IRL: Texas II: Chevy race report

Bell Rings Up Another Top-10 Finish For Chevy FORT WORTH, Texas, Oct. 17, 2004 - Townsend Bell was a midseason addition to Chevrolet's IRL IndyCar Series roster, but since he joined the Bowtie Brigade in July he's become a prolific Chevy racer.

Bell Rings Up Another Top-10 Finish For Chevy

FORT WORTH, Texas, Oct. 17, 2004 - Townsend Bell was a midseason addition to Chevrolet's IRL IndyCar Series roster, but since he joined the Bowtie Brigade in July he's become a prolific Chevy racer. Bell was the top Chevrolet-powered driver in today's season-ending Chevy 500 at Texas Motor Speedway, bringing Panther Racing's Menards/Johns Manville Chevrolet Dallara home in ninth place. It was the fifth time in 10 starts that Bell was first to the finish line for Chevy.

"It was a good, solid run," Bell said. "We played it smart all day and stayed out of trouble. All in all, it was a good run, another top 10.

"I know that Chevy keeps digging, and I think they showed us some good things on Tomas' car that are going to help," Bell noted. "It was a good way to end the season with a solid result."

Three of the six Chevrolet drivers in the 21-car field were sidelined before the checkered flag fell. Red Bull Cheever Racing teammates Alex Barron and Ed Carpenter were involved in separate accidents, and Panther Racing's Tomas Scheckter was eliminated by a mechanical problem. Barron was collected when Dario Franchitti spun in front of him on lap 185; he was transported to Harris Methodist Medical Center for evaluation of a possible fractured right hand.

Scheckter's Chevy again provided the excitement in the first half of the race. Relegated to the back of the grid after a chassis technical infraction was found in post-qualifying inspection, Scheckter's Pennzoil Chevrolet Dallara sliced through the field. He moved up five positions from his 20th starting spot on the first lap. Taking his trademark high line, Scheckter needed only 20 laps to break into the top 10; he was fifth by lap 30 and third on lap 49. He was running fourth when the mechanical malady struck on lap 105.

"It's a pity for everybody," said the South African. "I don't really know what happened. We've got to take it back and have a look at it."

Panther Racing announced earlier today that Scheckter will drive for the team in 2005.

"I'm happy that I've re-signed again with these guys," Scheckter said. "I really get on with them, and hopefully we can get some better results for our sponsors next year."

Felipe Giaffone closed out the season with an 11th-place finish for Team Purex/Dreyer & Reinbold Racing. He celebrated the birth of his son in Brazil just a few days ago.

"We had a decent car today, but I needed a big draft with everyone spread out to create as much pull as possible," said Giaffone. "I was flat-out all day, but at the end, it was fun. Everyone was fighting for position with each other, and we were spread out enough so I could draft."

Ed Carpenter ended his rookie season earlier than he had planned after a single-car accident on the fourth lap.

"I was just trying to work my way forward, running the high groove," Carpenter reported. "The car felt really good. I had a lot of confidence just running around the top. A car came across my nose, and I lost the front end of my car and went straight into the wall. It's just the way it happens."

The 2005 IndyCar Series season will begin at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Fla., on March 6, 2005.

-gm racing-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Tomas Scheckter , Felipe Giaffone , Dario Franchitti , Townsend Bell , Ed Carpenter
Teams Panther Racing , Dreyer & Reinbold Racing