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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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HILDEBRAND, KARAM CONCENTRATE ON RACE SETTINGS THURSDAY AS THEY LEARN MORE INFO WITH AUGUST HEAT & AEROSCREENS AT IMS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

SAGE KARAM – No. 24 DRR WIX FILTERS CHEVROLET

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

KARAM, HILDEBRAND RETURN TO FAMED IMS OVAL WEDNESDAY AFTER 14½ MONTHS AWAY AND NEW AEROSCREEN ON THEIR DRR CARS

Sage takes WIX Filters car to 222.031, JR clocks 219.859 in Salesforce Mount

SPEEDWAY, Ind. (August 12, 2020) – It has been 14 and a half months since the Dreyer & Reinbold Racing team last competed on the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway 2.5-mile oval as drivers Sage Karam and J.R. Hildebrand made their return to the “Brickyard” Wednesday in the first round of practice run for the 104th Indianapolis 500 Mile Race set for Sunday, August 23.

The layoff and the new aeroscreen on the Chevrolet-powered Dallara race cars was going to make a difference on the IMS oval track and the DRR engineering staff and their drivers were prepared for Wednesday’s first practice sessions.

With a top track temperature reaching 117 degrees and the typical Indiana summer humidity, the first day conditions really were not as bad as predicted. Of course, losing Tuesday’s practice day made everything on track additionally important as qualifications begin this Saturday (Aug. 15).

For Karam, the 25-year-old from Nazareth, Pa., he was excited for his return to IMS in his seventh appearance for the “Greatest Spectacle in Racing.” Sage drove the No. 24 DRR WIX Filters Chevrolet in 89 laps total on Wednesday with a best speed of 222.031 miles per hour. The former Indy Lights champion focused on race setup in traffic much of the afternoon. The WIX Filters crew also stopped some 35 minutes early as they found the direction with the car they were seeking.

Hildebrand, the Boulder, Colo, veteran driver, returns to IMS with his popular No. 67 DRR Salesforce Chevrolet as the former Indy 500 “Rookie of the Year” clocked 77 laps Wednesday with a top speed of 219.859 m.p.h. The California native and his DRR Salesforce crew breezed through his “refresher” speed session and moved on to adjustments with the car. The practice was the first for J.R. with the all-new aeroscreen on his mount.  Like Karam, Hildebrand pulled his machine into the garages early during practice runs and the DRR crew continued to make additional adjustments.

Karam and Hildebrand will be ready to go at 11 a.m. EDT Thursday when the second day of practice begins at IMS. The Thursday session will conclude at 5:30 p.m. EDT.

SAGE KARAM, #24 DRR WIX FILTERS CHEVROLET:

“Today was pretty good for our DRR WIX Filters Chevy today. It was much more solid than last year on the first day of practice. We did a lot of good things today as I did a lot of traffic running. We got in some big groups and went with the good teams like Penske, Ganassi and Andretti. No one was doing anything different from what I could do in traffic. That was very positive. Now we have to find the next step with mechanical grip to move to the next level with this car. Obviously, passing will be very tough, just like last year. Qualifying will be at a premium. Pit stops will be huge, but this DRR crew is always fast on their stops. So, I feel good about that aspect. It feels good to be back on the oval. The road course was a good, little challenge for us. It was good for everyone today. Me to get more seat time and the team to get in a few live stops. It is so much fun around this place when the car is working well. We look forward to Thursday.”

JR HILDEBRAND, #67 DRR SALESFORCE CHEVROLET:

“I felt good with the aeroscreen right away. Sitting in the pits you can tell it’s a little warmer, but not once you are on track it’s no problem. I felt good in the car. Our DRR team came into this year with a clear perspective with what we needed to do to be competitive in the race. And what we have done so far with our adjustments to the car have checked out. That is good so far. We were focused on trying to answer some of those questions from the last couple of years. Sage (Karam, DRR teammate) worked in traffic more today than we did. He was running in more traffic situations than I was. We don’t have a lot of time this year. And we are moving the right direction with the cars already. Thursday will be a very busy day. So, we are prepared to work hard with the cars.”

Auto Value / Bumper to Bumper Partners with Dreyer & Reinbold Racing to Equip Shop and Teams for the 104th Indianapolis 500

INDIANAPOLIS (August 12, 2020) – Dreyer & Reinbold Racing today announced a new Official Auto Parts Supplier partnership with the Aftermarket Auto Parts Alliance, Inc. (San Antonio, TX), and its Auto Value and Bumper to Bumper auto parts store and professional repair shop brands. 

