Townsend Bell to Pilot Menards/Johns Manville Chevrolet Indianapolis, Ind. -- Two-time Indy Racing League Champions Panther Racing announced today that 2001 Indy Lights Champion Townsend Bell will drive the Menards/Johns Manville Chevrolet for...
Townsend Bell to Pilot Menards/Johns Manville Chevrolet
Indianapolis, Ind. -- Two-time Indy Racing League Champions Panther Racing announced today that 2001 Indy Lights Champion Townsend Bell will drive the Menards/Johns Manville Chevrolet for the Argent Mortgage Indy 300 this weekend at the Kansas Speedway.
Bell, 29, an American who resides in San Luis Obispo, Calif., will compete for the first time in the Indy Racing League after racing last year in Europe's highly competitive F3000 series with Arden International, which led to tests with F-1's Jaguar and BAR teams. He said he is excited about joining Panther Racing and competing in the United States again.
"I'm very happy that Panther Racing has given me this opportunity," Bell said. "The Indy Racing League is a great series that continues to grow in popularity. I'm excited to be here. Panther has enjoyed great success and I'm hoping to add to their accomplishments. I'm looking forward to racing in the United States and being back on the ovals. I've raced against a lot of the drivers in the series so it will be good to renew some rivalries as well. We're getting ready for the race at Kansas this weekend, and I am really looking forward to representing everybody at Menards, Johns Manville and Chevrolet."
"Townsend Bell is a talented race car driver with a lot of experience in very diverse forms of racing," Panther Racing co-owner John Barnes said. "He's been on Panther Racing's radar for some time now, and we're excited about having him in the Menards/Johns Manville Chevrolet. Throughout his career, he has always been quick, aggressive and smart."
Bell, who caught the bug racing go karts in the late eighties, ran the Formula Dodge Western Championship, finishing fourth overall in 1997. In 1998, he ran a partial season in the U.S. Barber Dodge Series Championship notching three top ten finishes and landed an Instructor position with Skip Barber Racing. The following year, he ran the full season in that series recording six top five finishes in 12 starts.
In 2000, Townsend was the Indy Lights Rookie of the Year with two wins, two poles, two track records and six podium finishes. He finished second in the championship to 2003 Indy Racing League champion Scott Dixon.
In 2001, Bell returned to the Indy Lights Series in dominating fashion. In 12 races that season, he recorded six wins, eight poles and eight podium finishes en route to the championship. At the Milwaukee Mile that year, he lapped the entire field on his way to victory. Bell competed in CART in 2002 showing great promise with Patrick Racing where he posted a best finish of fourth at Portland. He was consistently among the fastest drivers in the series.