleized version of the number made famous by Jeff Gordon. Gordon posted a picture on Twitter on Thursday of the inside of the cockpit, which features a tribute to the NASCAR star in his final full-time year in Sprint Cup.

The Dreyer & Reinbold family legacy dates back to the 1927 Indy 500 when “Pop” Dreyer served as a mechanic and crewman on the Benny Shoaff/Babe Stapp-driven Duesenberg. Dreyer later became a world-renowned race car builder including building bodies for the entire 1931 Indy 500 front row. He also built and owned series- winning sprint cars and midgets.

In addition, Floyd Dreyer Jr. was a crewman on Lloyd Ruby’s Indy 500 car in the 1960s and 1970s as well as Dennis Reinbold’s uncle, Bill Spoerle, who was crew chief of Elmer George’s Indy 500 entry in the 1960s. Spoerle later became the restoration director for the IMS Hall of Fame Museum.

Hunter McElrea wins Mazda Road to Indy USF2000 Scholarship

Leave a comment

Hunter McElrea bested 18 competitors to win the third annual Road to Indy USF2000 $200,000 Scholarship Shootout on Sunday at Bondurant Racing School in Chandler, Ariz.

The two-day contest featured on-track competition in Formula Mazda cars as well as interview sessions and assessment from a panel of judges.

“I can’t believe it,” McElrea said at IndyCar.com. “This is definitely the most exciting opportunity that I have had in my racing career. I cannot thank Mazda and everyone enough for making this possible for me. The fact that I am going to be on the grid next year thanks to them is a dream come true.

“They have given me the opportunity to prove myself in such a high level that I never even thought I would be able to reach. I have to thank Andersen Promotions, Cooper tires, all of the judges, everyone from Mazda, the Bondurant Racing School and the other competitors, who literally pushed me to the limit.

“I am just so happy. It is still sinking in, but I just can’t wait to get next year started, and I’ll be representing Mazda in that nice Soul Red USF2000 car.”

MORE: Michael Carter wins Mazda Road to 24 shootout

The 19-year-old McElrea was born in California, but reared in Australia.

As a result of winning the award, McElrea will compete in the 2019 season of the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship, the first rung of the Mazda Road to Indy development ladder.

McElrea won the Australian Formula Ford Championship this year on the strength of 13 victories in 21 races.

Early competition resulted in a final field of six drivers that included Jake Craig, Michael Eastwell, Braden Eves, Flinn Lazier and Ross Martin. They competed in a qualification session and 30-minute simulated race. McElrea won that race.

“Today was an incredible day,” said Tom Long, Mazda Motorsports factory driver and one of the judges. “There was so much talent here for the shootout. Hunter McElrea just rose to the top when it was time to shine, but our decision was very, very difficult.

“In the end, given all of the circumstances, we were able to make a pretty good decision and we are really, really proud of not only Hunter but our whole team here with Mazda to be able to grant this $200,000 scholarship for his opportunity in USF2000 next year.”