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Race 2 of INDYCAR Harvest GP Doubleheader at IMS

Karam, Dreyer & Reinbold Racing Oil2Soil Chevrolet Takes 24th in Saturday’s Race 2 in INDYCAR Harvest GP Doubleheader at IMS

Team learns more data in second road racing weekend in 2020 NTT INDYCAR SERIES


INDIANAPOLIS (Oct. 3, 2020) – The learning curve for the Dreyer & Reinbold Racing on the road circuits continue to improve for the Carmel, Ind.-based IndyCar Series operation with driver Sage Karam taking the No. 24 DRR Oil2Soil Chevrolet to a 24th place finish Saturday in the second INDYCAR Harvest GP doubleheader event at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

After a seven-year absence from road racing competition, DRR made its return to the left and right hand corners with appearances at the IMS INDYCAR Grand Prix on July 4 as well as this week with Friday and Saturday feature events at the 2.439-mile, 14-turn road circuit inside the historic 2.5-mile “Brickyard” oval track.

After a tough run to 23rd in Friday’s 85-lap NTT INDYCAR SERIES main event, the nine-time road race starter returned to action Saturday with a morning qualifying session and an afternoon 75-lap race. For Karam, the 25-year-old Nazareth, Pa., racer, more road racing laps at IMS were important after having just single digit road races in his seven-year IndyCar career.

The former Indy Lights and F2000 series champion worked overnight with his team’s engineers to improve the handling of the DRR Oil2Soil Chevy and Sage put in quicker laps in Saturday’s qualifying from Thursday’s time trials. In the first laps of qualifying, Karam clocked the sixth quickest time and the pit crew threw on new Firestone red tires for a second effort. In those timed runs, Sage recorded a one minute, 9.91 seconds to put him third on the timing sheet when he pulled into the pits in the Group 1 qualifying.

Unfortunately, not all of the competitors had completed their final laps and, at the checkered flag, Karam was listed at 11th. That meant Sage would start on the 11th row in the afternoon feature race.

Starting 22nd in the 75-lapper, Karam improved three spots by lap ten. He pitted on lap 25 with new Firestone black (primary) tires to get better wear throughout the second stint. He also drove on the primary rubber in the final 24 laps to the finish and took the checkered flag in 24th position.

Amazingly, all 160 laps in Friday and Saturday racing were run under green flag conditions. Not one full course yellow period occurred in the two races.

“While the results didn’t show it today, our Oil2Soil Chevy was much better in qualifying and the race from Thursday and Friday,” said Karam. “We made some changes overnight that helped the race car. It’s tough out there. We ran P3 in qualifying today and, I pulled into the pits and looked at the time sheet, and I’m 11th. Wow, this series is very difficult. In the race, we tried the Firestone red tires and the car wasn’t as good as on the Firestone blacks. Later in the race, I was running very competitive laps but we lost a lot early. Our pit stops were very good today.

“The big thing for the DRR team, who is just getting back into road racing after a seven-year layoff, is that we learned quite a bit with the doubleheader race weekend. We lost some valuable time on Thursday in practice when we had a fuel pressure issue. But we will take the info and study it for the future races.”

Will Power captured Saturday’s 75-lap Harvest GP race over Colton Herta, Alexander Rossi, Friday winner Josef Newgarden and Pato O’Ward.

Race 1 of INDYCAR Harvest GP at Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Karam Takes No. 24 DRR Oil2Soil Chevy to 23rd in Saturday’s

Race 1 of INDYCAR Harvest GP at Indianapolis Motor Speedway

A few pit stop issues hurt Sage’s chances in the team’s 2nd road race in 7 years

INDIANAPOLIS (Oct. 2, 2020) – Returning to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the third time in 2020, the Dreyer & Reinbold Racing team prepared their new No. 24 DRR Oil2Soil Chevrolet for driver Sage Karam with a different strategy entering Friday’s 85-lap INDYCAR Harvest GP at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Friday’s INDYCAR Harvest GP was the second road racing event for Dreyer & Reinbold Racing in the last seven years. And the Friday main event was Karam’s ninth career NTT INDYCAR SERIES start.

Starting 21st on the 25-car grid at the 2.439-mile, 14-turn IMS road circuit, Karam, the 25-year-old Nazareth, Pa., driver, made a good start at the green flag and picked off several positions on the opening lap. Unfortunately, Sage’s mount was knocked off the racing surface on lap four when Charlie Kimball drove into the Oil2Soil machine. When Karam returned to the track, he was listed in 25th.

