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WIX Filters Returns as Official Technical Partner with Dreyer & Reinbold Racing As Driver Sage Karam Enters the 2019 Indianapolis 500 in No. 24 WIX Filters Car

WIX® Filters Returns as Official Technical Partner with Dreyer & Reinbold Racing

As Driver Sage Karam Enters the 2019 Indianapolis 500 in No. 24 WIX Filters Car

Global Leader in Filtration Products Continues Involvement in “Greatest Spectacle in Racing”

 

Sage Karam will pilot the No. 24 WIX Filters Chevrolet from the Dreyer & Reinbold Racing stable for the 103rd Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge (Photo Courtesy of Dreyer & Reinbold Racing)

GASTONIA, N.C. (Feb. 28, 2019)WIX® Filters announced today it is returning to the 2019 Indianapolis 500 set for May 26 with a continuation of its partnership with Dreyer & Reinbold Racing as chief technical partner for the team’s No. 24 Indy 500 entry and driver Sage Karam.

Now in its 80th year of production, the global manufacturer of filtration products begins its seventh season of a multi-level partnership with Dreyer & Reinbold Racing, including serving as the Official Technical Partner and oil filter of the team, within several racing forms including the Indy 500 and ARX Rallycross.

“Dreyer & Reinbold Racing and WIX Filters have formed a tremendous partnership for many years now and we’re very excited to continue our technical relationship for another year at the legendary Indy 500 with talented young driver Sage Karam,” said Jeff Blocker, director of sales for WIX. “Dennis Reinbold’s racing team is very experienced and always comes to the world’s biggest race with a solid chance to contend for victory. And Sage has been outstanding to work with on and off the race track. Each year, Sage charges up the Indy 500 field and puts the WIX car in contention and we look forward to another strong performance this year with the No. 24 WIX Filters race car.”

Many racing teams have relied on the performance and quality of WIX Filters for over 50 years, and in return, the race track provides exceptional testing grounds for the WIX engineers.

Dreyer & Reinbold Racing, which has entered and qualified 38 cars in the Indy 500 dating back to 1999, has taken Karam to impressive Indy 500 run in each of his previous four runs in the DRR machine at the historic Indianapolis Motor Speedway including winning the “Hard Charger” Award as a rookie in 2014. Last year, DRR fielded two drivers in the Indy 500 with Karam in the No. 24 WIX Filters car and veteran J.R. Hildebrand in the No. 66 Salesforce car.

“Dreyer & Reinbold Racing and WIX Filters have enjoyed a great seven-year partnership and we’re thrilled to bring WIX back to the Indy 500 in 2019 with Sage,” said Dennis Reinbold, team owner. “WIX has been a leader in its category for 80 years and has made numerous valuable contributions to motorsports industry as well as to Dreyer & Reinbold Racing. We want to put WIX Filters in the winner’s circle this year and Sage will be a solid contender.

“I can’t wait to be back with WIX and DRR for the 2019 Indianapolis 500 and I’m looking forward to putting our No 24 WIX Filters Special in victory lane,” said Karam, the 23-year-old Nazareth, Pa., racer.  “This year is WIX Filters 80th anniversary, and I’m excited to help them celebrate throughout the year and represent them on the track. Make sure to follow my social pages along with WIX for behind the scenes race coverage and giveaways.

“WIX Filters is so well known around the world and their staff is outstanding to work with at the track and off. Our WIX IndyCar was a great-looking machine last year and I’m anxious to see this year’s livery as well. Working with a global brand like WIX Filters brings a lot of prestige to Dreyer & Reinbold Racing and I’m honored to be a part of this partnership.”

The Dreyer & Reinbold Racing family has a great legacy at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway dating back to the 1920s with legendary car builder Floyd “Pop” Dreyer, who built cars for the entire front row in 1931. Reinbold, Dreyer’s grandson, has qualified every car he has entered as car owner in the Indy 500 and has recorded four top-10 finishes including a best of fourth in 2012.

