Rumors that Indianapolis 500 pole winner Alex Tagliani was about to to lose his ride with Sam Schmidt Motorsports are wide of the mark, according to Autoweek. The French-Canadian has apparently lost ace engineer Allen McDonald, who is returning to Andretti Autosport, which is reshuffling its staff after its disappointing run at Indy. Rumors soon followed that Tagliani would be out as well, possibly as soon as this weekend's race in Texas, due to lack of funding. However, Autoweek reports Schmidt said Monday that's not so and is instead working on adding a second car as "an experimental program" for 2012, providing a chance to try different drivers and build another crew.
Townsend Bell – who drove for Schmidt at Indy, where he qualified fourth and ran strongly in the race before colliding with Team Penske car of Ryan Briscoe – is believed to be first in line for the seat.
As for Tagliani's engineer, who led the Indianapolis 500 effort, he is moving back to Andretti Autosport. The group of cars under the Schmidt umbrella qualified first (Tagliani), fourth (Townsend Bell) and sixth (Dan Wheldon). Wheldon won the race as the Bryan Herta Autosport driver. Tagliani and Bell drove for Sam Schmidt Motorsports.