The DRR crew took a different and pitted Sage on lap nine to replace the Firestone black tires to the alternate red rubber. Karam climbed his position to 19th before the next pit stop.

A few pit stop issues hurt Karam’s chances later in the race and he took the checkered flag in the 23rd spot. In the late stages of Friday’s Harvest GP, Sage recorded faster laps then some of the top-ten finishers which gives him confidence going into Saturday’s 75-mile feature set for 2:30 p.m. EDT. Saturday’s Harvest GP will be televised live on NBC-TV.

“Actually, we got a good start and made up a few positions early,” said karam. “Then Charlie (Kimball) hit me off the track around lap four. He came over after the race and apologized. I was surprised by it that early in the race. Then we had a couple of weird issues on a few pit stops that hurt us. Our strategy for the race was pretty good when we pitted early (lap 9). We got off the black Firestones and onto the reds. The Oil2Soil Chevy then ran some pretty solid laps. In the last stint, we put on sticker black tires and the car really ran well. But we were too far back with the early problems.

“Now, we’ll concentrate on Saturday’s qualifying and the race. The fuel pressure issue on Thursday kept us back from a full practice. That cost us some precious track time. We need all the track time we can get right now as a part time team.”

Josef Newgarden won Friday’s event over Alexander Rossi, Rinus VeeKay, Colton Herta and Felix Rosenqvist.  

Sage Karam, DRR Oil2Soil Chevy Back at IMS Thursday for 1st INDYCAR Harvest GP Race with Limited Practice

Fuel Pressure issue hurts Karam’s practice runs in DRR Oil2Soil Chevrolet

INDIANAPOLIS (Oct. 1, 2020) – Sage Karam was anxious to return to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for third time in 2020, his second action on the fast 2.439-mile, 14-turn road circuit. Sporting a new livery with his No. 24 Dreyer & Reinbold Racing Oil2Soil Chevrolet IndyCar, Sage came to Indy ready to fight in the INDYCAR Harvest GP Doubleheaders on Friday and Saturday.

However, a fuel pressure issue with Karam’s race car in the early afternoon first practice round hurt his expectations for a strong qualifying effort late Thursday afternoon.

With very limited practice (11 laps), Sage entered the 12-minute Race 1 qualifications having not run the faster Firestone Red tires on the IMS road course yet on Thursday. Chevrolet personnel and the DRR crew found the problem just a few minutes before qualifying and rolled the DRR Oil2Soil Chevy to its pit position.

With just two laps on the Firestone Reds, Karam drove his mount to a minute, 10.6224 seconds for an average speed of 124.329 miles per hour. Sage will start 21st in Friday’s 85-lap Harvest GP Race 1 which is set to take the green flag at 4 p.m. EDT. The event will be televised on the USA Network.

Saturday’s on-track activities will include a 30-minute qualifying session set for 10:20 a.m. EDT with a 2:30 p.m. 75-lap main event for the Harvest GP Race 2.

“Qualifying was better than in July,” said Karam, the former Indy Lights and F2000 series champion. “I would love to be better that 21st. I thought we might be better but we had a fuel pressure issue in practice.  That cost us almost 3/4 of the session. We never got to run on the Firestone Red tires, so it was a blind shot going into qualifying. The car felt good in qualifying but I was a little frustrated. I would try too hard and miss a bit of a corner. I’d say, ‘Rats, it cost me a tenth here and a tenth there.’ Unfortunately with the Red tires, you get one shot for a good lap.

“Not having the ability to run in the full practice session really hurt us. It’s a doubleheader weekend luckily and we learned from this qualifying. We’ll be ready for Saturday qualifying now. Friday’s race is longer than Saturday and it gives us a different strategy.  In July, our race car was good and we had some bad luck with the yellow flag session. I think we have a pretty good race car after our runs during the July race. We hope we get a few breaks for Friday’s race too.”

Friday’s Harvest GP will be Karam’s ninth career road racing start in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES. It marks the DRR team’s second start in the past seven years. Karam drove to 23rd position in the July 4 INDYCAR GP here at IMS.

Karam & Dreyer & Reinbold Racing Set for IMS Road Course Return This Weekend in No. 24 DRR Oil2SoilR Chevrolet at Harvest GP

INDIANAPOLIS (Sept. 29, 2020) – Driver Sage Karam and his Dreyer & Reinbold Racing team are anxious to hit the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for a third time in the INDYCAR Harvest GP doubleheader this weekend (Oct. 1-3) in the No. 24 DRR Oil2Soil® Chevrolet.