“It’s hard to believe this Indy 500 will be my fifth with DRR and each year we have had a strong race car,” Karam continued. “We’ve run in the top 10 each time and we just need to get to that checkered flag again. My racing mindset has improved each year and I’m ready to take the No. 24 WIX Filters DRR car to the front on May 26.”

Karam will enter his sixth career Indy 500 and fifth with the Dreyer & Reinbold Racing team. But in 2014 as a rookie for DRR, Sage won the “Hard Charger Award” with a spectacular drive from 31st to ninth.  In 2016, Sage drove from 23rd to fourth before retiring from the event on lap 94 in DRR machinery. Last year, he came from 24th to sixth on lap 154. Karam also won the Indy Lights point championship in 2013.

Karam will take the No. 24 WIX Filters DRR IndyCar to the IMS oval for the first time on Tuesday, May 14 when practice rounds open on the famed oval.  Qualifying for the 103rd running of the Indy 500 is set for Saturday, May 18 and Sunday, May 19.  The start for this year’s Indianapolis 500-Mile Race is scheduled for 12:15 p.m. EDT on Sunday, May 26.

For more information on WIX, please visit wixfilters.com.

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THE HOTTEST INDY 500 IN HISTORY MAKES FOR A WILD RACE; HILDEBRAND PLACES 11TH; KARAM RUNS 6TH BEFORE LATE RACE INCIDENT

THE HOTTEST INDY 500 IN HISTORY MAKES FOR A WILD RACE;

HILDEBRAND PLACES 11TH; KARAM RUNS 6TH BEFORE LATE RACE INCIDENT 

Dreyer & Reinbold Racing Cars Battle in the Top Ten in Sunday’s Indy 500

Speedway, IN (May 27, 2018) — Dreyer & Reinbold Racing drivers J.R. Hildebrand and Sage Karam competed in the hottest race (93 degrees) in the 102-year history of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race and drove into the top-ten in tough track conditions Sunday at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Hildebrand, making his eight Indy 500 start in the No. 66 Salesforce/DRR Chevrolet, started 27th in the 33-driver field and finished 11th after the 200-lap “Greatest Spectacle in Racing” in track surface temperatures approaching 130 degrees.

In the middle of the race, Hildebrand ran as high as fifth and used strong pit stops by his Salesforce/DRR crew to utilize different strategy from Karam’s No. 24 WIX Filters/DRR Chevrolet team. Many late race caution periods due to the slick track hurt J.R. changes for a top-ten position.

Will Power won the race and seven different teams placed in top eleven finishes including Dreyer& Reinbold Racing.

“It was a very long race,” said Hildebrand. “We tried very hard to gain some track position in the pits and every time, it sort of ended up to be a little bit of a wash where the yellows fell. They guys did a great job all race long. No mistakes from anyone on the strategy side or pit lane side. Every time we took a gamble, it didn’t really seem to hurt us. Always good to get 500 miles under your belt here (the track) and to finish the race. To see so many guys today have a really tough day as far as handling very poorly really early in the stint. I was fortunate to be right around a few of them and watching them happen like that could have been us if we were a little worse or a little less careful. Happy to bring the thing back in one piece. Would have liked to have snuck it into the top 10 there at the end but kudos to the team. They did a great job with the Salesforce car all month long and what turned out to be real tough conditions.”

“You always appreciate being able to put 200 laps in here. You always are learning a bunch of stuff. You learn things about driving the car. You learn what you need in the car. You learn about conditions and what other guys have learned about the car. We won’t forget that stuff when we come back next year.”

Karam, starting 24th Sunday, drove a superb race to move to seventh by lap 143 and dodged several incidents during the event including mishaps by Danica Patrick, Sebastian Bourdais and Helio Castroneves. By lap 150, Karam’s WIX Filters machine looked to be position for a strong run to the checkered flag in sixth.  However, on lap 154, Sage’s car sudden slid around and hit the turn four outside wall, ending his excellent drive.

