Townsend Bell

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Disappointment in motorsports comes in all forms, and coming tantalizingly close to earning a second consecutive class victory in the Rolex 24 At Daytona is little consolation for Townsend Bell.

Bell co-drove a Ferrari for Level 5 Motorsports to the GT Daytona victory in 2014. This past weekend at Daytona International Speedway, Bell rejoined Jeff Segal and Bill Sweedler – along with newcomer Anthony Lazzaro – in driving the No. 63 Ferrari 45B Italia for Scuderia Corsa.

The car developed a mechanical issue late in the race and fell to sixth in the 19-entry class (20th overall).

“I had a great first stint to start the race and a good turn at the lead of the field during the night. Unfortunately, it just wasn’t our day,” said Bell, who will be back behind the wheel March 18-21 for the 12 Hours of Sebring.

In the interim Bell, an analyst for NBCSN’s Verizon IndyCar Series telecasts, will concentrate on firming up details to compete in the 99th Indianapolis 500 Mile Race on May 24.

“I’m expecting to be back this year. I think about the Indy 500 every day, always working, thinking, trying to make sure we’re strong,” he said.

Bell has made eight consecutive starts in the 500 Mile Race, with a best qualifying effort of fourth in 2011and a best finish of fourth in ’09 with KV Racing Technology. Last May, Bell qualified 25th in the No. 6 Robert Graham-sponsored KV Racing Technology car. He was credited with 25th place after late-race contact.

“A good effort, but a bad result,” he said.

The Verizon IndyCar Series season starts March 8 (NBCSN) with the Brasilia Indy 300 in Brazil. The Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg on March 27-29 (ABC) is the North American opener.