NBCSN IndyCar analyst Townsend Bell set with Andretti at Indy 500

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NBCSN IndyCar analyst Townsend Bell will celebrate the 10-year anniversary of his first start in the Indianapolis 500 with arguably his best shot to win the race in the 100th running of the Memorial Day classic.

Bell, who will make his 10th start since 2006 (every year but 2007), will join Andretti Autosport as its fifth driver, and provide a key hand to the team’s full-season quartet of Ryan Hunter-Reay, Marco Andretti, Carlos Munoz and rookie Alexander Rossi.

The deal has come together only in the last week, but is still announced earlier than his program with Dreyer & Reinbold Racing last year, which was revealed at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach.

This program formation follows Bell also getting his IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship full-season sports car plans sorted with Change Racing, following the surprise dissolving of O’Gara Motorsport.

Bell, who will drive the No. 29 Andretti Honda, will also be making his first start in a Honda since 2012 when he drove for Schmidt Hamilton Motorsports. That’s also the last time he finished in the top 10 in the race – he ended ninth – and also was when he worked with Rob Edwards last. Edwards is director of race operations and engineering with Andretti Autosport.

Bell’s previous ‘500 starts have come with DRR, KV Racing Technology, Panther Racing, Schmidt and Vision Racing. His best finish in the race is fourth with KVRT in 2009.