“I really don’t know what happened because the race car was stable in the rear end all day,” said Karam. “Then all of a sudden, the car just snapped around without any notice.  It is extremely puzzling. The car was pushing in turn four all day and it felt like I cut a tire or something. We had a pretty good car all day and then that happened. I’m upset because I felt like I might have cut a tire. We had a car to race into the top-five today. I feel badly because the DRR crew worked so hard to prepare a good machine this month. Then this happens. I love Indy so much and now my race ends like this.  I know I want to come back here next year and race hard again.”

Team owner Dennis Reinbold felt both of his Indy 500 drivers put in strong performances in tough conditions Sunday.

“We had a good plan, similar to the winner’s today,” said Reinbold. “With Sage, we ran steady and solid to go from 24th to sixth by lap 150. He drove a great race in the WIX Filters Chevy. Then I think he might have cut a tire in the debris from the previous crash in turn four. He had no warning and the car instantly went sideways. Our plan and strategy were good ones with Sage. We were in position to challenge for a top spot. It is unfortunate to have that incident after a strong run today.

“For J.R., he did a good job coming from 27th to 11th. Obviously, we aren’t happy with 11th here, but he had some great restarts and drove hard all day. It was great to have J.R. and Salesforce join our DRR team this year. I want to thank them for the month of May here.”

KARAM, HILDEBRAND COMPLETE ‘CARB DAY’ FRIDAY PRACTICE FOR 102ND INDY 500; SAGE RECORDS 223.278 MPH, JR CLOCKS 222.027 MPH

Hot temperatures will make for interesting track conditions in Sunday’s Indy 500  Speedway, IN (May 25, 2018)- The Dreyer & Reinbold Racing duo of Sage Karam and J.R. Hildebrand completed their “Carb Day” testing runs Friday at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway as preparations continued for the 102nd Indianapolis 500 Mile Race set for Sunday, May 27, at 12:15 p.m. EDT. Both of…

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SOARING TEMPS HURT KARAM & HILDEBRAND’S SUNDAY QUALIFYING

SKARAM HITS 225.823 MPH, HILDEBRAND CLOCKS 225.418 MPH Team hit the IMS Oval Monday for Practice Runs, then Media Days on Tuesday Speedway, IN (May 20, 2018) – Soaring temperatures in the afternoon caused for a tricky second qualification session for the Dreyer & Reinbold team Sunday at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Both Sage Karam and J.R. Hildebrand qualified for their…

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HILDEBRAND & KARAM SECURE QUALIFYING SPOTS FOR 102ND INDY 500; JR’S SALESFORCE CHEVY CLOCKS 226.499; SAGE’S WIX FILTERS CHEVY 226.065 MPH

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.

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WEATHER CONDITIONS CHANGE AT IMS FRIDAY FOR KARAM & HILDEBRAND AS THE DREYER & REINBOLD RACING PAIR PREPARE FOR SATURDAY QUALIFYING

WEATHER CONDITIONS CHANGE AT IMS FRIDAY FOR KARAM & HILDEBRAND AS THE DREYER & REINBOLD RACING PAIR PREPARE FOR SATURDAY QUALIFYING

Sage Takes WIX Filters Chevy to 227.593 MPH; JR Drives Salesforce Chevy to 227.242 MPH

SPEEDWAY, Ind. (May 18, 2018) – Changing weather is always a major concern for the Verizon IndyCar Series teams at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway during the month of May, and today’s “Fast Friday” proved out that theory for Dreyer & Reinbold Racing drivers Sage Karam and J.R. Hildebrand.

After hot, humid conditions for the first three days of practice runs for 102nd running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race, the overcast, cooler air produced better speeds along with the addition of more turbocharger boost for the IndyCar engines.

After successful “race trim” runs throughout the week, it was time for Karam and Hildebrand to work on the qualifying settings and four-lap simulations laps.

At the end of the “Fast Friday” runs, Karam drove his No. 24 WIX Filters/DRR Chevrolet to a best speed of 227.593 miles per hour, while Hildebrand, whose No. 66 Salesforce/DRR Chevrolet clipped the wall in Thursday’s practice, set a top speed Friday of 227.242 m.p.h.

Marco Andretti led the 35-car field on Friday with speed of 231.802 m.p.h.