In July at the INDYCAR GP, the Dennis Reinbold-owned DRR organization made its first IndyCar road appearance in seven years when Karam competed in the 75-lap feature on the 2.439-mile, 13-turn road circuit inside the famed “Brickyard” oval track. Despite limited time (one practice, one qualifying and one warmup) during the two-day event, Karam was able to produce solid numbers in the Chevy-powered Dallara machine.

In fact, in the 30-minute Saturday warmup, the 25-year-old racer from Nazareth, PA, recorded the sixth quickest lap and later ran a top-12 race lap in the Saturday afternoon feature. Unfortunately, an ill-timed caution flag hurt Karam’s chance for a top-ten finish in the race. Now Sage is enjoying coming into this weekend’s doubleheader contests.

“Back in July, it was the team’s first road race in seven years,” said Karam, the former Indy Lights and F2000 series champion. “So we had a lot to learn in trying to catch up with the other teams. Plus the heat was a factor. That won’t be the case this weekend. We did get our setups going in the right direction. We were sixth in warmup and we had a top-12 race lap too. Now, we have a good starting point when we hit the track this Thursday. We don’t have much time on track, so we want to be ready to go.”

Sage’s limited IndyCar road racing career (just eight races in seven years) doesn’t show his past road racing successes including 10 road victories in the ‘Road to Indy” series including F2000 and Indy Lights as well as strong showings in the IMSA sports car competition in the past eight years.

Now, Karam brings the brightly-colored DRR Oil2Soil Chevy to the “Brickyard” in hopes of a solid performance in cooler Fall temperatures after 90-degree heat in July at IMS.

“This weekend at the Harvest GP will be special since we get to return to the greatest race track in the world. Usually we are only there in May. In this strange 2020, we will be at IMS in July, August and October. So that is quite a treat for all of the drivers and teams. For DRR, we are anxious to get back to the IMS road course too. I feel confident coming back to Indy since the first road race in July.”

All three of Karam’s 2020 NTT INDYCAR SERIES races will be contested at IMS after Reinbold initially announced his intent to expand his team’s schedule from a “Indy 500” program. However, the team’s expansion was stopped due to COVID-19 Pandemic starting at the St. Petersburg Grand Prix in March.

“We are pleased to be back at IMS this weekend,” said Reinbold, whose family racing heritage at IMS dates back to 1927 with his grandfather, Floyd “Pop” Dreyer serving as a crewman on the Duesenberg team. “We had plans to compete in additional races in 2020 and we even got our race car through tech inspection at St. Petersburg when the race was postponed. We ran the WIX Filters Chevy in July and August with Sage and now we are coming back in October with Oil2Soil. We are excited to see how Sage and the team performs with the earlier road race for experience.”

Oil2Soil®, the quickest, most cost-effective and environmentally friendly absorbent for oil and lubricant cleanup, will make its first major partnership for DRR this weekend. More information about Oil2Soil and their family of products can be found at www.oil2soil.com.

NTT INDYCAR SERIES action begins this Thursday (Oct. 1) at 2:25 p.m. EDT with the opening practice round. Qualifying is set for 6:20 p.m. EDT. Friday’s 85-lap feature is scheduled for a 4 p.m. green flag start on the USA television network with Saturday’s 75-lap main event at 2:30 p.m. EDT on NBC-TV.

The INDYCAR Harvest GP event will also include the SRO America sports cars and the Indianapolis 8 Hour race as part of the Intercontinental GT Challenge Powered by Pirelli on Oct. 4.

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Dreyer & Reinbold Racing Returns to IMS for the Third Time in 2020 With No. 24 Oil2Soil® Entry for Sage Karam in INDYCAR Harvest GP

Organic Peat Moss Oil Absorbent Makes 1st IMS Appearance As DRR Primary Partner 


INDIANAPOLIS (Sept. 22, 2020) – Dreyer & Reinbold Racing today announced its entry for the Oct. 2-3 INDYCAR Harvest GP doubleheader weekend at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in rounds 12-13 of the 2020 NTT INDYCAR SERIES with new partner, Oil2Soil®, on the No. 24 DRR Chevrolet for driver Sage Karam.

It marks the third 2020 appearance for the Dreyer & Reinbold Racing team at the legendary “Brickyard” racing facility with its entry at the 2.439-mile, 13-turn road circuit inside the famed 2.5-mile oval. The INDYCAR Harvest GP also will be the third weekend for the NTT INDYCAR SERIES at IMS with a doubleheader road racing event.

DRR previously announced its expansion of an Indy 500-only racing program when the team competed at the INDYCAR GP with the No. 24 DRR WIX Filters Chevrolet and driver Sage Karam. For the past six years, DRR has competed only at the Indianapolis 500. From 2000 to 2013, the Dennis Reinbold-owned organization competed in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES full-time.

