Townsend Bell
Townsend  Bell
Andretti Autosport
Townsend Bell
Career stats
Verizon IndyCar Series
Indy 500 Wins
Total Poles
Race Wins
Apr 19, 1975
29 Honda USA Road To Indy Graduate
San Francisco, CA
San Luis Obispo, CA

Townsend Bell started racing go-karts at the age of 12 and spent the next several years competing in regional and national events. After studying at UC Santa Barbara, he attended a three-day Skip Barber school in 1996 and decided his future was in racing. Armed with ambition and a stack of business cards, he set out to make his dreams a reality.

Bell secured the necessary funding to contest the Skip Barber Formula Dodge Western Championship in 1997 and began his climb up the racing ladder. The wins followed. After Formula Dodge, Bell raced in the Barber Dodge Pro Series, and then leapt into the Indy Lights Championship for two years. It was there that Bell began to draw attention. He finished second in the 2000 championship – only nine points behind winner Scott Dixon – and secured the champion's title in 2001 over Dan Wheldon.

Also in 2001, merely five years since beginning his professional driving career, Bell made his debut at the top rung of U.S. motorsports. He contested a pair of races in the CART FedEx Championship Series driving for Patrick Racing in Germany and England. Both grids were determined by championship standings due to qualifying rainouts and despite starting at the back of the field, Bell managed to score his first points in the series in only his second career start with a 12th-place drive at Rockingham Speedway.

He continued with Patrick Racing in 2002 to contest a nine-race season aboard the Toyota-powered Visteon machine. Despite the lack of a teammate in his rookie campaign, Bell managed to impress with a fourth-place finish at Portland and seventh-place drive at Laguna Seca.

Bell embarked on an overseas foray in 2003 with the championship-winning Arden International team in the 2003 FIA Formula 3000 Championship. Among a strong field that included Formula 1 driver Vitantonio Liuzzi and Le Mans star Nicolas Minassian, Bell finished second in the rookie standings and became the first American to score an F3000 podium.

His talents led to limited roles as a test driver for the BAR-Honda and Jaguar Formula 1 teams, and he expanded his dossier off the racetrack by making his television debut as a color commentator for IndyCar Series broadcasts on Europe's Sky Sports.

Bell returned stateside in 2004 to compete in the IndyCar Series with Panther Racing and Chevrolet. Driving the Menards/Johns Manville Racing entry, he finished half of the 10 races entered in the top-10. His best result of fifth was the highest finish for his team that season. He also continued his role as a test driver with BAR-Honda, and expanded his commentary work to include Speed Channel's Formula 1 broadcasts.

He has competed in the Indianapolis 500 eight times from 2006 through 2014, with the last seven starts coming consecutively. Bell has posted a best finish of fourth in 2009 with KV Racing Technology and a best start of fourth in 2011, driving for Sam Schmidt Motorsports.

In 2012, Bell made his professional sports car racing debut with Alex Job Racing, winning the prestigious 12 Hours of Sebring on the first attempt. He has added to his versatility in racing a Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, Lotus Evora, and Ferrari 458 Italia throughout his sports car career.

In 2014, Bell emulated the Sebring feat by driving to victory in his first Rolex 24 at Daytona, with Level 5 Motorsports. Bell and co-driver Bill Sweedler won the Tequila Patron North American Endurance Cup with AIM Autosport, after finishing first or second in three of the four races in the endurance series. The pairing finished fourth overall in the full season GT Daytona class points.

In 2015, Bell and co-driver Bill Sweedler took home the IMSA GT Daytona Championship. In addition, they had a dominant win at VIR and podium finishes in the 12 Hours of Sebring and 24 Hours of LeMans.

He is currently competing full-time in the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship’s GT Daytona class with Scuderia Corsa in a Ferrari 458 Italia GT3.

Bell is also a color commentator for NBC Sports's IndyCar and Global Rallycross broadcasts as well as the host of 'What'Cha Got' on Fox Sports 1.

