HILDEBRAND & KARAM SECURE QUALIFYING SPOTS FOR 102ND INDY 500;
JR’S SALESFORCE CHEVY CLOCKS 226.499; SAGE’S WIX FILTERS CHEVY 226.065 MPH
Dreyer & Reinbold Racing’s qualifying mark continues; 39 entries, 39 starters
Speedway, IN (May 19, 2018) – Ever-changing weather conditions were the story of the first day of qualifications for the 102nd Indianapolis 500, which was also Bump Day. This became a huge factor for the Dreyer and Reinbold teammates of Sage Karam and JR Hildebrand as they made their qualification runs.
The day included two weather delays, which only added to the pressure of qualifications for the entire field. For the No. 24 WIX Filters and No. 66 Salesforce teams, the qualifying runs were intriguing, but still had room to improve on heading into Sunday’s qualifying.
Hildebrand qualified in the 16th position on Saturday to confirm his starting entry for the Indianapolis 500 next Sunday at an average speed of 226.499 mph. Karam also confirmed his spot in the “Greatest Spectacle in Racing” with an average of 226.065 mph. Positions qualified in today’s session do not determine their starting positions for the race next Sunday.
Dreyer & Reinbold Racing’s qualifying record continued since 1999 with 39 entries and 39 Indy 500 starters.
The 23-year old Karam was encouraged by his run, but knows he has some things to fix ahead of his one-shot run on Sunday.
“My goal most importantly was to make the field. We did that,” Karam said. “We missed the set up a little. With the weather ever changing, it was hard to find out what way you wanted to go. If I would’ve gone out before the second rain shower, we probably would have been quicker. It’s okay. We missed the gear ratio and downforce a little.”
“But thankfully, I have a teammate I can go over data with. I screwed up with a down shift on the first lap, which made it slow. If that’s fixed, the average goes up. But, we’ll come back tomorrow.”
Hildebrand was feeling similar emotions following his earlier run that beat the second rain shower over the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in the afternoon.
“The consistency was pretty good. It’s hard with conditions, they’re changing a lot even from this morning to this afternoon. It’s hard to know exactly what to expect,” Hildebrand said.
“Hats off to these boys at Dreyer & Reinbold for being a one-off team here to be able to get it dialed in as much as we have. We’ve had a bit of a hectic week with everything that went down on Thursday, so props to the boys. Happy to be comfortably in the mix with the Salesforce Chevy this year.”
Qualifying resumes tomorrow afternoon at 2:45 pm EDT for positions 10-33, which includes Karam and Hildebrand. This session determines the racing field positions 10-33, followed by the “Fast 9” shootout in the late afternoon.
The 102nd Indy 500 gets underway Sunday, May 27, at 12:15 p.m. EDT.