KV RACING TECHNOLOGY TO FIELD CAR FOR TOWNSEND BELL AT 2009 INDIANAPOLIS 500; HERBALIFE TO SPONSOR ENTRY
INDIANAPOLIS, IN - - MAY 7, 2009 - - KV Racing Technology will field a car for IndyCar veteran Townsend Bell, sponsored by Herbalife, at the 2009 Indianapolis 500, May 24, at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Speedway, Indiana.
Bell will pilot the #8 Herbalife -- KV Racing Technology Honda/Dallara/Firestone entry beginning the second week of qualifying. He will join Mario Moraes, #5 KV Racing Technology -- Votorantim Honda/Dallara/Firestone and Paul Tracy, #15 GEICO -- KV Racing Technology Honda/Dallara/Firestone, in a three-car effort for the team. The 2009 Indy 500 marks the opening of the Centennial Era for the Speedway and commemorates the 100th anniversary of the facility. The 100th anniversary of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race will be in 2011.
"I am pleased to announce that Townsend Bell and Herbalife will be joining KV Racing Technology for the 2009 Indianapolis 500," said KVRT co-owner Kevin Kalkhoven. "Townsend is a proven talent who will provide valuable experience and knowledge to the team during the month of May. I also want to welcome and thank Herbalife for joining our effort. Herbalife is an outstanding company and we appreciate their support of Townsend and KVRT."
"Townsend is a talented athlete who exemplifies a healthy, active lifestyle" said Herbalife Chairman and CEO Michael O. Johnson. "We're glad to offer him an edge from a nutritional standpoint to be a strong racer, and we're proud to have him representing us at one of the world's most popular sporting events."
Bell, a 34-year-old American, will be making his third start at the Brickyard. Last year, competing in just his second Indy 500, he had a solid race qualifying 12th and finishing 10th. The native of California made his Indy 500 debut in 2006 qualifying 15th then battling his way into eighth place before suspension damage ended his day placing him 22nd.
"I want to thank Kevin Kalkhoven, Jimmy Vasser and Herbalife for the chance to compete with KV Racing Technology at this year's Indianapolis 500," said Bell. "Turning back the clock to 2001, Jimmy was my teammate in my first Champ Car event. Now, I have the honor of racing for him and that is very special. I really want to express my gratitude to Herbalife for their support. Without Herbalife this would not be possible. I have been using Herbalife products for over a year now and have never felt better. I am proud to lead Herbalife's "Mission for Nutrition" on the race track."
Bell was the Indy Lights Rookie of the Year and championship runner-up in 2000. The following year he captured the Indy Lights title. He also made his Champ Car debut in 2001 contesting two races for Patrick Racing with a best showing of 12th at Rockingham, England. In 2002, Bell made nine starts for Patrick Racing with a best finish of fourth in Portland. Heading overseas in 2003, Bell competed in the FIA Formula 3000 Championship placing ninth in the standings with a best showing of third at Hungary. He also tested for BAR-Honda and the Jaguar Formula One teams in 2003. Bell made his IndyCar debut in 2004 competing in 10 events for Panther Racing recording five top-10 finishes including an IndyCar career high of fifth at Nashville in his second start. He made one IndyCar start in 2005 competing at Michigan for Panther, made the one start at Indy in 2006 and did not compete in 2007. Bell made seven starts in 2008 with Dreyer & Reinbold Racing with a best finish of eighth in Richmond.
"I am very pleased to have Townsend and Herbalife join KV Racing Technology," said KVRT co-owner Jimmy Vasser. "Townsend has experience in IndyCars and at the Speedway which will benefit KVRT as we go through our program in preparation for the Indy 500. Also, with Herbalife on board I think the entire team will benefit by using their products during the long hours we put in during the month of May."