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EXCITEMENT FOR DREYER & REINBOLD RACING IN TEAM’S 1ST ROAD RACE IN 7 YEARS

YOUNG SAGE KARAM SET FOR GMR GRAND PRIX IN NO. 24 DRR WIX FILTERS

Karam makes return to IMS road course since 2nd place IMSA sports car finish in 2014 

SPEEDWAY, IN (June 30, 2020) – It’s hard to believe that it has been seven years since the Dreyer & Reinbold Racing team competed in an NTT INDYCAR SERIES road course event when the Carmel, Ind.-based operation placed fourth in the streets of Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Since driver Oriol Servia drove a sensational race for DRR in May 2013, team owner Dennis Reinbold and his veteran squad have concentrated on the world’s biggest motorsports event, the Indianapolis 500, each year.

Reinbold was seeking to return to more series events if the budget would allow. In 2020, WIX Filters, a longtime DRR partner, expanded its involvement with the DRR organization and now the team brings young Sage Karam to this weekend’s GMR Grand Prix at the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway in the No. 24 DRR WIX Filters Chevrolet.

It marks DRR’s first NTT INDYCAR SERIES road racing contest at IMS as well as Karam’s initial outing in an IndyCar at the 2.439-mile, 13-turn circuit inside the historic 2.5-mile oval.

Sage’s only IMS road course appearance was in 2014 when he teamed with Scott Pruett to score a prototype sports car runner-up finish for Chip Ganassi Racing in the IMSA race.

This Saturday’s (July 4) road race also marks another accomplishment for the legacy of the Dreyer and Reinbold families at IMS which dates back to 1927 when Reinbold’s grandfather, Floyd “Pop” Dreyer, served as a crewman on the famed Duesenberg team.

“After the postponement of the St. Petersburg race with the COVID-19 issues, we felt that running Sage and the No. 24 DRR WIX Filters Chevy at the GMR Grand Prix at the Speedway would fit our racing plans,” said Reinbold. “Wow, it’s been seven years since we’ve done a road or street course or anything outside of the Indy oval. And the Indy 500 being postponed until August helped our team’s decision. We are very excited to come back to IMS for the Grand Prix.”

For Karam, the GMR Grand Prix has been on his “Wish List” for many years and the 25-year-old racer from Nazareth, PA has been testing with simulation runs in learning the IMS road circuit again.

“It’s been a long time for the Dreyer & Reinbold Racing team to run more than just the Indy 500,” said Karam, the former Indy Lights and F2000 champion. “They have been trying hard to expand their IndyCar program and, this year, WIX Filters extended its partnership to run some road courses. We were already to go at St. Petersburg when the (COVID-19) pandemic lockout started. We had to pack up and take everything back to Indy. We had put in a lot of work with testing, simulation runs and purchasing some road course parts with Dallara. We were hoping to run more events in 2020. But some races were postponed or cancelled.

“So, I’m very excited to run the IMS road circuit this weekend. The Indy GP was not originally on our 2020 schedule and I really wanted to do it. Now we get that opportunity. I ran a sim test recently for the IMS road course. We are ready to go. It is a big learning curve for myself and DRR as it’s over seven years since DRR has run an NTT INDYCAR SERIES road race.”

            After the St. Petersburg weekend postponement, Karam drove in the INDYCAR CHALLENGE IRacing sim series and recorded a race win at Watkins Glen International and scored two pole positions. The former high school wrestler and football player has kept fit with a makeshift gym in his father’ home basement.

“In the off time, the gym I usually train at was closed and my dad (Jody) and I had to get a makeshift gym set up in his house’s basement,” said Sage. “We actually drove to Ohio and almost to Indianapolis to pick up gym equipment for our training. It was good bonding with my dad to train. I was able to do some karting in the down time. And, of course, we did well in the iRacing program put together by IndyCar in the six-race series in the Spring. It was great to get our sponsors for Dreyer & Reinbold Racing – WIX Filters, Mecum and Chevy – at the front of the field in the IRacing events.”

Karam has been limited in his NTT INDYCAR SERIES career with mostly Indy 500 only appearances in the past four years. So, he has been anxious to return to the road circuits.

“It was a tough situation at St. Pete as I were very excited to run there,” Karam says. “And it just wasn’t me. There were guys moving up from the Indy Lights and other guys who were looking for full-time rides with new opportunities. It has been tough for the drivers to sit. Many guys had been waiting to make their dream a possibility and they had to wait. It’s good that we can show our sport in action again after so many sports have been halted. I think the drivers want to put on the best possible show for the fans because we all – teams, drivers, sponsors and fans – have missed the racing. The fans are what makes the racing world go round.”

The GMR Grand Prix is scheduled for the Friday (July 3) and Saturday (July 4) with a practice round on Friday at 11:30 a.m. EDT. Qualifications are set for 4:30 p.m. Friday. Saturday’s action will include a warmup at 9 a.m. with the 80-lap NTT INDYCAR SERIES event to start at 12:08 p.m.

