KV RACING TECHNOLOGY'S TOWNSEND BELL FINISHES FOURTH IN 2009 INDIANAPOLIS 500; KVRT PLACES TWO CARS IN TOP-10 - PAUL TRACY FINISHES NINTH INDIANAPOLIS, IN - - MAY 24, 2009 - - KV Racing Technology placed two cars in the top-10, led by a...
KV RACING TECHNOLOGY'S TOWNSEND BELL FINISHES FOURTH IN 2009 INDIANAPOLIS 500; KVRT PLACES TWO CARS IN TOP-10 - PAUL TRACY FINISHES NINTH
INDIANAPOLIS, IN - - MAY 24, 2009 - - KV Racing Technology placed two cars in the top-10, led by a fourth place performance by Townsend Bell in the 2009 Indianapolis 500 today at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Speedway, Indiana. Teammate Paul Tracy finished ninth, while the team's third driver, Mario Moraes was the victim of an incident on the first lap and placed 33rd.
Townsend Bell, #8 Herbalife -- Niteworks -- KV Racing Technology Honda/Dallara/Firestone, started 24th, but was on the gas at the drop of the green flag up seven positions after the first lap. He was in 12th place after 12 laps, but dropped back to 21st after the first round of pit stops on lap 24. For the next 176 laps Bell and his Herbalife -- KVRT crew dug in and battled to the end. Bell drove a smart race when he had to and an aggressive race when he needed. He also benefitted from a solid race strategy and got outstanding pit work from his crew which gained him places on each stop except the first.
"This was just an unbelievable day for me and the Herbalife -- Niteworks -- KV Racing Technology team," Bell said. "We had a few problems early on, fought back and made some good passes on the re-start. We were smart when we had to be, aggressive when we needed to be. My Herbalife - KVRT pit crew did a fantastic job. I gained places on every stop except the first one and that's how I got from 24th to fourth."
Bell, 34, earned his best finish and second top-10 showing in three appearances at the Speedway today. He made his debut here in 2006 finishing 22nd and place 10th in 2008. The fourth place showing also ties Bell's career best finish (placed fourth in Portland in 2002 driving in the CART series) and is his best showing on an oval surpassing a fifth place performance at Nashville in 2004.
Paul Tracy, #15 GEICO -- KV Racing Technology Honda/Dallara/Firestone, started 13th, but quickly moved into the top-10 where he remained for most of the race. Tracy got as high as fourth following his fifth pit stop when his crew picked up five positions, but could not hold on to a top-five finish.
"I want to thank the GEICO -- KV Racing Technology team and all my sponsors that made this Indy 500 happen," said Tracy. "It's not the finish I wanted. I would have liked to of been in the top-five. The KVRT pit crew did a fantastic job of getting me up there. Unfortunately, I ran over some debris from Tony's (Kanaan) accident and damaged the underside of the #15 car so I was not able to stay there. I hope I will be back, I think I certainly showed I am capable of being competitive and I look forward to having another chance at the two Canadian races."
Tracy, a native of Canada and 2003 Champ Car Series champion, made his sixth appearance at IMS and first since his controversial runner-up finish in 2002. This was his second best performance at the Speedway.
Mario Moraes, who started seventh and on the inside of Row #3, had a very difficult day. On the opening lap he moved to the outside only to find Marco Andretti coming on a high line. Andretti hit Moraes knocking him out of the race.
Commenting on the incident Moraes, who made his second start at Indy today (finished 18th last year), said, "The Azul -- Votorantim -- KV Racing Technology team did a fantastic job the whole month. Unfortunately we didn't have luck on the first lap of the race. I think that Andretti did a really unnecessary move when he was on the outside, but I also hadn't heard anything from my spotter to know he was there. It was not a nice way to finish this month when we had such a good car and a really good chance of at least finishing in a top-five."
This is the first time in just two appearances on the 2.5-mile superspeedway oval that KVRT has qualified three cars for the "Greatest Spectacle in Racing," placed two cars in the top-ten and at least one in the top-four. Last year in their first appearance at the Speedway KV Racing Technology qualified two cars. Oriol Servia started 25th and finished 11th while Will Power started 23rd and placed 13th.