Auto Value and Bumper to Bumper delivered needed parts and supplies to the Dreyer & Reinbold race shop earlier this year, including Perfect Stop® brake cleaner and Parts Master® parts cleaner, penetrating lubricant spray, degreaser, and appearance chemicals, as the team prepared its cars, haulers, tools and equipment for the racing season.

Throughout this month’s Indianapolis 500 practice, qualifying, and raceday, the Auto Value and Bumper to Bumper logos will be featured on the nosecones of each of Dreyer & Reinbold Racing’s two NTT INDYCAR SERIES entries.   Young driver Sage Karam will be at controls of the No. 24 WIX Filters DRR Chevrolet, and veteran J.R. Hildebrand will pilot the No. 48 Salesforce.com DRR Chevrolet. Dreyer & Reinbold Racing has entered and qualified 40 cars in the Indy 500, dating back to 1999.

“We are thrilled to announce the new Auto Value and Bumper To Bumper supply relationship with Dreyer & Reinbold Racing, and support the team’s efforts to go out and win this year’s Indianapolis 500,” said JC Washbish, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Aftermarket Auto Parts Alliance, Inc. “Dreyer & Reinbold is a great match for The Alliance and our members, as Dennis Reinbold is a successful businessman, runs an independent team, is a true car enthusiast, and provides a first-class raceday experience for his partners.” Though original plans to provide an Indy 500 race weekend VIP hospitality for its members, channel partners, customers, and guests had to be modified due to challenges presented by the Covid-19 epidemic, The Alliance looks forward to revisiting those types of exclusive opportunities with the team for future events.

“We cannot thank The Alliance, Auto Value and Bumper to Bumper enough for its partnership and product support of Dreyer & Reinbold Racing this year, especially in context of the delays and challenges we’ve all faced during this race season,” said DRR team owner Dennis Reinbold. “We’re proud to be working with the parts and supplies that The Alliance has delivered to the shop, to help bring competitive Dreyer & Reinbold IndyCars to the track, and hopefully put one of them in victory lane on August 23rd.”

The month’s first Indy 500 practice takes place on Wednesday, Aug. 12, with a full schedule available on IMS.com. The 104th Running of the Indy 500 will take place Sunday, Aug. 23, with national coverage beginning on NBC at 1 p.m. ET. Broadcast coverage of qualifications on Saturday, Aug. 15 begins on NBC at 3 p.m. ET., and broadcast coverage of Pole Day begins Sunday, Aug. 16, on NBC at 1 p.m. ET.

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INDY 500 ACTION OPENS WEDNESDAY AT IMS AS THE DREYER & REINBOLD FAMILY

LEGACY TRACES BACK TO 1927 AND CONTINUES IN 2020

Dreyer & Reinbold Racing Fields Karam, Hildebrand Cars in 2020

SPEEDWAY, Ind. (August 12, 2020) – It is hard to imagine that Dennis Reinbold’s family legacy at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway dates back to 1927 when his grandfather, Floyd “Pop” Dreyer, served as a mechanic and crew member on the famed Duesenberg team.

Pop Dreyer

It traces the long path of over 90 years to the current NTT INDYCAR SERIES effort by the grandson and his veteran racing organization at the “Greatest Spectacle in Racing.”

Over 90 years since Dreyer began the family legacy at the historic ‘Brickyard,” Reinbold now brings two new Chevrolet-powered Dallara for drivers Sage Karam and J.R. Hildebrand when the opening round of Indianapolis 500 practice opens Wednesday at the legendary 2.5-mile oval.

Karam, 25, returns for his sixth year with Reinbold’s DDR team after he won the “Hard Charger Award” in his rookie showing at Indy in 2014. The Nazareth, Pa., youngster will drive the No. 24 DRR WIX Filters Chevrolet for a third consecutive year at IMS.

Hildebrand, who also started his IndyCar career with DRR in 2010 at Mid-Ohio, makes his third straight appearance with Reinbold’s squad in the No. 67 DRR Salesforce Chevrolet Dallara. The California native won the 2011 “Rookie of the Year” award and placed second that year. He also has three other Top-10 finishes in the Indy 500.

