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IZOD IndyCar Series: Indianapolis 500

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Open Wheel Racing Topics:  Indianapolis 500

IZOD IndyCar Series: Indianapolis 500

Townsend Bell
May 21, 2011


Q. Townsend, you have logged a lot of time in this pressroom, and most of the time that's a very good thing, and it is again.

Q. Do you agree?

Q. You had a good run.

Q. Looked like maybe you were going to hang on that front row for a while. That would have been really exciting, but nonetheless, tremendous.
TOWNSEND BELL: Yeah, we gave it everything we had. That's a pretty good four laps, I think, for the car, and really stoked for the team, obviously for Alex. He's got a rocketship. He's done a great job, and he deserves every ounce of the speed he's got out of that thing.
We're happy with our run. The Herbalife car has been strong since the moment I got into it, and with my engineer Gerald we've continued to make it better and better and felt like we've made smart decisions, and here we are, we're inside the second row and ready to rip.

Q. If you could talk about everything this team has done with both cars this month in terms of not just bringing them up to speed but really setting the pace this whole month, being among the leaders.
TOWNSEND BELL: Yeah, it's pretty impressive when you look at the organization that Sam has and the amount of things that he has going on, and to still produce the quality that he's given us here is exceptional. You know, my car got off an airplane from Brazil a day late because of the rain delay down there, and the team just hustled big time, guys were working through the night to try to get the thing turned around and to oval spec and Indy spec, and they pulled it off. It's great to have a chance to go fast here, and full credit to the team for making it happen.

Q. I'm looking at the 24 on your hat.
TOWNSEND BELL: Well, my sponsor Herbalife, they've been with me for four years, they've got a great new line of products called 24. It's for the 24-hour athletes. There's seven different products in the range. It's -- a big part of going fast and going fast for a long time is having good nutrition, so that's what they've put together.

Q. Do you use the products?
TOWNSEND BELL: Of course, yeah, every day. Since I've had an association with that company, Herbalife has just given me tremendous support in terms of understanding the nutrition I need before, during and after racing. I used to think just a bowl of pasta and some water was the way to go, but with this new 24 line it's pretty impressive what they've come up with. They've worked three years on it and they're launching it at the Indy 500 and the Tour de California back home.

Q. With the rain we had a little bit different format for the top nine. Everybody only got one shot instead of being able to make multiple attempts. Did you like that format? Could we be on to something here?
TOWNSEND BELL: I liked it. You know, for us, I think if Penske, Ganassi had a little bit more time, there's probably a few more tricks in their bag than what we had. I was quite pleased that we were able to make a solid run earlier today to get into the top nine, was pleased with that. And then the fact that it's just one shot, do what you can, I like those odds for us. So I was happy with that.
I think it's exciting. It seemed like the fans liked it. Just standing out there you could feel a buzz and an energy and an excitement about the way things played out. It was pretty cool.

Q. Given how you're really just running this race this season so far, how much additional pressure does that put on you to perform and do well?
TOWNSEND BELL: You know, it's a really good pressure because it's not so much pressure, it's like I savor every minute here. If this is the only race I do this year -- maybe I'll do more, I never know. But you just savor every minute you're at this wonderful speedway and driving cars fast and all of that good stuff. But yeah, I just savor it.
You know, it's a little stressful. I find the first round of qualifying a little stressful because we don't have a backup car. We're out flirting at the very limit, and there's a little extra pressure just to make sure you don't screw up and make sure you're in the race. But then once I know that I'm in the top nine, man, I couldn't wait to get out there and just let loose. I love it. I want this month to go 12.

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