DRR Announces Sage Karam Has Been Entered in GMR Grand Prix at IMS July 4 in #24 DRR WIX Filters Chevrolet at INDYCAR/NASCAR Doubleheader

SPEEDWAY, IN (June 23, 2020) – Dreyer & Reinbold Racing today announced the Carmel, Ind.-based racing team has entered young driver Sage Karam and the No. 24 DRR WIX Filters Chevrolet IndyCar in this year’s GMR Grand Prix at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 3-4, part of the INDYCAR/NASCAR doubleheader contested on the track’s 2.439-mile, 13-turn road circuit. 

The road racing event will mark over seven years since the Dreyer & Reinbold Racing team has competed in its last NTT INDYCAR SERIES road race when Oriol Servia drove the DRR machine to fourth in the 2013 Sao Paulo, Brazil street race on May 5. Since the 2013 Brazil road race, DRR has participated only in the Indianapolis 500 with nine entries (2013-2019). 

The DRR organization has not competed on the IMS road circuit previously.

Led by longtime team owner Dennis Reinbold and a veteran race team, Dreyer & Reinbold Racing was scheduled to return to road racing competition in March at the Firestone Grand Prix in the streets of St. Petersburg, Fla., with Karam at the wheel of the No. 24 DRR WIX Filters Chevy when the event was halted due to the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic outbreak. 

Karam, the former Indy Lights and F2000 series champion from Nazareth, Pa., will make his initial NTT INDYCAR SERIES start at the IMS road course after six starts in the Indy 500 including winning the “Hard Charger Award” in his “rookie” year in 2014. 

In 2014 at IMS, Karam teamed with veteran Scott Pruett to place second in the IMSA Brickyard Grand Prix sports car race in his only IMS road circuit appearance. Last year, Sage also drove the DRR ARX2 Rallycross car to a feature win at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.   

“We had planned to compete in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES season opener at St. Petersburg with the expansion of the WIX Filters partnership,” said Reinbold. “Then the COVID-19 pandemic came about, and we were put on hold. With some of the COVID-19 restrictions being lifted now, we felt that running Sage and the WIX Filters Chevy at the GMR Grand Prix at the Speedway would fit our racing plans. It’s been seven years since we’ve competed in a road or street course or anything outside of the Indy oval. And the Indy 500 has been postponed until August now too. But we are very excited to come back to IMS for the Grand Prix.”

Earlier this year, Reinbold’s team had purchased the required road racing equipment and parts as well as testing Karam this winter in Sebring, Fla. In addition, Sage performed impressively in the INDYCAR Challenge iRacing six-race series during the COVID-19 lockout with a virtual victory at Watkins Glen International and two road racing pole positions (Watkins Glen and Barber Motorsports Park). He also led the most laps (123) in the six iRacing events.

“Dennis and his Dreyer & Reinbold team have been so loyal to my racing career and I can’t thank them enough for their support,” said Karam, 25. “I look at Dennis as almost like a second father. I can go to him about anything. He’s one of the good guys of motorsports. I feel like I’ve been lucky and blessed to be able to come into this team as well as with a great partner like WIX Filters. I have been with them many years too.” 

WIX Filters will serve as a technical partner on the No. 24 car for the GMR Grand Prix on July 3-4 and the 104th Indy 500 scheduled for August 23. 

“Before the scheduled St. Petersburg race, we announced our WIX Filters expansion with Dreyer & Reinbold Racing after many years of a successful association,” said Jeff Blocher, Director of Sales and Marketing for MANN+HUMMEL. “We have had a great relationship with Dennis’s team and Sage as a driver. We wanted to expand our involvement in 2020 and who would have known that expanded relationship would include a successful and exciting ride for WIX Filters in the INDYCAR Challenge iRacing.  But I have to say WIX Filters is anxious to get our 2020 racing season started in an exciting way at IMS for the Grand Prix on July 4.”

Reinbold admitted that going back to road racing has been challenging. 

“We sat back after the test and knew we were relearning the things that we haven’t touched for a while with road racing,” Reinbold said. “It’s been a lot of fun. We have a ton of data that we have worked hard to sort through. Our plan was A: not embarrass yourself, and B: be competitive, which is our goal.”

Karam has faith in Reinbold and his DRR team.

“Dennis is a smart businessman,” said Karam. “If he’s going to go road racing, he’s going to do it right. Frankly, I wouldn’t want to do that either. He’s doing this the right way.”

The GMR Grand Prix is scheduled for the Friday (July 3) and Saturday (July 4) with a practice round on Friday at 11:30 a.m. Qualifications are set for 4:30 p.m. Friday. 