“Today we did six qualifying simulations,” said Karam. “We tried to make it as real as possible. Obviously, sometimes you get caught out by some other cars. But we did six pretty clean runs. Learned a lot. This new car is just different. Some of this stuff is so different from last year. It’s been a learning experience for myself, JR, and the team.

“The last few qualifying sims have been improvements. Car feels really solid. The car felt pretty good. Qualifying will be very interesting and exciting. We have to attack as it’s going to be very close.”

Hildebrand praised his DRR crew for the quick repairs Thursday evening after the brush the with turn three wall and turned in a team 49 laps Friday.

“I feel like we definitely made some progress today,” J.R. said. “For sure, the way we ended yesterday (Thursday) didn’t help. Guys had to do a fair amount of extra work to get things prepped and we ended up going out this morning. We ended just a little bit behind, but that’s on me and I feel like we ended up getting to where we wanted to try and get to by the end of today. Great work by the team. Great work by the engineers. The car feels pretty good out there. I feel like we are in a pretty good position and we will see what comes our way.”

On Saturday, a morning practice session, starting at 8 a.m., precedes the “Bump Day” qualifying rounds with Hildebrand scheduled to go out for the four-lap time trial in the 38th position and Karam in the 47th spot. Qualifying begins at 11 a.m. Saturday.

The 102nd Indy 500 gets underway Sunday, May 27, at 12:15 p.m. EDT.

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KARAM GOES P5 THURSDAY IN INDY 500 PRACTICE RUNS AT 224.920 MPH, HILDEBRAND RUNS 223.351 MPH BEFORE CLIPPING THE WALL IN TURN THREE

Salesforce Driver is Okay after late day slide into the wall; DRR Team repairing the car 

SPEEDWAY, Ind. (May 17, 2018) – Young Sage Karam put in another impressive practice day Thursday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway with the fifth fastest overall speed in his No. 24 WIX Filters/Dreyer & Reinbold Racing Chevrolet in the third practice session for the 102nd Indianapolis 500 scheduled for May 27.

Karam, the 23-year-old veteran from Nazareth, Pa., recorded a best lap of 224.920 miles per hour Thursday in preparation for this weekend’s qualifications for the “Greatest Spectacle in Racing.” Karam, entering his fifth Indy 500 event, made a total of 72 laps in a day in which he tested in “race trim” and practiced pit stops with his six-person crew.

Karam’s teammate, J.R. Hildebrand of Boulder, Colo., clocked a best speed of 223.351 m.p.h. in the No. 66 Salesforce/DRR Chevrolet before a late day brush with the turn three wall halted his Thursday runs. Hildebrand, entering his eighth Indy 500, walked away from the incident and the DRR crew is now repairing the No. 66 for the “Fast Friday” practice runs.

Hildebrand, the 2011 Indy 500 runner-up and ‘Rookie of the Year,” completed 57 laps Thursday before the turn three mishap occurred.

“P5 today which is good,” said Karam. “A lot of guys were out there running qualifying simulations and we didn’t do that today. We really focused on the race car setup again. We struggled a little at first, but we made great changes at lunch time. We came back out and the car felt much better. We were able to mix it up with a lot of people out there. Tomorrow is ‘Fast Friday’ so we’ll get the extra boost (with the engine’s turbocharger). We’ll do our qualifying sims tomorrow. I need to get a good night’s sleep tonight as the next few days are stressful, but I’m looking forward to it. Overall, things are looking good for the WIX Filters team so far.”

“We were making some good progress with the car today,” said Hildebrand. “We are chasing the same things with car as everyone else. And we looked like we were getting there with the race setup. We were looking forward to making a long run at the end of the day in traffic. We weren’t that deep into the run and we had something happen in turn three with the car. We are still analyzing what might have happen.

“The car felt out of the ordinary. I didn’t feel like I was losing the car at all. I thought for sure I could save the car, which why I’m a little confused on what happened. I did have enough warning to keep it under control. It felt like I had a wacky wheel of a shopping cart because the car kept wobbling a bit. But I’m fine and ready to go tomorrow. I feel badly for the crew guys getting the car repaired now. I’m looking forward to Friday’s runs.”

