This article was originally published on MTAF Wheels, which is now dark. Thank you for enjoying it here through the Live Full Throttle Archives.
Jeff Gordon is driving at the Indianapolis 500. It might be in a pacecar, but the fact remains that he is indeed piloting a vehicle during the 99th Running of the Greatest Spectacle in Racing.
Announced at the end of April, the 5-time Brickyard 400 Champion will lead the Verizon IndyCar Series field-of-33 to the green for the 2015 Indianapolis 500. The Indiana-born NASCAR driver is retiring at the end of this season and while many fans have wanted to see him contest the 500 for years, this might be the closest they’ll get. Who knows, perhaps with his schedule a bit more open, he will enter the competition in a future season as a one-off ride. Speculation aside, it will be pretty awesome to see the living legend here at the track on race morning later this month.
There are more than just parade laps to tie-in Gordon to this years running, and they extend well outside the Chevrolet Corvette Z06. When the Dreyer & Reinbold Racing team sat down with Townsend Bell and the folks from Robert Graham to put details together for their entry, Bell took an active role in decision-making. Upon discovering that the No. 24 was available for the 500, Bell jumped at the opportunity to race it in honor of Gordon and his impressive racing career. He also assisted in constructing a montage of photographs, as a tribute to Gordon and his victories here at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The montage creates an internal livery if you will, on the walls of the cockpit. Bell made mention of the fact that the date of this year’s race is 5/24 and the coincidence that Gordon has 5 Brickyard 400 victories in the No. 24.
Want to hear another interesting number-ism? (Not really a word.) As I finish this piece on Fast Friday, Townsend Bell is currently running P5 in practice. Hopefully things work in his favor a week from Sunday, when his only focus will be on the number ONE.
“I want to thank Townsend, Dennis and the Dreyer & Reinbold – Kingdom team for their salute to my success at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in this year’s Indy 500. While I have had great success at The Brickyard as a NASCAR driver, the Indy 500 has always been a special event for me and this year’s race presents a very cool, unique opportunity – one that I will surely never forget.” – Jeff Gordon
Before presenting you my photographs from the DRR No. 24 Chevy unveiling, I have to conclude with a confession. I wanted to put this piece out earlier in the week, but given that I have to make money Monday through Thursday in order to invest in my motorsports dream, and the fact that Bell’s primary sponsor is a luxury clothing brand… I decided to not stress about it and instead opted to enjoy the poignant statement of this article being “fashionably” late…
So I thank you for your patience, I hope it was worth the wait.