Saturday’s action will include a warmup at 9 a.m. with the 85-lap NTT INDYCAR SERIES event to start at 12 p.m. The NASCAR Xfinity Series stock car event also runs on Saturday (July 4).

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Sage Karam ready to take on famed IMS oval & stellar INDYCAR field in final INDYCAR Challenge Round in #24 DRR WIX Filters Chevy Saturday

SPEEDWAY, IN (April 30, 2020) – Sage Karam’s disappointment over last week’s Circuit of the America (COTA) race has finally subsided as the Nazareth, PA racer readies for this Saturday’s (May 2) Round 6 of the INDYCAR Challenge iRacing virtual series at the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway with the First Responder 175 presented by GMR 70-lap event set for 2:30 p.m. EDT to be televised on the NBC Sports Network. 

Karam, the winner of the inaugural INDYCAR Challenge race at Watkins Glen International, had high expectations for the COTA contest in the No. 24 Dreyer & Reinbold Racing WIX Filters Chevrolet car after winning a practice race and dueling with COTA race winner Lando Norris in several practice rounds. But a technical glitch on the pace lap kept Sage from taking the green flag at the COTA round. 

“I was upset after the COTA race,” said Karam, who has led the most laps in the five INDYCAR Challenge races so far at 121. “I had really high expectations entering the race as I wanted to go against Lando for the win. We have raced in Sim racing before. But the car just stopped on the pace lap and I had to start the race from the pit lane. Then, trying to get through the field, I was hit a few times and finally retired.”

After also competing in a 24-hour sports car virtual race last weekend, Karam is refreshed and ready for the challenge of the legend 2.5-mile oval at 16th and Georgetown and an impressive 33-car field. 

“I think a lot of the drivers are excited to race the IMS oval,” said Sage. “I know that it will be very high intensity. That’s because it’s Indy and it’s the final INDYCAR Challenge event. With only 70 laps rather than 200, the drivers will want to qualify well and get to the front pretty quickly. We had a good oval car at MIS and Motegi, but things didn’t go our way. Hopefully, we’ll have another strong car this Saturday. It should be a great race.”

With the Watkins Glen victory and two road racing poles (Watkins Glen and Barber Motorsports Park), Karam also showed speed on the ovals by leading the most laps (49) at MIS before having his machine hit late in the race. At Motegi, no qualifying lap hurt Sage’s chances but the DRR/WIX Filters driver came from 31st to seventh and recorded the race’s fastest lap (200.007 m.p.h.). 

“While we aren’t racing on a real track with real cars just yet due to the pandemic, Sim racing has been one platform that has given the racers an opportunity to show the fans some entertainment while everyone is in their homes,” said Karam. “It also has given the sponsors, like WIX Filters and Mecum Auctions, some additional exposure on a variety of channels.”

Karam’s Sim racing knowledge has been helpful to a number of drivers with less virtual racing background during the INDYCAR Challenge virtual series.

“I have coached a lot of guys who have raced cars for decades, but they are new to Sim racing,” Sage explained. “I try to explain the settings and actually help them set up their Sim rigs and cars. Now, I just hope I don’t give them too much information and they go out and beat me in the races. It’s good to have more competition with each race too.”

This Saturday’s INDYCAR Challenge event from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is scheduled to be telecast on NBC Sports Network, www.indycar.com and the IndyCar Series YouTube channel. Karam also has his Twitch.TV channel available for fans and media to watch his “in-car” camera at sagekaram24.

Sage Karam leads the way at the virtual Michigan International Raceway in the No. 24 WIX Filters Dreyer & Reinbold Racing Chevrolet – Photo Courtesy of Dreyer & Reinbold Racing
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COTA INDYCAR Challenge goes wrong from the start Saturday for Sage Karam in the #24 DRR WIX Filters Chevy after a strong practice

AUSTIN, TX (April 25, 2020) – Saturday’s INDYCAR Challenge virtual race at the fast Circuit of the Americas (COTA) road circuit looked be another strong racetrack for Watkins Glen International winner Sage Karam and the No. 24 Dreyer & Reinbold Racing WIX Filters Chevrolet Saturday in Round 5 of the NTT INDYCAR SERIES iRacing competition. 

Sage Karam on track at a virtual Circuit of The Americas in the No. 24 WIX Filters Chevrolet (Photo Courtesy of Dreyer & Reinbold Racing)

With a big 33-driver field set for the 3.426-mile, 20-turn road course east of Austin, Karam again showed speed in practice. A slight problem in qualifying relegated the 25-year-old Nazareth, PA race to sixth on the starting grid for the 32-lap contest. But Sage was feeling good about his race strategy and speed for the drop of the green flag on the NBS Sports Network.

Unfortunately, the promising start went south when Karam’s engine shut off on the pace lap. Sage was forced to start the event from the pit lane. After restarting the car, he was more than half of a lap behind the leaders when he entered the circuit. 