Oil2Soil®is the quickest, most cost-effective and environmentally friendly absorbent for oil and lubricant cleanup, offering numerous loose fill and spill kit products. Oil2Soil® products are extremely effective in absorbing oils and hydrocarbons, while offering savings in areas of time, labor and waste disposal costs. Oil2Soil® is excellent for oil spills, automotive lubricants, garages, shops, and paint spills.  The Harvest GP will be the first major partnership for DRR with Oil2Soil® Organic Peat Moss Absorbents at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. More information about Oil2Soil and their family of products can be found at www.oil2soil.com.

Driver Sage Karam competed at the INDYCAR GP on July 4 and DRR campaigned two cars with Karam and J.R. Hildebrand in the 104th running of the Indianapolis 500 on August 23.

“Earlier this year, we announced our team would run more races in 2020,” said Reinbold. “We were at St. Petersburg ready for that event when the COVID-19 closed that weekend for the race. We then came back at the INDYCAR GP for our first road race in seven years. I think we learned a lot about the road course car and looked to run another race. So, the Harvest GP doubleheader fit in well for our operation and we’re excited to introduce Oil2Soil to IndyCar racing. Sage also improved throughout the July 4 weekend and we believe he will have strong runs at the Harvest GP.  We look forward to the two-race weekend at IMS.”

Karam is anxious for his return to the IMS road circuit after the July 4 event.

“I’m very excited to return for the Harvest GP at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway with Oil2Soil as a primary partner,” said Karam, the 2013 Indy Lights champion. “The DRR team did a great job preparing for its first road race in seven years and we improved each session we had at the July 4 INDYCAR GP. We had bad luck in the race, but I think we showed that we gained speed with the No. 24 DRR Chevy. Our goal is to qualifying better from the July race. It was a physical race in July with the new aeroscreen and the hot temperatures. It will be cooler in October. I can’t wait to hit the IMS road course again.”  

The Dreyer and Reinbold families have a storied history at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway dating back to 1927 when Reinbold’s grandfather, Floyd ‘Pop’ Dreyer, was a crewman in the Indy 500 for the Duesenberg team.  The INDYCAR Harvest GP doubleheader also pays tribute to a storied IMS event, the “Harvest Classic” held in September of 1916.

The Harvest Classic was the only racing event held outside of May at IMS from 1911 through 1993. The event featured three races, all won by legendary driver Johnny Aitken.

The INDYCAR Harvest GP event will also include the SRO America sports cars and the Indianapolis 8 Hour race as part of the Intercontinental GT Challenge Powered by Pirelli on Oct. 4. A full on-track schedule spanning Wednesday, Sept. 30 to Sunday, Oct. 4 is available at IMS.com/HarvestGP.

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HILDEBRAND, KARAM PREPARE FOR 104TH INDY 500 ON CARB DAY AS THE DRR DRIVERS MAKE ADJUSTMENTS WITH THEIR RACE CARS

JR posts Salesforce Chevy at 219.727, Sage at 219.396 in WIX Filters Chevy


SPEEDWAY, Ind. (August 21, 2020) – Needless to say, Friday’s annual “Carb Day” action at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway was unusual with no race fans on hand.

Minus the popular Pit Stop Challenge and the Rock concert in the IMS infield, the two-hour “Carb Day” practice session was action-packed for all 33 drivers and teams under bright blue skies as preparations continued for the 104th Indianapolis 500 Mile Race in the strange August 23 race date.

For Dreyer & Reinbold Racing’s J.R. Hildebrand and Sage Karam, the two racers looked to improve on their race settings from last Sunday’s practice runs when they showed solid performances with the No. 67 DRR Salesforce Chevrolet and No. 24 DRR WIX Filters Chevrolet respectively. 

Back at the famed 2.5-mile oval Friday, Hildebrand, the 32-year-old driver from Boulder, Colo., continued to improve his car’s setup with a best speed of 219.727 miles per hour in a 44-lap session in the No. 67 Salesforce machine. Meanwhile, Karam, the 25-year-old racer from Nazareth, Pa., and his WIX Filters crew got aggressive on settings early in the two-hour practice.

Chief engineer Jeff Britton, crew chief Pat Nelson and the No. 24 crew took the race car back to the DRR garages in “Gasoline Alley” to make the proper adjustments and return to last Sunday’s race settings.

With 45 minutes remaining, Karam returned to the track and look much more comfortable at the controls of his WIX Filters car with a top speed of 219.396 m.p.h. with a total 38 laps.

