Townsend Bell will pilot the very unique-looking No. 24 Robert Graham Special for the Dreyer & Reinbold team in this month's Indy 500.
Indianapolis, Ind. – In a colorful ceremony behind the Pagoda at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Friday, driver Townsend Bell and Dreyer & Reinbold team owner Dennis Reinbold unveiled their No. 24 Robert Graham Special entry for the 99th running of the Indianapolis 500.
Next to the artistically-styled No. 24 IndyCar sat a 1938 AAA Eastern Championship-winning “Pop” Dreyer sprint car driven by legendary driver Duke Nalon. Dreyer, Reinbold’s grandfather, started his racing career as a factory motorcycle racer in the 1920s before becoming a renowned race car builder. For the 1931 Indianapolis 500, Dreyer constructed bodies for all three front cars as well as many series and race-winning sprint cars and midgets throughout his many years in racing.
Reinbold has continued the family’s legacy and he first fielded a car for the Indianapolis 500 in 1999. “I am very proud and excited to unveil our family’s latest entry in the Indianapolis 500,” Reinbold said. “Our No. 24 Robert Graham Special has one of the most unique paint schemes in the 2015 field, and I am pleased that we can show my grandfather’s championship-winning car next to our newest model.”
Robert Graham is a luxury clothing brand from New York City. The company has developed a lasting relationship with Bell over the years.
Running second with 15 laps to go in 2014 before falling out with suspension problems, Bell will be racing in his ninth 500 this time-around. “It is special to be back here 11 months later, and I want to pick where we left off last year. We are recognizing last year with this paint scheme,” Bell noted while showing off a speed blur painting on both the back of his uniform and the front of the car.
Paying tribute to a NASCAR legend
The No. 24 car will salute NASCAR legend Jeff Gordon, who has scored five victories in the Brickyard 400. The script on the IndyCar matches that of Gordon’s No. 24 stock car. Gordon will drive the Chevrolet Corvette Z06 pace car prior to the start of this year’s Indianapolis 500.
Added Bell, “When they gave me the choice of numbers, I said let’s run with No. 24 in recognition of Jeff (Gordon) for his final season in NASCAR and who is a great favorite in Indiana. We did get Jeff’s blessing and I think it is awesome. The race is on May 24 – 5/24 – and Jeff will be with us then. It couldn’t get any better than that.”
Inside the cockpit there’s a photo montage tribute to Gordon and his five Brickyard 500 victories.
Bell’s first outing in the car will take place on Monday, May 11, as practice commences for the Indianapolis 500 on Sunday, May24.