Karam and his crew then calculated a different fuel strategy in an effort to get back into contention, a position he had been in the first two INDYCAR Challenge road races at Watkins Glen and Barber Motorsports Park by leading 67 of 90 laps. 

Sage drove hard from the start as he attempted to stay on the lead lap and pick off cars in a charge through the field. By lap 16, he was running 20th and set up his later pit stop with a chance to run qualifying-type laps to the checkered flag. He continued his fight, seeking to take advantage of the different fuel strategy. 

But late in the race, Karam was hit by a spinning car in the last turn of the course. The incident took Sage out of the race and he finished 33rd.

“We just didn’t have the best showing today,” said Sage. “We had a fast car with the DRR WIX Filters Chevrolet in practice. I was anxious for the race. In qualifying, I didn’t get a full lap. But we still managed sixth on the grid. Then, on the pace lap, I don’t know what happened. But the officials said the car shut off and didn’t restart, so I had to start from the pit lane. We fought hard with a different strategy. I thought we might have a shot at a top-ten. Unfortunately, I got hit again towards the end of the race. It’s happened a few times now. But I’m now excited for the Indianapolis Motor Speedway race next week.”

Karam’s view from the cockpit of the No. 24 WIX Filters Dreyer & Reinbold Racing Chevrolet (Photo Courtesy of Dreyer & Reinbold Racing)

Next Saturday’s INDYCAR Challenge from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is scheduled to be telecast on NBC Sports Network, www.indycar.com and the IndyCar Series YouTube channel. Karam also has his Twitch channel available for fans and media to watch his “in-car” camera at sagekaram24.

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Sage Karam anxious to get back to a road circuit (COTA) this Saturday after an INDYCAR Challenge win earlier with #24 DRR WIX Filters Chevy

AUSTIN, TX (April 22, 2020) – Young Sage Karam is excited to get back to a road circuit event in the six-race INDYCAR Challenge iRacing campaign after his impressive performances in the opening two virtual racing contests at Watkins Glen International and Barber Motorsports Park. 

In those two races, Karam drove the No. 24 Dreyer & Reinbold WIX Filters Chevrolet to the pole position and victory at Watkins Glen and the pole at Barber before an incident with a lapped car eliminated his charge to a possible win. 

The No. 24 Dreyer & Reinbold WIX Filters Chevrolet that Sage Karam will pilot at Circuit of The Americas (Photo Courtesy of Dreyer & Reinbold Racing)

Of the 90 road racing laps in the INDYCAR Challenge, the 25-year-old driver from Nazareth, PA, has led 67 circuits. In fact, Karam is the only driver to lead in each of the first four INDYCAR Challenge (Watkins Glen, Barber, Michigan and Motegi) with a total of 121 of 288 laps.  

Now, Sage is anxious to return to the virtual road racing competition this Saturday, April 25, at the fast 3.426-mile, 20-turn Circuit of the Americas (COTA) east of Austin against another strong NTT INDYCAR SERIES field scheduled for 2:30 p.m. EDT.

“I am ready to get back on the road circuits again,” said Karam, the former Indy Lights and F2000 series champion. “Obviously, we were strong in the first two races at Watkins Glen and Barber. We didn’t have much lucky at Barber after leading a bunch of laps, but I think we’ll have a strong effort at COTA. It’s a great road course and should be another exciting race for the fans.”

Despite finishing seventh (Motegi) and 14th (Michigan), Sage did show well at the oval tracks including leading the most laps at Michigan (49) and recording the fastest race lap at Motegi (200.007 m.p.h.).

“We were fast at Michigan, but we got caught up in some traffic,” he said. “I made a mistake in qualifying at Motegi and I had to start 31st. But the car improved in the race and we moved up 24 spots to seventh. We also had the fastest race lap. Now, we need to get back to racing up front at COTA.”

An iRacing veteran, Karam has been working with a number of drivers who are making their initial iRacing showings in the INDYCAR Challenge including his Nazareth neighbor, Marco Andretti. 

Sage Karam in his sim rig at his home in Nazareth, Pa. (Photo Courtesy of Dreyer & Reinbold Racing)

“Marco has been using my backup sim rig for the two oval races,” said Sage. “He has run it a little bit before when he wanted to learn new tracks. I have upgraded my sim rig this winter and even built my own computer for the new rig. So, Marco has been getting up the speed very well in the backup. He had a good run going at Motegi but caught up in an incident. He is learning quickly about iRacing.”

Karam, who is scheduled to drive the No. 24 DRR WIX Filters Chevrolet in a number of 2020 NTT INDYCAR SERIES events later this year in real action, also has been a regular in the worldwide Sports Car Series in iRacing and the Lionheart Racing Series for open-wheel cars. 