Later in “Carb Day” runs, both DRR squads worked on their “in and out” pit laps and pit stops to conclude Friday activities. 

Sunday’s 104th Indy 500 is set to begin this Sunday, August 23, at 2:30 p.m. and will be televised live on NBC-TV.

JR HILDEBRAND, #67 DRR SALESFORCE CHEVROLET

“We worked hard today on in and out laps and pit stops, as those will help us gain spots in the race. We are getting closer to what will work best on the car on race day. We would like to have a car that is in our window to make adjustments throughout the race. Today were great track conditions. I’m not sure that Sunday will be this cool. We have run in track temps over 120 and 125 degrees. So, we know what our cars can do in that heat. If Sunday is hotter, it doesn’t concern me since we ran well in the hotter condition. I hope some guys are overly confident with their cars today because a hotter track could affect them more than us. Overall, we learned more again today with our race car.”

SAGE KARAM, #24 DRR WIXFILTERS CHEVROLET

We rolled out with a bit more understeer than we had on Sunday. We just overshot our setups this morning. We went back to the garage then and put on last Sunday’s setup and felt a lot better at the end of the practice. I was able to run up on people and stay with them. Towards the end, I got in the gray and skimmed the wall in Turn Four. It didn’t do much to the car. We ran through some fuel settings and different mixtures to prepare for Sunday. We practiced in and out laps and had some excellent pit stops from the WIX Filters crew. As usual, they will help me pick up spots in the pits. They are always able to gain two or three positions on pit stops. I felt comfortable getting into the pit box and the crew is fast and consistent. I’m sure that will be the case Sunday too.”

DRR PIT CREWS ARE A ‘FAMILY AFFAIR’ IN THE 2020 INDY 500 WITH SELMANS, SHARPLEYS ‘OVER THE WALL’ THIS SUNDAY

Chase, Cody & Wayne Selman on 24 Car, Dave & Jeremy Sharpley on 67 car

SPEEDWAY, Ind. (August 16, 2020) – Most Indy 500 racing fans know about the legacy of the Dreyer and Reinbold families at the Indianapolis 500. That legacy dates back to 1927 with the family patriarch Floyd “Pop” Dreyer and now his grandson and Dreyer & Reinbold Racing team owner Dennis Reinbold.

But, in this year’s Indy 500, the DRR team extends its “family affair” to the respective pit crews of drivers Sage Karam with the No. 24 WIX Filters Chevrolet and J.R. Hildebrand with the No. 67 Salesforce Chevrolet.

Wayne, Cody and Chase Selman will be over the wall Sunday for Karam’s crew, while Dave and Jeremy Sharpley will be on Hildebrand’s pit crew.

The three Selman’s.

On Karam’s pit crew in Sunday’s 104th “Greatest Spectacle in Racing,” the Selman family will be back in action when pit stops begin in the 200-lap motorsports classic.

Wayne Selman, Cody and Chase’s father, returns to going over the wall in 2020 after being a fuel man in pit crews for over 20 years in IndyCar racing, in both the CART and NTT INDYCAR SERIES competition. With the initial season of the aeroscreens, Wayne will be the crewman on Karam’s car to remove tear offs from the cockpit aeroscreen.

Chase, the DRR team manager, will change the right rear tire on the No. 24 machine Sunday while older brother Cody, a longtime tire changer and local businessman now, will serve as the left rear tire changer when Sage pulls into his pit stop at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Wayne Selman, a former motorcycle racer, has been a veteran crew member for nearly 30 years and his boys always were at the races with their dad. They were big IndyCar Racing fans and wanted to follow in their father’s footsteps on pit stops and the motorsports business.

“We would take the boys to the races and even sneak them into the garage area or pits,” says Wayne, who handles the team’s tire management as well as driving the DRR semi-truck to the races. “They wanted to be a part of the team. Once they graduated from college (Cody at Hanover University and Chase at Indiana University), they both wanted to enter the racing world. Cody went to Charlotte to work in marketing for NASCAR teams and sponsors, while Chase followed Wayne to Dennis’ team as a marketing person. Later, Chase became the team manager at age 25 and now, at age 34, is still one of the youngest team managers in all of motorsports. 

“Cody used to ride in the semi-truck with my dad to the race,” said Chase. “Then when he went to college, I did that during the summers going to the races with my dad. It was a great experience and we got racing in our blood.”

Cody and his wife, Fox TV commentator Jamie Little, recently opened a “Nothing Bundt Cakes” store in the Indianapolis area but he still comes to the Indy 500 each year as a tire changer for his younger brother’s team.

