INDIANAPOLIS – Another Indianapolis 500 entry was unveiled on Friday afternoon, as Andretti Autosport named Townsend Bell as the driver of their fifth car for the 100th Running of the big event. The team announced the move via a press conference from the Phoenix International Raceway on Friday afternoon, as the NBCSN analyst for the Verizon IndyCar Series, will make his 10th start in the “Greatest Spectacle in Racing” next month.
Bell, will join Marco Andretti, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Carlos Munoz and rookie Alexander Rossi with the team in May, as this will be by far his best shot at winning the race.
He will drive the No. 29 Honda.
“We’re really pleased to be able to field a fifth entry for Townsend,” said team owner Andretti. “Even though he is not in the car full time, Townsend has proven he can quickly get up to speed – he’s shown it’s possible to compete once a year and be competitive. We see a lot of promise in his ability and are looking forward to having five cars challenging for a win at the 100th Running this May.”
“Driving in the 100th Running of the Indy 500 with Andretti Autosport is a great opportunity,” said Bell. “I think I’ll benefit from being part of a strong multi-car team with a winning pedigree at Indy. This is my ninth-consecutive start and I’m glad it’s all come together the way it has – I’m looking forward to working with Honda again and having the chance to race for one of the best teams in the sport.”
This will also be the fifth different team in as many years for the California native, as he’s been very competitive the last several years despite the musical chairs. His career best effort was a fourth place run in 2009 as he finished 14th a year ago with Dreyer & Reinbold/Kingdom Racing.
Now, Bell has a legitimate shot with a legitimate contender to etch his name into the Borg Warner Trophy in May as he’s got a powerful team to go along with his incredible amount of talent.
The reason this move is being made this weekend is because this is the first race of the 2016 season for NBCSN’s IndyCar coverage. Bell, is one of the three commentators in the booth for the event and with him being at the track this weekend, it comes at a perfect time for the driver announcement.
This will make 29 confirmed drivers now for the field with three more set to be named soon.