“My iRacing experience goes back to 2007 when I went from karting to open-wheelers,” he said. “Because I have not been a regular on the IndyCar circuit in recent years, I’m able to stay active through Sim racing and I believe it has helped me. I think some of the current IndyCar drivers can see improvement too in their INDYCAR Challenge racing as we all stay inside with the Coronavirus. I’m like everyone else who wants to go real racing as soon as we can. But this is the next best thing. I hope the fans enjoy it too.”

This Saturday’s INDYCAR Challenge from COTA is set to be telecast on NBC Sports Network and www.indycar.com.  Karam also has his Twitch channel for fans and media to watch his “in-car” camera at sagekaram24.

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Great comeback drive by Sage Karam in Saturday’s Firestone 175 at Motegi, Qualifying issues have the DRR WIX Filters Chevy Race from 31st to 7th

MOTEGI, Japan (April 18, 2020) – Sage Karam put in a tremendous comeback drive Saturday in the Firestone 175 iRacing virtual event at Japan’s Twin Ring Motegi when the Nazareth, Pa., driver came from a 31st starting position to finish seventh at the checkered flag. 

Karam’s performance recorded the most passes of the event, moving up 24 spots. In addition, Sage recorded the fastest race lap at 200.007 miles per hour (27.359 seconds) on lap 86.

Karam, the race winner of the inaugural INDYCAR Challenge contest at the Watkins Glen International road circuit, made a comeback run Saturday, similar to his “rookie” performance in the 2014 Indianapolis 500 when he started 31st and placed ninth. Sage won the “Hard Charger Award” in that race.

On Saturday, Sage looked strong in practice runs in the No. 24 Dreyer & Reinbold Racing WIX Filters Chevrolet machine and Sage was ready for a pole position run in qualifying. However, Sage clipped the wall in time trials and cost the 25-year-old racer his timed lap. He was forced to start in the last row of the 32-driver field. 

At the start of the 113-lap race at the fast 1.549-mile oval track north of Tokyo, Karam paced his drive with consistent laps and picked off cars one at a time. By lap 10, Sage had moved to 20th and settled in for more consistent laps with his car producing faster laps. 

Karam continued his pursuit towards the front with the 15th spot by lap 42 as other drivers began their routine pit stops. On lap 51, Sage held the lead, the fourth event he has led in the first four INDYCAR Challenge races. Karam led five laps Saturday.

After a quick pit stop on lap 56, Karam pick off two additional positions and he held the 12th position on lap 70.  Karam’s car was working well and broke into the top-ten by lap 79. After another pit stop on lap 84, Karam fought his way from 13th to seventh at the finish. 

Karam’s view of a spinning Helio Castroneves (Photo Courtesy of Dreyer & Reinbold Racing)

“I messed up my qualifying run today,” said Karam. “I think we were quick enough in practice for the front row or even the pole. But it wasn’t meant to be, and we had to start at the back. Coming from 31st to seventh is a good run. Reminds me of my first Indy 500 in 2014. I came for 31st to ninth and got ‘Hard Charger’ of the race back then. 

“It was a weird day. We tried an early pit stop and then got up to the front about lap 50 or so. We had a few issues in the race too, but, overall, it was a good finish. We had a good car in the middle of the race. I’m pretty drained right now fighting through the field. I’ll be ready for COTA next week. It should be fun.”

Two INDYCAR Challenge events remain in the iRacing virtual series with the popular Circuit of the Americas (COTA) road course scheduled for next Saturday, April 25, with a “Dream Track” set for the finale on Saturday, May 2.

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SIM RACING HELPED SAGE KARAM IMPROVE HIS RACING CAREER AS A TEENAGER

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SOURCE DRR PR:

NOW HE SERVES AS THE ‘PROFESSOR’ IN iRACING FOR HIS FELLOW INDYCAR DRIVERS

DRR WIX Filters Racer Has Led 116 of 175 Laps in INDYCAR Challenge Races, Heads to Motegi

MOTEGI, Japan (April 16, 2020) – Sage Karam was making the jump from karting to open-wheel cars when he discovered a new way to improve his skills behind the wheel. It was called iRacing – a video simulation of racing in a variety of cars and on numerous racetracks.

Little did the teenager know how important the new form of ‘gaming’ would be to his racing career.

Now, at age 25 and the driver in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES, Karam has shown his iRacing talent in the first three events in the INDYCAR Challenge with a race win, two poles and leading 116 of 175 laps in competition.

The regular racer in the No. 24 Dreyer & Reinbold Racing WIX Filter Chevrolet IndyCar grew up as a video game fanatic and moved into the simulation world quite easily.

Karam will continue his expertise in the iRacing virtual competition this Saturday, April 18, in the fourth round of INDYCAR Challenge, the Firestone 175 at the Twin Ring Motegi 1.549-mile oval set for 2:30 p.m. ET on the NBC Sports Network and www.indycar.com.