“We always wanted to go over the wall and be a part of the pit crew as kids,” says Cody, 36. “So, when it was time to do it, my dad was the fueler and I wanted to change tires. The 38-pound rear tire can be heavy by the end of the 500, but it is fun and I really enjoy it. It’s great to be back with my dad and brother on the same pit crew.”

For the Sharpleys, like the Selmans, racing is in their blood as well. Father Dave grew up in Pennsylvania and became a mechanic on the famed “PA Posse” sprint car circuit. Dave moved his family to Indiana to work on IndyCars around 2000 and now runs his own racing business in Pittsboro, Ind.

Dave and Jeremy Sharpley

Dave is crew chief on the No. 67 Hildebrand-driven machine in this year’s 500 Mile Race after many years with Andretti Autosport team in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES.

Jeremy was a college hockey star before moving to Charlotte and working for several top NASCAR teams in their shock department. Most recently, Jeremy worked for the Penske teams in NASCAR and IndyCar. To be closer to his family, Jeremy took a “normal” job and assists his dad in the racing parts side.

“I started back in the sprint cars and then came to Indiana for the IndyCar series,” says Dave Sharpley. “Jeremy would come to the races as a youngster too. He didn’t major in mechanical engineering in college when he played hockey. But he began working in the sport. Now, we are back together at the Indy 500. It is very fun as a family. I loved the family-type atmosphere at Dreyer & Reinbold Racing too.”

On Sunday, Dave Sharpley will change the right front tire on Hildebrand’s car, while son Jeremy will change the left front tire during the pit stop action.

“It is great to back at the Indy 500 and to be working with my dad,” said Jeremy, who racing motorcycles as a youngster. “I have a normal 8-to-5 job now at Charlotte and I help my dad on some of his racing business too. But being back at the Indy 500 this year is a thrill and especially working with my dad. He is a great crew chief and it’s fun to work for him.”

This Friday, in Carb Day, the Selmans and Sharpleys will be focused on their pit stop duties in the two-hour practice as they prepare for Sunday’s Indy 500. And it’s only natural that the Dreyer & Reinbold Racing team will continue its family legacy at Indy with two more families being a large part of its Indy 500 contingent.

The 104th Indy 500 is schedule to begin Sunday, Aug. 23, at 2:30 p.m. and will be televised live on NBC-TV.

HILDEBRAND, KARAM PUT IN SOLID LAPS IN RACE TRIM SUNDAY IN IMS INDY 500 FINAL PRACTICE WITH JR AT 221.852, SAGE AT 220.826

Sunday afternoon practice pleases DRR drivers in preparation for Indy 500

SPEEDWAY, Ind. (August 16, 2020) – J.R. Hildebrand and Sage Karam will admit that Saturday’s qualifying performances by the Dreyer & Reinbold Racing duo at the Indianpolis Motor Speedway for the 104th Indianapolis 500 Mile Race were not something they were not thrilled about.

The former Indy Lights champions quickly changed their attitudes Sunday afternoon in the final round of Indy 500 practice at the historic 2.5-mile oval track with solid runs in their cars’ race trim. Karam will start 31st and Hildebrand 32nd in the 200-lap racing classis next Sunday, August 23.

Hildebrand, the 2011 Indy 500 Rookie of the Year from Boulder, Colo., rolled out in his No. 67 DRR Salesforce Chevrolet Dallara machine Sunday in impressive style with solid full tank runs recording 73 laps and best speed of 221.852 miles per hour. The California native worked hard with engineer Erik Petersen, crew chief Dave Sharpley and the entire DRR crew to find a proper direction for their race car as the Indy 500 on August 23 approaches. And JR says the team definitely find that direction on Sunday afternoon.

The same holds for Karam, the 25-year-old driver from Nazareth, Pa., came back Sunday afternoon in his No. 24 DRR WIX Filters Chevrolet Dallara with excellent drives through the large groups of cars in the practice. Sage says he felt more comfortable in race car Sunday than he has in the past two years at IMS and credits engineer Jeff Britton, crew chief Pat Nelson and his WIX Filters team for the improvements. Sage clocked in 91 laps Sunday with top speed of 220.826 m.p.h.

Qualifying for the ‘Fast Nine” and the coveted pole position was held Sunday with Marco Andretti claiming the top spot with a 231.068 m.p.h. four-lap average. Marco’s pole was the first Andretti Indy 500 pole since his grandfather Mario captured the No. 1 qualifying slot in 1987.

The 104th Indy 500 is set to start Sunday, August 23, at 2:30 p.m. and will be shown live on NBC-TV.