Reinbold, the Indianapolis native and successful local businessman, has entered and qualified all 40 of his DRR cars in the Indy 500 dating back to 1999.

Both Karam and Hildebrand know of Reinbold’s commitment to fielding solid, strong machinery as well as offering young drivers an opportunity.

“Dennis is a quality guy and loves IndyCar racing,” said Karam, the former Indy Lights and F2000 champion. “He is like a second dad for me. He gave me a chance from Indy Lights and he continues to believe in me. I’d like nothing better to win the Indy 500 for him.”

“I had been successful in the smaller class with championships including in Indy Lights,” said Hildebrand. “Dennis saw something in me and I was able to open my IndyCar career with him in 2010. He grew up in Indy and his family has a tremendous legacy at the Speedway. He wants to win the 500 so badly and wouldn’t be great to give him that prize. I’ll do my best to reach victory lane.”

Reinbold grew up just a mile and a half from the famed IMS oval and the month of May was always part of Dennis’ childhood.  Some of his earliest memories surrounded the Indy 500. 

“We would ride our bicycles to 16th and Georgetown and listen to those awesome sounds of the Indy 500 engines going around the Speedway,” said Reinbold. “Then we would ride around a makeshift oval at the church parking lot near our house as if we were the drivers in the race. I was always Lloyd Ruby since my uncle was on his pit crew. He was the ‘Underdog’ and I always root for the ‘Underdog.’”

Reinbold says he still gets chills every time he enters the 16th St. tunnel into the track between turns one and two. And he carries a passion to capture the “Greatest Spectacle in Racing” each year his team enters the annual 200-lap Classic.

“It’s a passion for me to come to IMS and be able to prepare and put the cars on the grid each year,” Dennis explained. “And I want to win this race. It’s really the only reason we show up, to put the car in Victory Lane. We work all year round to try to do that and try to improve from the year before.”

Reinbold knows the history of the Indy 500 and his family, and he wants to add to that history with a victory on Aug. 23.

“We have had the same people for a long, long time,” said Reinbold. “So, we have faith in each other, and we can produce a really good competitive product on race day. We have shown that our race car setups are excellent, and we can move to the front of the field during the race. We want to put our car in victory lane.”

That would be the ultimate prize to the long legacy of the Dreyer & Reinbold families at the Indy 500.

JR Hildebrand Returns to Dreyer & Reinbold Racing for 104th Indy 500

At the Wheel of No. 67 DRR Chevrolet-powered on August 23 at IMS

2011 Indy 500 “Rookie of the Year” Teams with Sage Karam in DRR Lineup 

INDIANAPOLIS (Aug. 11, 2020) – Dreyer & Reinbold Racing today announced its second Indianapolis 500 entry with veteran driver J.R. Hildebrand driving the No. 67 DRR Salesforce Chevrolet-powered Dallara car in the 104th Indianapolis 500 Mile Race scheduled for August 23, 2020.

Hildebrand, a nine-time Indy 500 starter, was the 2011 Indy 500 “Rookie of the Year” and has recorded four top-ten finishes at the “Greatest Spectacle in Racing.” This year’s J.R. entry will be his third consecutive appearance in the Indy 500 race with the Dreyer & Reinbold Racing organization after finishing 11th in 2018 and 20th in 2019. 

The 32-year-old driver from Boulder, Colo., made his IndyCar Series debut with Dreyer & Reinbold Racing in 2010 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. He also drove the DRR IndyCar at Sonoma Raceway that year.

Among his previous Indy 500 races, the California native has scored finishes of second, sixth, eighth and tenth. Hildebrand was the 2009 Indy Lights champion and also captured racing titles in the USF2000 (2006) and SCCA Formula Russell (2004) series.

Dreyer & Reinbold Racing will also field young Sage Karam in the No. 24 WIX Filters Chevy in this year’s Indy 500.

“This will be the third straight Indy 500 having a great relationship with Dennis Reinbold and the Dreyer & Reinbold Racing team,” said Hildebrand. “Of course, I started my IndyCar career with Dennis back in 2010 when he brought me up to the big leagues into the NNTT INDYCAR SERIES. We have always had a great connection over the years.

“I’m so bummed that the extenuating circumstances we’re all faced with have prevailed. It won’t the same without the fan’s energy, but we’ll promise to bring the noise as if it was a packed house anyway this one year.”

