LONG BEACH, Calif. (AP) Townsend Bell finalized sponsorship for his Indianapolis 500 effort when he announced a deal Saturday with California Pizza Kitchen.
Bell had previously announced he'll drive a fifth entry for Andretti Autosport in next month's 100th running of the Indy 500. California Pizza Kitchen joins longtime Bell supporter Robert Graham, Sombra Mezcal tequila and Justice Bros.
''Being a California native, I cannot think of a better fit than California Pizza Kitchen to join our team for the 100th Running of the Indy 500,'' Bell said. ''It's awesome to represent a brand that I grew up with here. I love the fact that you can enjoy artisanal California cuisine all across the U.S. thanks to CPK.''
It's the first foray into major sports sponsorship for California Pizza Kitchen, which has updated its menu and wants to actively market its growing brand.
''California Pizza Kitchen couldn't be more proud and excited,'' said G.J. Hart, CEO at California Pizza Kitchen. ''Much like the legendary Andretti family pushes the envelope in the sport of racing and Robert Graham takes wardrobe design to a whole new level, CPK is all about driving innovation forward when it comes to culinary experiences.''
Bell, who called his opportunity with Andretti the best of his career, has nine previous starts in the Indy 500. His best finish was fourth in 2009 driving for good friend Jimmy Vasser.