The famed “Carb Day” practice runs take place on Friday, August 21, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. EDT.

JR HILDEBRAND, No. 67 DRR SALESFORCE CHEVROLET

“We crunched hard trying to figure out how to take some bigger sweeps at the setups today. And the guys definitely did a good job at it. Right out of the box the car was definitely an improvement from earlier in the week. We made some good changes in race trim. We could get in a pack of cars and feel racey. It felt very good on full fuel and new tires. We have much more of a direction for the race setup and we’ll work hard on Carb Day too. We’ll use all two hours on Friday to get prepared. For us, it’s all a test session until the green flag drops next Sunday. We had some impressive pit stops today too with our practice stops. I wouldn’t expect anything less out of these guys. We are trying everything to move up. Working on in laps, out laps, pit stops, etc.”

SAGE KARAM, No. 24 DRR WIX FILTERS CHEVROLET

“We basically did a lot of traffic running today. We made a lot of overnight changes from the qualifying car as well as working with the data we gather earlier in the week. We took giant leaps forward today. I was much more comfortable around here today than I have been here in the last two years. I think we have a good long run car too. As the run goes, we get stronger as others fall off. I was able to pass some cars today. We haven’t been able to do that much earlier. We did good practice pit stops today. It was good for me to charge the cones at pit entry and get settled in on that entry. We didn’t go for speed, just being comfortable in a big train of cars. I hope the weather stays the same on race day because our car feels very good right now. The DRR guys always give us good cars for the race. I think there were a lot of cars sliding around this afternoon, but our cars were solid.”

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KARAM, HILDEBRAND QUALIFY FOR 2020 INDY 500 FIELD SATURDAY AS 42 DRR MACHINES MAKE INDY 500 LINEUPS IN TEAM’S 20-YEAR HISTORY

Fighting track temps at 125 or higher, Sage goes 227.099, JR at 226.341

SPEEDWAY, Ind. (August 15, 2020) – Sage Karam and J.R. Hildebrand became the 41st and 42nd drivers to qualify for Dreyer & Reinbold Racing in the famed Indianapolis 500 when they drove their Chevrolet-powered machines into the 33-car field Saturday at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The 104th Indy 500 is set to start Sunday, August 23, at 2:30 p.m. at the historic 2.5-mile oval west of downtown Indianapolis.

While the Dreyer & Reinbold family legacy at IMS goes back to 1927 with Dennis Reinbold’s grandfather, Floyd “Pop” Dreyer, Reinbold’s own IndyCar team history at the “Brickyard” now includes over 20 years at the track just a mile and a half away from where Dennis grew up.

The DRR duo again battled the tricky 125-plus degree track surface temperatures Sunday in qualifying which hampered their speeds.

Karam, now in his seventh Indy 500 lineup, drove the No. 24 DRR WIX Filters Chevrolet Dallara car to a four-lap average speed of 227.099 miles per hour with clockings of 227.609, 227.267, 226.940 and 226.583. The 25-year-old Nazareth, Pa., driver will start 31st in the 200-lap “Greatest Spectacle in Racing.”

Hildebrand, the 32-year-old racer from Boulder, Colo., will start 32nd next Sunday in the No. 67 DRR Salesforce Chevrolet Dallara machine following a four-lap averaged speed of 226.341 m.p.h. The California native recorded lap speeds of 228.594, 225.328, 225.980 and 225.494.

Positions 10 through 33 were locked in Saturday for next Sunday’s 104th edition of the Indy 500, while the fastest nine qualifiers will compete tomorrow in the “Fast Nine” qualifying for the pole position. A two-and-half hour practice session for all qualifiers is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday afternoon.

The final Indy 500 practice, known as “Carb Day” is set for next Friday, August 21, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. EDT.

The 104th Indy 500 takes place on Sunday, Aug. 23, starting at 2:30 p.m. EDT and will be televised live on NBC-TV. Pre-race activities for NBC will begin at 1 p.m. EDT.

SAGE KARAM, #24 DRR WIX FILTERS CHEVROLET – 227.099 MPH 4-LAP AVERAGE

“We wanted to be better today. Around lap 2 we ended up blistering a tire and that made the car pretty loose. I just stayed flat (on the throttle) and made the best of it. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough today. We missed the first lap speed because the car didn’t fell off that badly. We wanted a few more mile per hour on lap one. We have started in the back before and worked our way up. We are going to focus on how to make the race car platform better. Our race setup is definitely more comfortable than the qual setup. And our DRR WIX team is real good in the pits as well. I know this race is going to come down to track position. In laps and out laps are going to be huge. Obviously, pit stops are extremely important. I’ve never worried about my pit crew. Despite being an Indy-only crew most of the time, they work year-around on pit stops in the shop. We always pick up positions on pit stops. If we get are in position to improve on the track, I know that the crew will gain us spots in the pits too.”

