SPEEDWAY, Ind. (May 3, 2015) - Davey Hamilton filled in
for regular driver Townsend Bell Sunday in the No. 24 Robert Graham
Special as the Indianapolis Motor Speedway opened for testing for
the 99th running of the "Greatest Spectacle in Racing."
Hamilton, an 11-time Indy 500 starter, hadn't driven the
Dallara DW12 chassis until Sunday after his Indy 500 appearance was
in 2011 and the Idaho native turned in 27 laps in the
Chevrolet-powered Dreyer & Reinbold - Kingdom Racing machine.
The 52-year-old short track racing star clocked a best lap of
219.960 miles per hour Sunday.
Hamilton is manager director of Kingdom Racing, the
partner of the team's Indy 500 entry.
Bell, an eight-time Indy 500 starter, was not available to
test the No. 24 Robert Graham Special due to his racing commitments
in the TUDOR United Sports Car Series. Townsend drove the Scuderia
Corsa Ferrari at Monterey, Calif., this weekend but will be in
cockpit of the No. 24 Robert Graham Special when Indy 500 practice
continues on Monday, May 11.
"That was my first time in the DW12 chassis," said
Hamilton. "I have not driven an IndyCar since 2011 with the
old car. But it felt good to run around this place
again. With Townsend (Bell) on the West Coast for the sports
car race, it was good for our team to get the shake down run with
the Chevrolet bodywork. I think we have a direction to go with
the car when Townsend comes back to drive. Actually, I think these
cars are easier to drive than the old chassis. Plus you have
the clutch on the steering wheel and just a lot of little things in
the cockpit that are different. So I had to get use to that
stuff. We didn't run too much but I got up to 220 for a
start. I will tell Townsend I got the first 220 in the car and
now he has to get the rest."
Team owner Dennis Reinbold was pleased with Hamilton's
performance Sunday and the team's learning of the new Chevrolet
speedway body kit.
"It's always a great feeling to come back to the
Speedway," said Reinbold. "We just ran 27 laps today with
Davey (Hamilton) and we wanted to get some data with the new
Chevrolet body kit. We accomplished that this
afternoon. Davey did a great job to get us up to a good speed
despite the limited laps. Those laps put us that much further ahead
of the program when Townsend comes back on May 11 for the Indy 500
practice. It was a good day for us."