“Way back in 2007, I saw a booth at one of my karting events,” said Karam, the six-time Indy 500 starter. “It was the iRacing company showing how their product could help young drivers. Being a video ‘gamer,’ I looked on it and thought it could help my driving skills. I was moving from karts to open wheelers. And I have been involved with iRacing ever since.”

Sage immediately showed his iRacing skills in the first INDYCAR Challenge event at Watkins Glen International on April 4 with his dominating win, leading 43 of 45 laps. And he became like the “professor” for other drivers seeking assistance in the simulator action.

“I became friends of a lot of drivers I didn’t even know previously,” said Karam. “I was getting calls and texts from many guys who were just starting out in iRacing. I have tried to help as many as possible. It has been fun to help them. Some guys have experience at it and some hardly know how to start up a computer. But, with all of the drivers stuck in their house basically, the sim racing platform has been good for them and it’s great for the fans to watch something live as well. It’s a mixed bag of equipment for the drivers. Some guys have upscale sim rigs and other have very simple setups.”

The one area that has surprised Karam over his years competing in iRacing is the development of the car feel and the track surfaces. He cannot believe how close the conditions have become to real track conditions.

“It’s amazing how advanced the iRacing technology as come in the recent years,” he explains. “You can feel the bumps through your sim steering wheel and feel the difference in the track surfaces. Marbles from the tires can develop too as does the change in track grip. You see shadows on the track and glare in your car’s windscreen. It’s truly awesome.”

Karam believes the iRacing product is something all fans get to watch in live action in the tough Coronavirus pandemic timing. 

“Everyone is sitting in their homes and looking for things to watch in all sports in general,” Sage said. “The iRacing is a form of competition that has real drivers competing wheel to wheel. This is opportunity for fans to watch some good racing and the sponsors to gain exposure. Other sports can’t do that right now. We hope we are giving the fans some entertainment in these strange times.”

Karam also says that the current INDYCAR Challenge races are showing the fans how competitive iRacing can be with different race strategies and the difficulty to win a race.

“Like in real racing, you need to be bulletproof to get on the podium and to win a race,” he said. “And now the same holds true in iRacing. Many of the IndyCar teams are running different fuel strategies. That has happened in the last two races for the winner. A lot of people are taking this iRacing series very seriously.”

For Karam, he enjoys the fun of the competition as well as helping his racing skills while sheltered his Nazareth, Pa., home. But the IndyCar Challenge also has shown some possible future opportunities.

“I’ve already received calls from sponsors that are wanting to get on board with the iRacing program,” Sage said. “And they are talking to our DRR team about what’s after this sim racing. The possibilities of getting involved with the real race car because they have seen how exciting the racing is in IndyCar. It’s been really cool how the racing world has embraced iRacing and it’s great how it is growing.”

But for now, the former high school wrestling star is set to wrestle his No. 24 DRR WIX Filter Chevy around the tricky Twin Ring Motegi oval this Saturday afternoon.

“I have raced on Twin Ring Motegi a few times with my simulator,” he said. “But I was too young to race there in person, similar to the Michigan track last week. But I plan to practice and get ready to run up front again if possible. It’s a big field and the racing should be outstanding again this Saturday.”

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About Dreyer & Reinbold Racing: Dreyer & Reinbold Racing was founded in 1999 by Indianapolis car dealer Dennis Reinbold. The legacy of the Dreyer and Reinbold family dates back to the 1920s with Reinbold’s grandfather, the legendary Floyd “Pop” Dreyer, a former factory motorcycle racer. Dreyer served as a crewman and mechanic on the famed Duesenberg driven by Benny Shoaff and Babe Stapp in the 1927 Indy 500. Dreyer went on to build Indy 500 cars in the 1930s which many started on the front row. In addition, Dreyer constructed championship-winning sprint cars and midgets as well as quarter midgets called Dreyerettes. Dreyer & Reinbold Racing captured its first win in 2000 with driver Robbie Buhl at Walt Disney World Speedway in Orlando, Fla., and has fielded a variety of drivers including Buhl, Buddy Lazier, Sarah Fisher, Buddy Rice, Ryan Briscoe, Al Unser Jr., Townsend Bell and Sage Karam. Dreyer & Reinbold Racing has successfully qualified all 40 drivers for the Indy 500 in its history.  DRR, who campaigned in the Rallycross for the first time in 2015, captured the 2016 Lites championship in 2016. In 2019, DRR campaigned Karam, Hildebrand, Conner Marcell, Cole Keatts, Gray Ledbetter and Lane Vacala in the Lites division.

Sage Karam Set for Michigan Oval after Strong Road Course Run in INDYCAR iRacing Challenge at Watkins Glen & Barber in DRR WIX Filters Chevrolet

BROOKLYN, Mich. (April 9, 2020) – For Sage Karam, the winner of the inaugural INDYCAR iRacing Challenge event at Watkins Glen International, he was too young to ever compete at the fast, two-mile oval of Michigan International Speedway. 