JR HILDEBRAND, #67 DRR SALESFORCE CHEVROLET – 226.341 MPH 4-LAP AVERAGE

“I wasn’t psyched about being the last qualifier today. We know how the track gets later in qualifying and, after 115 or 120 degrees track surface, it starts to get really slick out there. We knew that after Friday’s practice in the afternoon and it was 127 on my qualifying run today.  The car feels good in race trim but once we started trimming out the car, we have been struggling. It’s a bum draw for sure today. The crew guys have been working super hard to improve our cars throughout practice and qualifying. I felt good about the first lap in the heat with a 228.5 (m.p.h.) but the conditions were different in turns one and two from three and four. I did have a big moment on the second lap in turn one. The focus now is on the race and I feel that our setups are good. We’ll try to improve on some of those settings in Sunday afternoon practice. If we have a good car in the race, we can move up. It’s 500 miles after all.”   

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KARAM, HILDEBRAND PREPARE FOR SATURDAY’S INDY 500 QUALIFICATIONS WITH HOTTER CONDITIONS ON “FAST FRIDAY” PRACTICE RUNS

With more turbo boost, JR posts a 228.275 with Sage at 228.187 MPH

SPEEDWAY, Ind. (August 14, 2020) – Drivers Sage Karam and J.R. Hildebrand knew when the Indianapolis 500 was moved to August earlier this year that hotter conditions would be a major aspect at the historic Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

And the Dreyer & Reinbold Racing pilots found that out in the “Fast Friday” practice round with air temperature at 88 degrees and the track surface at 130. Conditions proved to be difficult in the afternoon for the majority of the 33 cars and drivers. In addition, the engine manufacturers were allowed more turbocharger boost and speeds jumped from Wednesday and Thursday practice readings.

For Karam, the 25-year-old from Nazareth, Pa., he went out in the late morning practice and posted a best speed of 228.187 miles per hour in the No. 24 DRR WIX Filters Chevrolet. With the hotter temperatures, Karam’s DRR WIX Filters crew decided to limit his practice laps to just 34 Friday.  On Saturday, Sage will make the 11th qualifying run when time trials begin at 11 a.m. EDT at IMS.

Hildebrand, the 2011 Indy 500 runner-up from Boulder, Colo., completed 37 laps in the No. 67 DRR Salesforce Chevrolet with a top speed of 228.275 m.p.h. J.R. will be the last qualifier on Saturday before the 33-car field will be able to make additional attempts to improve their four-lap average speed.  

Positions 10 through 33 will be secured at 4:50 p.m. EDT Saturday with the fastest nine qualifiers returning on Sunday in a “Fast Nine” qualifying for the coveted pole position. A two-and-half hour practice session for all 33 qualifiers is set for 3:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday afternoon.

The final Indy 500 practice is scheduled for Friday, August 21, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. EDT in the famed “Carb Day” runs.

The 104th Indy 500 takes place on Sunday, Aug. 23, starting at 2:30 p.m. EDT and will be televised live on NBC-TV. Pre-race activities for NBC will begin at 1 p.m. EDT.

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

“Conditions deteriorated as the day went on. But it’s the same for everyone and Saturday looks to be similar weather. Looks like Honda rolled out a pretty good unit for qualifying. I still feel really good about our race pace right now. I know Chevy will do everything they can overnight, but it looks like the Honda cars might have a bit of an edge right now. From our perspective, I feel very good about how the team has worked together. Sage and I have been communicating well too. We haven’t found the ‘sweet’ spot for qualifying and we’ll try some things in the morning. It will be tough for everyone and I will try to stick the best number I can when it’s my turn.”

SAGE KARAM – No. 24 DRR WIX FILTERS CHEVROLET

“It was an up and down day for our team. We did a qual run in the beginning of the day and it went really well. We came back to the garage and waited for the track temperature to go up. We were trying to cover all of the bases if we had a later qualifying draw. We struggled in the heat a little bit in the afternoon. But, thankfully, we got a good draw for qualifying with our crew chief Pat Nelson picking the No. 11. Hopefully that can be transparent of our morning runs today. We’ll look at some things tonight but, overall, we had good runs with our setup. We learned a lot today. We’ll take what we learned and apply it to Saturday’s qualifying.”

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