“Fast Friday” practice, weather permitting, is set for 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Indianapolis Motor Speedway with qualifying rounds scheduled for Saturdayand Sunday. The 102nd Indy 500 gets underway Sunday, May 27, at 12:15 p.m. EDT.

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MORE NEW SETUPS WITH DREYER & REINBOLD CARS WEDNESDAY AT IMS; SAGE KARAM, JR HILDEBRAND LEARNING THE NEW BODY KITS AS SPEEDS GROW

Overcast skies in the Wednesday morning at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway had the Dreyer & Reinbold Racing crews checking the radar for possible rain showers as the second day of Indianapolis 500 practice runs began.

But the skies cleared to a full seven hours of practice for drivers Sage Karam and J.R. Hildebrand in their continued preparation for the “Greatest Spectacle in Racing,” the 102nd Indianapolis 500 Mile Race on May 27.

With the blue skies and higher temperatures, Karam, in the No. 24 WIX Filters/DRR Chevrolet, and Hildebrand, in the No. 66 Salesforce/DRR Chevrolet, worked through a variety of settings with their respective engineers – Jeff Britton (Karam) and Chase Kaufman (Hildebrand) – as the temperatures grew (mid-80s) during the afternoon at the 2-1/2-mile oval.

Karam, the 23-year-old Nazareth, Pa. driver, timed in 82 laps Wednesday with a best lap of 224.887 miles per hour which was initially sixth fastest on the day. After race prep laps and running in traffic, Karam finished tenth fastest at the conclusion of practice.

Hildebrand, the 30-year-old Boulder, Colo., racer, turned in 69 circuits Wednesday with a top speed of 224.128 m.p.h. and listed as 20th fastest.

“We were just going off what we had Tuesday and trying to improve it,” said Karam. “We made some improvements throughout the day, but we still need to come some more a bit. Still seems like everyone is struggling a little still running in traffic. That’s what we did mostly today. We didn’t do any qualifying stuff today. We focused on our race car and we still have some improvements there to do overnight and see what we can do.

“It’s not as comfortable as I want for a race car yet, but we’re making progress and going in the right direction. It’s still early in the month and we’re doing well with two solid days. Same game plan tomorrow as well. I think our qualifying speed, when we run alone, is good. Just going to focus on the race car for now.”

Hildebrand, an Indy 500 top-ten finisher on three occasions including runner-up in 2011, thinks his team is working hard with the new body kit to find that “sweet spot” for the famed IMS oval.

“It’s tough,” he said. “We are still coming to grips with the car, just as everyone else is. Seems like everyone is fighting the same problems, so it will be a race to see who can make the right set of changes the quickest. To address what I think is a common handling problem, I think here at Dreyer & Reinbold, our cars are fast and I look forward to doing some qualifying prep tomorrow. I think we will be able to show how great of a job these guys have done in the off-season. I know for me I wouldn’t hate to have another day for prep and to continue to make the car better.”

Practice continues on Thursday and Friday (11 a.m. to 6 p.m.) at IMS with qualifying rounds scheduled for Saturday – to determine the top-nine and the 33-car field. Sunday’s qualifying runs will set the entire 33-car lineup including the pole position.

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SAGE KARAM, JR HILDEBRAND MAKE THEIR IMS RETURN TUESDAY WITH DREYER & REINBOLD RACING CHEVROLETS IN INDY 500 PRACTICE

The excitement of the returning to the “World Greatest Race Track” was in the air Tuesday at the Dreyer & Reinbold Racing garage with drivers Sage Karam and J.R. Hildebrand making their initial oval practice runs for the 102nd Indianapolis 500 Mile Race set May 27.

The DRR squad in the only “One-Off Race Team” at Indy this year, but the Carmel, Ind.-based operation put in a solid day of laps in the hot, humid conditions at the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway oval. This year marks the first time Dreyer & Reinbold Racing has entered two cars in the “Greatest Spectacle in Racing” since 2011.

