Townsend Bell will make a return to this month’s Indianapolis 500 with the Panther Racing team. The team, a two-time IndyCar Series championship-winning outfit, has confirmed that Bell will drive with the backing of Sunoco and Dreamworks.
Bell has raced previously with Panther Racing on a near full-time capacity between 2004-5, and this outing will mark his first open-wheel appearance since last year’s famous 500-mile race.
Bell’s first Indianapolis 500 race came in 2006, and in his six starts at IMS, he has claimed three top-ten finishes, with a best effort of fourth place in 2011 with Schmidt Pelfrey Racing.
In addition to currently serving as a commentator on the NBC’s IndyCar telecasts, Bell also races in the American Le Mans Series, piloting a Ferrari 458.
Bell’s #60 Chevrolet-powered entry will carry a livery scheme to promote the IndyCar-inspired animation film, Turbo, which will be released in cinemas this year. Dreamworks’ latest animation effort focuses on a snail (voiced by Ryan Reynolds) who wants to race in the IndyCar Series.
“To be able to return to a top team like Panther and at the same time join up with Sunoco and DreamWorks is a special occasion,” Bell said of his appointment.
“Despite the late start, we’re focused on making the most of the opportunity. With Panther’s previous record at Indy I can’t wait to get on track. Everybody is pumped and we’re looking forward to a great race. There’s nothing like the Indy 500.”