But the 25-year-old driver of the No. 24 Dreyer & Reinbold Racing WIX Filters Chevrolet IndyCar still believes he knows what to expect this Saturday in the next round of the INDYCAR iRacing Challenge set 2:30 p.m. EDT on the NBC Sports Network and www.indycar.com.

Some of the wildest and most spectacular oval racing in IndyCar racing history has taken place at the Michigan oval in the real life 55 events (1968-2007). Karam thinks Saturday’s virtual racing event will give the racing fans another sensational wheel-to-wheel contest in the first oval race of the INDYCAR iRacing Challenge. 

“I never was able to race at Michigan,” said the Nazareth, PA racer. “I was too young then. But I did race at Fontana in 2015 and it’s a similar track, a two-mile oval. I got fifth there that year. I think Saturday’s race at MIS will be just like that Fontana race – pack racing. Anybody can win from any starting spot. I don’t think you want to lead until the last lap. Traffic will be heavy, and guys need to play it smart. It will be pretty wild.” 

Karam, an iRacing regular for over ten years, showed his virtual racing experience in the opening two road circuit events by winning the Watkins Glen International race and pole position and the pole position in the Barber Motorsports Park event. Sage has led 67 of 90 laps in the INDYCAR iRacing Challenge thus far. 

Now, heading to the MIS oval, Karam changes his philosophy with his race strategy. 

“In the two oval races, you wanted to be on the pole and lead as many laps as possible,” he said. “In the MIS race, it is very open. You can come from the back and win. Pack racing is very tough mentally too. You want to be aggressive but watch how the cars handle. I think you’ll see big packs at the beginning of a tire run. Then as the tires wear down, the handling of the car will be different, and you’ll see more single file racing. I still remember that Fontana race. It was crazy.”

Karam has a good record on various oval tracks in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES action including a third at Iowa Speedway (2015), fifth at California Speedway (2015), ninth in the Indy 500 (2014 as a rookie) plus leading at Pocono International Raceway (2015). In the Road to Indy open-wheel competition, Sage won six races oval races including four at Iowa.   

Karam have been practicing on several oval tracks this week in preparation for Saturday’s virtual oval battle, but also laments last week’s run at Barber. He led 24 laps of the 45-lap race, before being knocked out of the event on lap 29. 

“I have been able to run a couple of different oval tracks this week,” he said. “I have been racing on road courses more recently, so I need to get ready for MIS. I think our DRR WIX Filters Chevy will be strong again. That Barber race was tough to take because we had a car to win. Just didn’t get to the finish. I’d like to get back to the front again this Saturday.”

Sage Karam’s virtual cockpit for iRacing (Photo Courtesy of Dreyer & Reinbold Racing)
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SAGE KARAM DOMINATES INAUGURAL INDYCAR iRACING CHALLENGE RACE SATURDAY

IN NO. 24 DRR WIX FILTERS CHEVROLET AT WATKINS GLEN INT’L

25-year-old racer wins pole position, leads 43 of 45 laps in American Red Cross Grand Prix

WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. (March 28, 2020) – Young Sage Karam of Nazareth, Pa., dominated the inaugural INDYCAR iRacing Challenge race, the American Red Cross Grand Prix, Saturday in the No. 24 Dreyer & Reinbold Racing WIX Filters Chevrolet machine in the virtual racing NTT INDYCAR SERIES 45-lap event at the famed Watkins Glen International 3.4-mile, 11-turn road course.

Karam, the former Indy Lights and F2000 series champion, started from the pole position in the 24-car starting field and defeated Chip Ganassi Racing driver Felix Rosenqvist of Sweden by 3.6174 seconds with an average speed of 138.200 mile per hour in capturing the first INDYCAR iRacing Challenge race in 2020.

Due to the COVID-19 virus, the 2020 NTT INDYCAR SERIES was postponed now until June and the series competitors were forced to compete on simulators today in the virtual competition. Saturday’s event was the first of six races set in the INDYCAR iRacing Challenge. Next Saturday’s contest is set for Barber Motorsports Park.

Sage nipped Rosenqvist for the pole position earlier in the day with a time of one minute, 24.136 seconds with Will Power and Scott Speed placing third and fourth on the starting grid.

Karam grabbed the lead from the start and only lost the front spot due to two quick pit stops on laps 15 and 31. Karam admitted he was nervous entering today’s race as he wasn’t sure how the competition stacked up in the opening race.