One of the Indy 500 legacies continues with the Dreyer & Reinbold families at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, dating back to 1927 with DRR team owner Dennis Reinbold’s grandfather, Floyd “Pop” Dreyer, serving as a mechanic in the 1927 Indy 500. Dreyer, a famed motorcycle racer before building and owning racing cars, built a variety of Indy 500 entries, sprint cars and midgets from the 1930s to 1950s.

“I’m very excited to have J.R. return to the Dreyer & Reinbold Racing team for this year’s Indy 500 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway,” said Reinbold. “Our team has experienced an excellent combination with J.R. and Sage working together in recent years at Indy. J.R. brings our team a lot of background at Indy and helps develop our race cars quickly in practice and prepare for qualifying. We have two very talented young drivers again this year. We believe we have a strong two-car lineup ready to race hard for the victory on August 23.”

Hildebrand will begin Indy 500 practice laps on Wednesday, August 12, when practice rounds open on the historic two and a half-mile oval. Qualifying for the 104th running of the Indy 500 is set for Saturday, August 15, and Sunday, August 16. The start for this year’s Indianapolis 500-Mile Race is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. EDT on Sunday, August 23.

KARAM: GOOD EXPERIENCE IN TOUGH CONDITIONS WITH 90-PLUS DEGREE TEMPS AT IMS

KARAM RECORDS A 23RD PLACE FINISH IN DRR’S FIRST ROAD COURSE RACE IN 7 YEARS, GOOD EXPERIENCE IN TOUGH CONDITIONS WITH 90-PLUS DEGREE TEMPS AT IMS

Sage records fast race laps in DRR WIX Filters Chevy in his first IMS IndyCar Road Race

SPEEDWAY, IN (July 4, 2020) – Sunday’s 80-lap GMR Grand Prix at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway was like a completely new experience for racer Sage Karam and his Dreyer & Reinbold Racing team with their No 24 DRR WIX Filters Chevrolet IndyCar.

Both Karam and the DRR squad had never competed previously on the fast 2.439-mile, 14-turn IMS road course with an NTT INDYCAR Series machine and the Carmel, Ind.-based organization knew there was an uphill battle in the 90-plus degree temperatures.

But despite a 23rd place finish from his 23rd starting position, Karam showed speed with the DRR WIX Filters Chevy throughout the day Saturday at the world’s greatest racing facility.

In the morning warm-up session, the 25-year-old driver from Nazareth, PA, recorded the sixth fastest time with a one minute, 11.449 seconds (122.889 miles per hour), actually faster than his Friday qualifying lap – 1:11.777 (122.328 m.p.h.).

In Saturday’s feature, Karam started on scrubbed Firestone RED racing tires and put on an impressive run from 23rd to 16th by lap 10. With many teams attempting different strategies, Sage was able to run as high as fifth by lap 19. Unfortunately, the mid-race full course yellow flag period cost Karam and his team a possible top ten.

But Karam continued to show speed on track as the team made chassis and tire adjustments with the DRR WIX Filters Chevy. In fact, by lap 50, Sage had recorded the eighth fastest lap of the race at 1:12.217.

Overall, Karam and the DRR team were not pleased with their finish, but the squad’s road race performance after seven years away from road circuits and the first road event ever at IMS proved to be a solid showing. The improvement throughout the weekend was a strong foundation for the team’s next road racing appearance.

“We had a fast car today after a strong warm-up when we were sixth quickest,” said Karam. “We moved up well early in the race and our strategy looked very good. But we caught the yellow flag just at the wrong time and it cost us big time. I truly believe we had a shot at a top ten finish today.

“Considering the DRR guys had not run a road race in seven years and never at the IMS road course, our pit stops were excellent, and the car improved every session we ran including the race. My only IMS road race was in 2014 and an IMSA sports car race. So, with experience now after today, I’d love to come back here for the October road race. It was very impressive how the whole team came together with their first road race in so many years. Sure, it was hot in the cockpit, but I feel very good after the 80 laps. It was a successful weekend for us. We are all excited to come back next month for the Indy 500 now

The Dreyer & Reinbold Racing team will now begin preparations for next month’s 104th Indianapolis 500 set for Sunday, August 23. Practice rounds for the famed oval begin on August 11 with qualifications scheduled for August 15-16. The popular Carb Day activities – practice and pit stop challenge – will take place on Friday, August 21. 

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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