Townsend Bell and his squad post a 226.059 mph lap in overcast conditions

SPEEDWAY, Ind. (May 14, 2015) – While the team did not run a large number of laps, the Dreyer & Reinbold – Kingdom Racing team was extremely busy Thursday behind the scenes at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in the fourth round of practice for the 99th Indianapolis 500 Mile Race.

Townsend Bell drove the No. 24 Robert Graham Special Chevrolet-powered machine to a best speed of 226.059 miles per hour as the team continued its process of developing a setup on the Dallara chassis for both qualifying and the 200-lap race set for May 24.

Bell completed 40 laps in the later portion of Thursday afternoon after the crew worked in pit lane with its “hot” pit stop practice.

Over ten stops were performed by the “over the wall” crew led by chief mechanic Jeff Simon. Other crew members include tire changers Simon (outside front), Chris Hogue (inside front), Chase Selman (outside rear) and Brian Goslee (inside rear). The team’s fueler is David Taylor and Ron Smith handles the air jack.

Later in the afternoon, Bell, the veteran driver from Pacific Palisades, Calif., worked closely with chief engineer Jeff Britton and strategist Dennis Reinbold in establishing chassis and wing settings to gain speed as well as consistency with the 1570-pound, 230 mile-per-hour open-wheel machine.

Simon Pagenaud was the fastest driver Thursday with Chevy-powered car at 228.793 m.p.h., just a tick slower than the 228.969 m.p.h. clocking Bell ran Wednesday afternoon. Carlos Munoz has the week’s fastest speed at 230.012 followed by Bell’s 228.969.

“This is the first day that we tried some different aero bits with the Robert Graham Special,” said Bell. “We are gathering as much information as we can at this point since we gain additional engine boost on Friday. We want to be a little ahead of the game for Fast Friday. It’s nice to get a head start today as you always seem to run out of time closer to qualifying. With the added boost, it seems to be a little more electric in the car due to more speed. It definitely increases the buzz factor for a driver. (on ole qualifying)

Bell wasn’t making any predictions for qualifications but he thought around 233 m.p.h. would be the pole position.

“I think around 233 for the pole,” Bell admitted. “We currently don’t have a car for those numbers just yet. If we qualified Friday, we wouldn’t be ready for those kind of numbers. But we moving in that direction and I’m pleased how the team is working through the process. Hopefully, on Saturday, we’ll have a car to go that speed.”

Fast Friday, always a popular day for the racing fans, kicks off at noon and runs until 6 p.m. Qualifications begin at 11 a.m. Saturday. The run for the pole position is Sunday afternoon.