KV RACING TECHNOLOGY'S TOWNSEND BELL QUALIFIES 24TH FOR 2009 INDIANAPOLIS 500; TEAM PLACES THREE CARS IN FIELD SPEEDWAY, IN - - MAY 16, 2009 - - Round ...
KV RACING TECHNOLOGY'S TOWNSEND BELL QUALIFIES 24TH FOR 2009 INDIANAPOLIS 500; TEAM PLACES THREE CARS IN FIELD
SPEEDWAY, IN - - MAY 16, 2009 - - Round #4 2009 IndyCar Series season - - KV Racing Technology's Townsend Bell tentatively qualified 24th today for the 2009 Indianapolis 500, May 24, at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Speedway, Indiana.
Bell, #8 Herbalife -- KV Racing Technology Honda/Dallara/Firestone, had the second fastest qualifying attempt of the day with a four-lap average of 221.195 mph. He is currently slated to line-up on the outside of Row #8.
With the addition of Bell, KV Racing Technology now has three cars firmly entrenched in the field for the Indy 500 in just their second appearance at IMS. Mario Moraes, #5 KV Racing Technology -- Votorantim Honda/Dallara/Firestone, qualified seventh with a four-lap average of 223.331 mph last weekend on the first day of qualifications. He is currently set to start on the inside of Row #3. Paul Tracy, #15 GEICO -- KV Racing Technology Honda/Dallara/Firestone, also qualified last weekend, but on the second day, with an average speed of 223.111 mph. Tracy is 13th on the grid and will lineup on the inside of Row #5.
Bell made one qualifying run today, but it took several hours for the attempt to actually take place. The team put the #8 Herbalife -- KVRT car in line at 12:15 p.m. and was set to go out second. However, qualifying was postponed when rain began to fall shortly thereafter. Approximately three and a half hours later qualifying began. Going out second, Bell strung together four very consistent laps of 221.280 mph, 220.953 mph, 221.247 mph and 221.301 mph.
"I had a consistent, reasonable qualifying effort in the #8 Herbalife -- KV Racing Technology car," Bell said. "We were wide open and the balance was perfect. I was pretty happy with the way the car felt. We will have to see what happens tomorrow and if we have to go back out we will. The car is strong and the team has done a great job preparing it, so I am confident."
Bell, 34, qualified for his third Indy 500. The California native made his Indy 500 debut in 2006 starting 15th and finishing 22nd. He qualified 12th and finished 10th in 2008. Bell has made 30 career open-wheel starts over six seasons, 19 in the IndyCar Series. His best finish is fourth at Portland in 2002 driving in the Champ Car World Series. Bell's best IndyCar finish, and oval performance, is fifth at Nashville in 2004.
The Indianapolis 500 qualifying is done in four parts. The first two, which were held last weekend determined the pole sitter and initially slotted places 1-22 on the grid. Today was part three, which initially determines spots #23-33 on the starting grid. Part four, Bump Day, will be tomorrow, Sunday, May 17, when cars can be removed or "bumped" from the field by a faster car.
KV Racing Technology announced today that Azul Tequila, will sponsor the team during the 2009 Indianapolis 500. Azul is the newest addition to the portfolio of tequilas from the world's most-awarded tequila distillery -- Gran Centenario. Azul is Mexico's fastest-growing 100% agave tequila brand, but is newly available in the U.S.
Moraes, who will be contesting his second Indianapolis 500 and 12th race on an oval, was also on track today working on his race setup for the third consecutive day. The Brazilian had a fast lap of 220.475 mph putting him ninth on the practice report. Moraes made his IMS debut last year qualifying 28th and finishing 18th. In 11 previous oval events, Moraes has a best finish of 10th last year in Nashville (career best finish is seventh on the Watkins Glen road course also in 2008).