Karam, entering his fifth Indy 500 at age 23, drove the No. 24 WIX Filter/DRR Chevrolet to a best lap of 223.998 miles per hour for the sixth fastest speed on opening day. The Nazareth, Pa., racer recorded 60 laps on Tuesday. Karam, the former Indy Lights champion, won the “Hard Charger Award” in his rookie year of 2014 at Indy. He tested at Indy on May 1.

Hildebrand, making his eighth Indy 500 at age 30, wheeled his No. 66 Salesforce/DRR Chevrolet to a best speed of 222.256 m.p.h. for 24th overall in in a total of 55 laps Tuesday. However, the big number for the Boulder, Colo., driver was his “no tow” speed of 221.139, third overall in those clockings behind Ed Carpenter (221.512) and Charlie Kimball (221.155). The “no tow” readings are determined by the car’s performance without a draft from another car.

Hildebrand, also an Indy Lights Champion, finished runner-up in his Indy 500 rookie showing in 2011 and won the “Rookie of the Year” honors. It was J.R.’s first time in an IndyCar since last September.

“Car wasn’t too bad,” said Karam. “It has a really good balance when I ran by myself. So, we started with that and then tried to trim out and gain more speed by myself. Once I felt comfortable there, I ran with traffic. This was the first time I ran in traffic with the new car and it’s interesting. It looks like everyone is dealing with the same issue, which is the lack of front grip.

“These new cars, when you don’t have clean air, you lose a lot of front grip. That’s the battle for everyone right now is to find front grip. Overall, first day back and P6. We’re in the ballpark. Speeds or times don’t mean anything yet, but it’s good to see us high on the pylon is a good feeling. But, it’s early so hopefully we keep it up and we’ll see what happens.”

“I felt good today with the car,” said Hildebrand. “We got up to speed quickly. There are a lot of familiar faces for me here at Dreyer & Reinbold. I made my IndyCar debut with DRR back in 2010. We have a lot of the same guys I have worked with the last few years too at ECR. I felt good with how the car rolled out of the gates and it went from there.”

Cars return to the historic two-and-a-half-mile oval Wednesday beginning at 11 a.m. EDT for a scheduled seven hours of practice. Qualifying is set for Saturday (May 19) and Sunday (May 20) with the 102nd Indy 500 getting underway at 12:15 p.m. EDT on Sunday, May 27.

Dreyer & Reinbold Racing, Indy 500’s Only “One-Off” Team, Prepares Two Entries to Battle the IndyCar Series Regulars on May 27

Dreyer & Reinbold Racing, Indy 500’s Only “One-Off” Team, Prepares Two Entries to Battle the IndyCar Series Regulars on May 27
Sage Karam & JR Hildebrand Set to Challenge in 102nd Indianapolis 500

 

Sage Karam and the No. 24 WIX Filters Chevrolet from the Dreyer & Reinbold Racing stable in action at an open test at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway (Photo Courtesy of Dreyer & Reinbold Racing)

SPEEDWAY, Ind. (May 11, 2018) – Only one team in this year’s 102nd Indianapolis 500 has concentrated on the May 27 Classic since last year’s 200-lap race at the world’s most famous racing facility, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

That team ready to battle the Verizon IndyCar Series regulars in this year’s Indy 500 is Carmel, Ind.-based Dreyer & Reinbold Racing with a two-car effort – the No. 24 WIX Filters Chevrolet Dallara for driver Sage Karam and the No. 66 Salesforce Chevrolet Dallara for driver J.R. Hildebrand.

It’s not an easy chore for Dennis Reinbold’s racing squad to go up against the biggest teams in the IMS garage area, but the veteran team owner has been facing the challenges for many years and continues to enjoy the quest of winning the world’s biggest race.

For Reinbold, the Indy 500 is a family tradition dating back to 1927 when his grandfather, Floyd “Pop” Dreyer, served as a crewman on the famed Duesenberg racing team. Dreyer was a legendary flat-track motorcycle racer before concentrating on building body kits for the Indy 500 cars in the 1930s and 1940s. In fact, the entire front row of the 1931 Indy 500 utilized Dreyer’s work.