“I think I was more nervous for today’s race than the Indy 500,” said Karam, a regular in the Lionheart iRacing Series. “I was pacing around the house six hours before the race. It’s so much different with no crowd and crew guys with you. It was just my girlfriend, Abby, and our two dogs, Fetty and Drake. I wasn’t sure what the rest of the field would be like in experience and speed. I had heard stories than guys stayed up all night practicing. I did a few qualifying simulation runs and one long stint this morning.”

In addition, another factor that is different for the iRacing event was the weather. There were thunderstorms in the Nazareth area during the race (4 p.m. to 5:10 p.m. EDT) and Karam thought his internet connection might get knocked off.

“As the race started, I could hear thunder and the rain coming down,” ha said. “I thought, ‘Oh no, my connection could bounce off my computer in the middle of the race.’ Luckily it stayed good throughout the race. I heard some of the guys in Indy had storms too and got disconnected.  You never think of that in a regular race.”

Karam has raced twice at the Watkins Glen International course during his career – in the Chip Ganassi Racing Prototype sports car and the Lexus GT3 sport car. This event was his first in an IndyCar (virtual) at the Watkins Glen circuit.

Saturday’s victory wasn’t without excitement for the 25-year-old former high school wrestling star.

“Late in the race, I was trying to get through traffic and Kyle Kirkwood spun right in front of me,” he said. “I wasn’t sure where he was going, and I just dove to the left side of the track. I barely missed him. That was a little too close for comfort. I know there was a lot of wild things going on behind me throughout the race.

I had a lot of fun today. It was great that we could give the fans something to watch. It’s the only sport that can be run like this (racing) right now. I’m very happy for WIX Filters, Mecum Auto Auction and the whole Dreyer & Reinbold Racing team. The No. 24 car looked really good on the track and even better out front. I’m pretty worn out right now. Especially mentally. But very happy to win.”

Trailing Karam and Rosenqvist at the finish of one-hour, 5-minute, 50-second race was Team Penske’s Will Power and Scott McLaughlin as well as Arrow McLaren SP’s Oliver Askew.

Power set the fastest race lap at 141.689 m.p.h. followed by Karam’s 141.611.

The next INDYCAR iRacing Challenge event is scheduled for Saturday, April 4, at 4 p.m. EDT at the Barber Motorsports Park 2.38-mile, 16-turn road track in Leeds, Ala.

####

About Dreyer & Reinbold Racing: Dreyer & Reinbold Racing was founded in 1999 by Indianapolis car dealer Dennis Reinbold. The legacy of the Dreyer and Reinbold family dates back to the 1920s with Reinbold’s grandfather, the legendary Floyd “Pop” Dreyer, a former factory motorcycle racer. Dreyer served as a crewman and mechanic on the famed Duesenberg driven by Benny Shoaff and Babe Stapp in the 1927 Indy 500. Dreyer went on to build Indy 500 cars in the 1930s which many started on the front row. In addition, Dreyer constructed championship-winning sprint cars and midgets as well as quarter midgets called Dreyerettes. Dreyer & Reinbold Racing captured its first win in 2000 with driver Robbie Buhl at Walt Disney World Speedway in Orlando, Fla., and has fielded a variety of drivers including Buhl, Buddy Lazier, Sarah Fisher, Buddy Rice, Ryan Briscoe, Al Unser Jr., Townsend Bell and Sage Karam. Dreyer & Reinbold Racing has successfully qualified all 40 drivers for the Indy 500 in its history.  DRR, who campaigned in the Rallycross for the first time in 2015, captured the 2016 Lites championship in 2016. In 2019, DRR campaigned Karam, Hildebrand, Conner Marcell, Cole Keatts, Gray Ledbetter and Lane Vacala in the Lites division.

DENNIS REINBOLD, Team Owner of Dreyer & Reinbold Racing, Statement on the passing of former DRR driver John Andretti

  

DENNIS REINBOLD, Team Owner of Dreyer & Reinbold Racing, Statement on the passing of former DRR driver John Andretti:

 CARMEL, Ind. (Jan. 31, 2020) – Statement by Dennis Reinbold, team owner of Dreyer & Reinbold Racing, on the passing of former DRR Indy 500 driver John Andretti. Andretti drove for DRR in the 2009 Indy 500 in an association with Richard Petty Motorsports and John’s longtime partner, Window World.

“John’s passing is very difficult to comprehend right now, as he has been a close friend for many years. John was so upbeat and so strong throughout his cancer battle, demonstrating great strength, spirit and compassion as he did throughout my entire friendship and working relationship with him. I first met John back in 1984 through our mutual BMW association and knew of his passion to race in the Indy 500. On behalf of our whole Dreyer & Reinbold Racing team, I want to extend my condolences and prayers to Nancy, Jarett, Olivia, Amelia and the entire Andretti family during this challenging time. John was a standard bearer for the city of Indianapolis with his tireless effort to raise funds for Riley Hospital for Children. His legacy in Indy and the motorsports world will continue for decades to come. God Speed, my friend.”

 

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