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Townsend Bell replaces Wilson for final races

Townsend Bell has been selected by Dreyer & Reinbold Racing to take over their #22 car for Kentucky and Las Vegas, replacing the injured British driver Justin Wilson.
Townsend Bell will be the latest driver to sit in the #22 car for Dreyer & Reinbold Racing, with the team opting to run him in the final two races of the season at Kentucky Speedway and Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Bell is replacing Justin Wilson, who sustained back injuries in a practice accident at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course earlier in the season and who is not yet sufficiently recovered to get back into the cockpit. It will be Bell's first IndyCar race since he finished 26th in the 100th anniversary Indianapolis 500 in May, retiring after being caught up in an accident on lap 157 while driving for Sam Schmidt Motorsports.

"I'm hopeful that Justin continues to have a speedy recovery and I appreciate him letting me borrow his rocket ship for a couple of weekends," said Bell after the announcement. "After a promising run not fully realized at Indy it's hard to sit and not have a chance to come back out and keep improving, so this is really exciting to be back with Dreyer & Reinbold."

Since Wilson was sidelined, Simon Pagenaud and Giorgio Pantano have substituted for him at road courses while Tomas Scheckter was tapped for the ride at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. However, for the final two oval races of the season, team co-owner Dennis Reinbold decided that Bell was the best option available to them.

"We've both grown significantly since we worked together in 2008 and we feel Townsend will represent DRR and our partners very well to close out the 2011 IZOD IndyCar Series season," said Reinbold.

Bell - who was among the drivers hoping to test at Kentucky Speedway on Friday but found himself frustrated by rain showers in the area - is keen to get every bit of track time opportunity he can in the series.

"I wouldn't be out here if I didn't want to do this more often," he said. "Next year with the new car and engines coming in it would be a lot more difficult to just show up at Indianapolis and do well ... If there's any way to get an early start on doing more races in the future, that's what we're here to do."



Related Pictures

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Townsend Bell [Photo Credit: IndyCar Media]
The Chevrolet of Will Power sports a tribute sticker for Justin Wilson at Sonoma Raceway. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Justin Wilson speaks with Oriol Servia in pit lane (Photo by: Jim Haines for IndyCar Media)
Justin Wilson with a light moment prior to his qualification attempt for the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: Joe Skibinski for IndyCar Media)
Justin Wilson stands in Gasoline Alley at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway during the 2015 Indianapolis 500 (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Justin Wilson flashes across the start/finish line during the ABC Supply 500 at Pocono Raceway on Sunday, August 22, 2015 (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Justin Wilson greets the fans during pre-race festivities for the ABC Supply 500 at Pocono Raceway on Sunday, August 22, 2015 (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Justin Wilson straps on his helmet prior to the systems check for the ABC Supply 500 at Pocono Raceway on Sunday August 23 2015. (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Simon Pagenaud, driver of the #22 PPG Finishes Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, races to a third-place finish Sunday, August 2, 2015, during the Verizon IndyCar Series race at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Simon Pagenaud, driver of the #22 PPG Finishes Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates his third-place finish Sunday, August 2, 2015, during the Verizon IndyCar Series race at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Podium celebrations for Graham Rahal and Justin Wilson after the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Podium celebrations for Graham Rahal, Justin Wilson and Simon Pagenaud after the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Simon Pagenaud waits outside his pit stand prior to practice for the Iowa Corn 300 at Iowa Speedway (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Simon Pagenaud affixes the Verizon P1 Award emblem after winning the pole for the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Simon Pagenaud gets ready for his qualifying run during qualifications for the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Simon Pagenaud with a selfie with girlfriend Hailey after winning the pole for the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Simon Pagenaud with the Verizon P1 Award Green Flag after winning the pole for the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Simon Pagenaud celebrates after winning the pole for the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)

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