2016 Verizon IndyCar Series 1 0 0 0 0 12 1
2015 Verizon IndyCar Series 1 0 0 0 0 0 1
2014 Verizon IndyCar Series 1 0 0 0 0 0 0
2013 Verizon IndyCar Series 1 0 0 0 0 1 1
2012 Verizon IndyCar Series 1 0 0 0 1 0 1
2011 Verizon IndyCar Series 2 0 0 0 0 0 1
2009 Verizon IndyCar Series 1 0 0 1 1 0 1
2008 Verizon IndyCar Series 7 0 0 0 3 0 5
2006 Verizon IndyCar Series 1 0 0 0 0 0 0
2005 Verizon IndyCar Series 1 0 0 0 0 0 0
2004 Verizon IndyCar Series 10 0 0 1 5 0 7
2002 CART 9 0 0 1 2 0 3
2001 CART 2 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total 38 0 0 3 12 13 21

** Includes all poles, including those awarded based on entrant points

RAF = Running at Finish

Andretti Autosport

Based in Indianapolis and led by racing legend Michael Andretti, Andretti Autosport fields multiple entries in the Verizon IndyCar Series. Andretti Autosport also campaigns multiple cars in Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires and the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires.

The company boasts four Verizon IndyCar Series championships (2004, 2005, 2007 and 2012), two Indy Lights titles (2008 and 2009), one USF2000 championship (2010) and has won the Indianapolis 500 in 2005, 2007 and 2014.

Andretti competed for 19 years in CART before moving to the Verizon IndyCar Series in 2003. He retired from full-time driving following the 2003 Indianapolis 500 to concentrate on team ownership and drove for the final time in the 2006 Indianapolis 500.

Team Website
First Start
September 15, 2001

Verizon IndyCar Series Highlights

  • 2015
    • Started 23rd and finished 14th in the Indianapolis 500 for Dreyer & Reinbold Racing
  • 2014
    • Competed in Indianapolis 500 for Dreyer & Reinbold Racing, starting 23rd, finishing 14th.
  • 2013
    • Competed in Indianapolis 500 for Panther Racing, finishing 27th.
  • 2012
    • Competed in Indianapolis 500 for Schmidt-Hamilton Motorsports, finishing ninth.
  • 2011
    • Competed in Indianapolis 500 for San Schmidt Motorsports, finishing 26th.
    • Finished 11th in race at Kentucky Speedway for Dreyer & Reinbold Racing.
  • 2010
    • Competed in Indianapolis 500 for Sam Schmidt Motorsports, finishing 16th.
  • 2009
    • Competed in Indianapolis 500 for KV Racing Technology, finishing fourth.
  • 2008
    • Competed in eight races for Dreyer & Reinbold Racing, with best finish of eighth at Richmond International Raceway.
  • 2006
    • Competed in Indianapolis 500 for Vision Racing, finishing 22nd.
  • 2005
    • Competed at Michigan International Speedway for Panther Racing, finishing 15th.
  • 2004
    • Competed in 10 races for Panther Racing, with a best finish of fifth at Nashville Superspeedway.

Townsend's Road to Indy

  • 2003
    • Finished ninth in International Formula 3000, with best finish of third at Hungaroring.
  • 2002
    • Made eight starts for Patrick Racing in Champ Car, with best finish of fourth at Portland.
  • 2001
    • Made two starts for Patrick Racing in Champ Car, with best finish of 12th at Rockingham Motor Speedway.
    • Finished first in Indy Lights standings for Dorricott Racing.
    • Won seven races and finished in the top 10 in all 12 races.
  • 2000
    • Finished second in Indy Lights standings for Doricott Racing.
    • Won two races and was runner-up in four others.
  • 1999
    • Finished second in Barber Dodge Pro Series with one victory and six top-five finishes overall in 12 races.
  • 1998
    • Finished 16th in Barber Pro Dodge Series, with best finish of third in nine races.