JR records 221.583 in Salesforce Chevy, Sage at 221.510 in WIX Filters Chevy

SPEEDWAY, Ind. (August 13, 2020) – The Dreyer & Reinbold Racing, after losing a practice day earlier this week, spent all day Thursday working with race settings in the second round of practice at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway as J.R. Hildebrand and Sage Karam finished the day with positive feelings as they enter ‘Fast Friday” activities for the August 23 Indianapolis 500 Mile Race.

Hildebrand, the 2011 Indy 500 “Rookie of the Year” from Boulder, Colo., worked well with engineer Erik Petersen, crew chief Dave Sharpley and the entire No. 67 DRR Salesforce Chevrolet crew Thursday to clock a total of 91 laps and best speed of 221.583 miles per hour, set in the middle of the afternoon when the Indiana August heat made for tough track conditions. J.R. worked with a variety of settings before putting a strong race stint later in the day.

For Karam, the 2014 Indy 500 “Hard Charger Award” winner from Nazareth, Pa., did not run as many circuits at the famed 2.5-mile oval Thursday as Hildebrand with 65 laps with a top speed of 221.510 m.p.h. Sage didn’t like the early Thursday morning setup of his No. 24 DRR WIX Filters Chevrolet, but the Pat Nelson-led crew and engineer Jeff Britton turned the settings to the right direction. Karam was one of the quickest cars on track in the last 30 minutes of Thursday’s practice runs. 

“Fast Friday” action at IMS gets underway at 11 a.m. EDT and runs until 5:30 p.m. EDT as all 33 drivers prepare for Saturday’s first Qualifications. Positions 10 through 33 spots will be secure on Saturday with the “Fast Nine” qualifiers seeking the pole position on Sunday afternoon.

The 104th Indianapolis 500 will take place on Sunday, Aug. 23, starting at 2:30 p.m. EDT and will be televised live on NBC-TV.

J.R. HILDEBRAND – No. 67 DRR SALESFORCE CHEVROLET

“There was a lot of stuff for us to get through in just one day. We might check back in on a couple of things in the morning before moving towards our qualifying setups. Additional added turbo boost will throw some wrinkles in the items for Friday. I think if the conditions are good, cooler, I think the speeds will be really high. The weather looks a little dodgy for Friday. All in all, I feel really good about the way the guys have the car going. It’s not easy with our little two-car draft compared to Andretti with six or seven cars together. But we knew we needed to be smart today with the proper things we worked on. We know we have a little bit more to work on and there were not many cars that could drive around people today. That might be the expectation for the race too. The strategies might be go fast early on a stint and then hold on or take a consistent run through a whole stint. I’m not sure how you handle it right now. With the August heat conditions, the new aeroscreen and the new Firestone compounds, there are a lot of variables right now. But we’ll learn more throughout the weekend. I feel pretty good right now with the race settings.”

SAGE KARAM – No. 24 DRR WIX FILTERS CHEVROLET

“We tried some changes overnight and some things worked but others didn’t. We had a good car Wednesday when we finished up. And we went back to those settings in the middle of the day.  And then made more changes in the right direction. The WIX Filters Chevy felt good at the end today. We didn’t get to do everything we wanted to today, but the car felt strong on that last run. We weren’t concerned about lap times today. We didn’t get in big drafts, just got comfortable in the race car. On Friday, we’ll crank in more boost and power for qualifying. It will be interesting on Friday with the extra horsepower. Fast Friday is a day that a lot of the drivers aren’t too sure about with their cars. Since we started today with certain settings, we didn’t get to complete all of the changes we wanted. We’ll probably work on those changes on Friday morning and then move onto qualifying setups. Overall, I’m happy with the direction of the race car.”