Sunday, May 29, 2016

Townsend Bell Takes Out Ryan Hunter-Reay in the Pits

Just as I was writing about the Aleshin/Daly accident in turn 2 (lap 114), drivers came in for a needed pit. We've dealt with unsafe departures from the pit, and this one was the worst.

From what we could see, Townsend Bell was attempting to leave the pits and avoid Ryan Hunter-Reay, when he nearly collided with Helio Castroneves to his right (the right lane is considered the fast lane in the pits, and cars leaving their pit area need to be in the left lane). When he nearly collided with Castroneves, he swerved back over, and was T-boned by RHR, who was just departing the pit area.

Since the driver on the left has ben the one penalized for being unsafe, Bell has been assessed a stop-and-go penalty. He must enter the pit, stop, and then leave again. Since the top speed of Pit Road is 60 mph, this will be painful.

Bell and RHR managed to get back in and are running 25th and 26th respectively. Expect Bell to drop back further after his penalty.

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