Young Dennis grew up just a mile and a half from the 16th and Georgetown racing plant and would ride his bicycle to see the race cars run in May. In 1999, Reinbold established his legacy as a team owner and has now entered 37 cars and qualified all 37 machines in the 500.

“You can look at our ‘one-off’ effort in two ways as opposed with the regular teams,” said Reinbold. “We can concentrate on our Indy 500 operation pretty much all year and we have a full-time crew for Sage’s car. Then again, if we had the funding for a full race season, we would be in the same situations as the other teams. But I don’t dwell on those possibilities. We come to the Indy 500 once a year right now and we work hard to attempt to win it.”

Reinbold and his staff work diligently to develop a marketing plan for their upcoming year’s sponsor partners not too long after the previous 500 Mile race is concluded. And a two-car operation meant recruiting additional crew members as early as possible.

“We begin working with our sponsor partners in the late summer and fall for the next Indy 500 race,” Dennis explained. “We spoke with JR in the fall also about running with us this May and we firmed it up at the beginning of the year.”

Dennis’s racing operation, led by Chase Selman, works through the potential second car budget and begins aligning crew personnel to work on the second car for the 500.

“As soon as we knew we were thinking of running two cars this year, we were able to lock in a second group pretty quickly,” said Reinbold. “We were able to have crew guys commit to us in late fall last year. That was a big help in coordinating our Indy 500 two-car effort.”

Selman also had to order the new cars, parts and coordinate car renderings with the sponsors with team marketing director Brett DeBord.

“Despite concentrating just on the Indy 500, we are extremely busy in the off-season,” said Selman, whose family has been involved in IndyCar racing for some 30 years. “Putting together a ‘one-off’ Indy 500 program still takes a lot of coordination and preparation to be ready to take on the best teams in IndyCar racing. I think we have developed a good team in 2018.”

Karam, the young Nazareth, Pa., racer, enters his fourth Indy 500 with DRR (fifth total) and has been a fast racer in recent years at Indy. The 23-year-old driver is ready for the 500 again.

“My experience with Dreyer & Reinbold Racing has been outstanding over the years,” Karam said. “My rookie year in 2014, we kept coming back from adversity and passing cars. I think I passed the most cars in the race that year. In 2016, we came from 23rd to fourth in just 90 laps. We had a great car and I needed to be more patient. Now, with J.R. as a teammate, this team can be a factor in the 500.”

Hildebrand, the 2011 500 runner-up and Rookie of the Year, began his IndyCar career with DRR in 2010 with two starts (Mid-Ohio and Sonoma), and the Boulder, Colo., driver returns to the team after watching DRR and Karam perform well at Indy.

“I talked with Dennis last year and I knew his cars were fast in the 500,” said Hildebrand. “I raced with Sage the last two years and I couldn’t stay with him. I was impressed with the car’s pace and knew the team was good despite being a ‘one-race’ organization currently. Working with Sage feels like a good fit too. I’m anxious to drive the DRR car for Salesforce next week.”

Karam was able to test last week at IMS in an afternoon session, and Reinbold is pleased with the finds of his new race car.

“We were fortunate to run Sage last week in the test with our new car including the new body kit, new electronics, new brakes and several other new pieces,” Reinbold said. “The full-time teams hold an advantage over us with the early problems being detected at the first few races of the year. Last week, we did have some initial problems with the car systems, but we were able to run Sage for 45 laps and with two sets of tires. We did learn quite a bit about the car with that initial test.

“That test gave us a good lead into what we need when the practice gets underway next Tuesday. I am excited to have Sage and J.R. working together this year for our DRR team.”

Can the only “one-race” team in the 102nd Indy 500 pull off the unthinkable against the strong regular IndyCar operations?

“I know we have a solid, professional operation here,” said Reinbold. “If we can get the new car running like the old car the past few years, we can contend with the top teams. I’m not being cocky in saying that. I believe Sage and J.R. can race up front this year.”

Source: Team PR

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