Schmidt Ganassi Team Up Again
January 14, 2010 | 12:14 P.M. EST
The No. 99 SSM/CGR entry will be driven by Townsend Bell from San Luis Obispo, Calif.
Bell, the 2001 Indy Lights Champion, has always been competitive on the 2.5-mile oval with three previous starts in the Indianapolis 500. His best finish was fourth in 2009, giving KV Racing its highest finish ever at the event. He also earned the honor of being the fastest qualifier on the second day of qualifications in 2008 with Dreyer & Reinbold Racing. He went on to finish 10th that year, giving that team its second-best finish ever.
"I'm excited to be able to confirm my plans for the Indy 500 so early in the year," Bell said. "To be competing with Sam Schmidt gives me a lot of confidence heading into May - I couldn't be in a better position. I have to thank Sam for his efforts to pull this together. I'm looking forward to working with everyone to produce a great result with a fast car."
"Our relationship with Sam Schmidt Motorsports has defined very clearly the positive aspects of partnership," said Managing Director of Target Chip Ganassi Racing, Mike Hull. "We've helped each other to provide value on all levels and thereby creating a mutually beneficial relationship that makes opportunities like this very seamless and smooth."
"Winning Indy is clearly a lifetime dream," team owner Sam Schmidt said. "Last year I said that our effort was our best chance yet to drink milk in victory lane, and I have to say that again going into this year's race. To be partnered with an organization of the caliber of Chip Ganassi Racing speaks for itself. We're especially excited about Townsend driving the car because he's always run really well at the track. He took a limited opportunity last year and parlayed it into a top-five finish, and we're hoping with the combined resources we're providing him in a top flight program, we can all share in a victory celebration come May 30th."