DREYER & REINBOLD RACING QUALIFIED FOR THE KENTUCKY INDY 300
Sparta, Kentucky (October 1, 2011) -Dreyer & Reinbold Racing qualified for the Kentucky Indy 300 in Sparta, Kentucky today. The team's drivers Ana Beatriz (No. 24 Ipiranga) and Townsend Bell (No. 22 Valspar) qualified 20th and 26th respectively.
This weekend will be Ana Beatriz's third time to compete at the 1.5-mile oval, but her first in the top level of the sport, as she qualified 20th for tomorrow's race. Today, the Brazilian recorded a two lap qualifying speed of 216.424 mph (Lap 1-216.455 mph, Lap 2-216.393 mph). In 2008, she started 2nd in the Firestone Indy Lights Series, but made contact with JR Hildebrand and finished 16th. In 2009, Bia started 10th in the Firestone Indy Lights Series and finished 3rd.
With each race, Beatriz continues to prove that she is graduating from rookie status. The Brazilian has nine oval starts to tuck under her belt. Her best qualifying result on an oval was this year in Milwaukee where she started 11th on the grid. Bia's best finish on an oval was in New Hampshire this year when she finished 14th. Beatriz secured her best IZOD IndyCar career qualifying result in Sonoma with a 10th place starting spot. In July of this year, she earned her best IZOD IndyCar result in Toronto, Canada when she brought the car home in 11th place.
Townsend Bell made his return to Dreyer & Reinbold Racing this weekend as he is filling in for the injured Justin Wilson. Today's session didn't exactly go the way the American had hoped. The team found some speed from the morning practice session and made changes to the No. 22 Valspar machine. Unfortunately, so did the other teams and Bell didn't qualify as far up the grid as he would have liked. As a result he will start 20th for tomorrow's race. His two lap qualifying average was 215.404 mph (Lap 1-215.369 mph, Lap 2-215.328 mph).
The California native had the opportunity to test the car at Kentucky Speedway last week. Bell drove for DRR for seven races in 2008. He was the perfect choice for the Indianapolis-based squad as he brings vast experience to the table. He got his start in go-karts before working his way up to the Barber Dodge Pro Series and then onto the Indy Lights championship where he earned Rookie of the Year honors in 2000 and the Indy Lights championship in 2001. From Indy Lights, he went onto compete in the CART series for nine races and the in FIA Formula 3000 in 2003, earning tests with BAR-Honda and Jaguar Formula One teams in the same year. Bell would then graduate to the IndyCar Series competing for various teams. In 2009, the veteran driver finished 4th in Indianapolis 500.
Dreyer & Reinbold Racing will be on track this weekend for the 16th round of the IZOD IndyCar Series in Kentucky. The race telecast will air live on Sunday, October 2nd at 2:00 pm (ET) on VERSUS. The race will also air live on the IMS Radio Network, XM channel 94, and Sirius channel 212. For more updates on the team, please visit www.dreyerreinboldracing.com.
What they have to say...
Townsend Bell, No. 22 Valspar: "Today was fine. The balance was really good and the guys did a great job at getting the Valspar car balanced, it handled great, was wide open and on the bottom. That's what we've got. We would have liked to have been faster, but we have a good racecar and I think that we will have a good solid run tomorrow."
Ana Beatriz, No. 24 Ipiranga:"The Ipiranga car felt good and I felt like it was pretty fast, but somehow it wasn't as fast as we thought that it could be. We were the first to go out, which does make a difference. I think it will be really competitive tomorrow and it will be really important to have a good racecar. With as tight as the field is, making the right decisions tomorrow will be huge."