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May 17, 2014 - 10:40 AM
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KV Racing Technology's Townsend Bell Ready For Indianapolis 500 Qualifying
Posted by: newsla on May 17, 2014 - 10:37 AM
IndyCar News
KV Racing Technology's Townsend Bell Ready For Indianapolis 500 Qualifying


KV Racing Technology driver Townsend Bell didn't turn a lap on "Fast Friday," the final day of practice before qualifying for the 2014 Indianapolis 500, but is confident he can make a run at the top nine tomorrow at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana.

 

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Bell, who pilots the No. 6 Robert Graham - KV Racing Technology Chevrolet/Dallara/Firestone entry, has been solid throughout the six days of practice. From the opening day, Sunday, May 11, he has shown the most speed of the four teammates (Sebastien Bourdais, Sebastian Saavedra and James Davison) that compete under the KVSH Racing, KV AFS Racing and KV Racing Technology banner. Unfortunately, he did not get a timed lap in today when most drivers set their fastest time. Bell ran the second most laps of the four drivers, 191, and posted the third fastest speed, 225.484 mph (in yesterday's session), placing him 23rd on the combined practice report.

"It has been a process, but the Robert Graham - KV Racing Technology guys did a great job preparing the car," Bell said. "Obviously, I would have liked to get some track time today with the car fully trimmed, but it didn't work out that way. Overall, I am happy with the way things have gone so far. Now it is time for qualifying and we will see how we measure up against the competition."

A total of 40 drivers turned a total of 7,769 laps over the six days. Ed Carpenter turned the fastest lap at an eye-opening 230.522 mph.

Bell is making his first start of the 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series season, second with KVRT, having run the Indy 500 in 2009 and finishing fourth, and 37th of his career in an IndyCar.

Bell, a 39-year-old American, who resides in Pacific Palisades, CA, spends much of his time now as a Verizon IndyCar Series broadcast analyst for NBC Sports. He also competes in the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship, driving for AIM Autosport with Ferrari where he currently leads the championship after three of the 11 rounds, including a victory in the 2014 24 Hours of Daytona (GTD class). Bell, who will be competing in a major U.S. based open-wheel event for the 12th season, will be making his eighth start at the Brickyard. In seven previous Indy 500s, he has a best qualifying position of fourth, in 2011, and has earned three top-10 finishes with a best showing of fourth in 2009, coincidentally, while competing with KV Racing Technology. Out of a possible 1,400 laps, Bell has completed a remarkable 1,308 at the Speedway.

Following practice, drivers, family relatives, sponsors or team members took turns drawing numbers to determine the qualifying order. Bell's number was selected by Crew Chief Didier Francesia, who drew number 48.

Qualifying for the 2014 Indy 500 begins at 11:00 a.m. ET tomorrow and will be televised live on ABC from 4:00 - 6:00 p.m. On Sunday, qualifying continues at 10:15 a.m. and will also be broadcast live on ABC from 1:00 - 3:00 p.m.

The 2014 Indianapolis 500 will be the 98th running of the "Greatest Spectacle in Racing." It has been held every year since the first race in 1911 except the war years of 1917-1918 and 1942-1945. The race will take place May 25, 2014, and will be broadcast live on ABC beginning at 11 a.m. (ET).

The format for qualifying at the Brickyard has been revamped this year.

INDIANAPOLIS 500 QUALIFYING FORMAT:
SATURDAY QUALIFYING
* All entries are guaranteed one attempt to qualify between 11 a.m. and 5:50 p.m.
* The fastest 33 cars will make up the provisional field for the 98th Running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race based on the fastest four-lap average time.
* Once the qualifying session ends, the top 30 cars are locked in to the field.
* However, all 33 cars must re-qualify on Sunday to determine final starting positions.
* The fastest nine cars advance to a shootout on Sunday to determine the Verizon P1 Award.

SUNDAY QUALIFYING
Group 1:
* All Saturday times are erased and positions 10-30 will re-qualify to determine starting position.
* Order will be the reverse of Saturday's rankings.
* Lineup will be determined based on fastest four-lap averages.
* In the event that there are only 33 cars entered, this group will determine positions 10-33.

Group 2 (Only used in the event there are more than 33 cars):
* All Saturday times are erased and positions 31-33, and any entry that has yet to make one attempt to qualify, will re-qualify to determine the 11th row of the race.

Group 3:
* The top nine cars will run in reverse order based on Saturday's times.
* All cars will make one attempt.
* At the end of the session, the cars are ranked 1-9 based on their four-lap average during the segment.


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