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CART Rookie Hit With Fine, Probation

July 9, 2002

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INDIANAPOLIS (AP) _ CART rookie Townsend Bell was fined $10,000 and placed on indefinite probation Monday for his part in a crash during the Toronto Molson-Indy.

Bell, driving for Patrick Racing, slammed into Bruno Junqueira late in Sunday’s race, sending Junqueira’s car into a tire wall and leaving him unable to continue.

Bell was able to drive his car to the pits, where chief steward Wally Dallenbach told the first-year driver he was out of the race.

``I made a mistake,″ Bell said Monday. ``I thought I could get through successfully. Obviously, I could not. Wally is the chief steward, he is the man in charge and I will abide by his decision.″

Bell, who crashed in each of the first four races this season, previously was on probation for an incident in the season-opening race in Mexico. He was taken off of probation by Dallenbach after showing progress on the track.

Dallenbach warned that this is the second strike against the former Dayton Indy Lights champion and another problem could result in a suspension.

``Townsend Bell is an extremely capable race car driver who has made a mistake and, hopefully, this ruling will help him focus his energies,″ Dallenbach said. ``Many former CART champions have faced similar sanctions in their early years in the series, and as Townsend has shown in winning the Indy Lights championship, he has the potential to turn this into a positive.″

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