Hinchcliffe's move was 'pretty optimistic'
V Racing Technology driver Townsend Bell put on a show during the 2014 Indianapolis 500, unfortunately it ended 10 laps too soon at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Bell, in the No. 6 Robert Graham - KV Racing Technology Chevrolet/Dallara/Firestone entry, started 25th in the 33-car field and his crew spent most of the first half of the 200-lap contest in the top-15. He moved into the top-10 for good around lap 120 and on lap 168 charged into the top-five. From there he battled and eventually clawed his way into the top-three, getting as high as second. Unfortunately, on lap 191, while running in fifth, he lost control of the car, which had been damaged in two incidents earlier in the race, and ended up in the wall in turn two. He finished 25th.
"I got hit in that three-wide on the restart in the left rear, which had already been damaged earlier in the race when I was inside of Kanaan and he was squeezing me," Bell said, "The two incidents just damaged the car too much. It was loose all race and then in the end, I was just trying to go for it to see if we could get to the front. You don't get those chances very often, but unfortunately the left rear just took too much pounding during the day to make it work and it got away from me. I hate to end that way. That was a pretty good hit. I'll be pretty sore."
Describing the three-wide restart with Ed Carpenter and James Hinchcliffe, Bell said, "I thought I was side-by-side with just Ed (Carpenter) in turn one. I didn't realize someone else, I think it was Hinch maybe, had forced a three-wide, which is pretty optimistic. I haven't seen a replay, but I would guess Ed didn't have anywhere to go. I was giving him room for one car, I didn't know there was a third one that had ducked in. Nonetheless, I thought we would just hang on there in the top five. We didn't really have anything to charge to the front, given the way the car was damaged."
Bell, 39, who competes full-time in the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship, driving for AIM Autosport with Ferrari, and is part of the Verizon IndyCar Series NBC broadcast team, made his eighth Indy 500 start. The native of California has earned three top-10 finishes with a best showing of fourth in 2009, coincidentally while competing with KV Racing Technology. Bell, who contested his first event of the 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series season today, second with KVRT and 37th of his IndyCar career, has completed a remarkable 1,499 of a possible 1600 laps at the Speedway.