Dreyer & Reinbold Racing competed in the IndyCar Series from 2000-2013
MARCH 1, 2018
IndyCar team owner Dennis Reinbold has only entered cars in the Indianapolis 500 in recent seasons, but he wants to return to a full-time schedule.
For that plan to come to fruition, he first must pull off a second car in this year's 102 Indy 500 after officially announcing the return of Sage Karam to the No. 24 for the third year in a row and fourth overall with the organization. Danica Patrick was linked to the second D&R car before signing with Ed Carpenter Racing.
A second car in the Indy 500 would be the next step for any D&R returning to a full-time IndyCar Series effort.
"Yeah, we've had these discussions, and that is definitely something that we've talked about with very great interest -- trying to get back to full time or even, to start off, a little bit part time to get back into it," Reinbold said Thursday. "But we're working on things. We've got some opportunities out there that we're exploring and trying to see where they go.
"To get to two cars this year for the 500 is on purpose because that sets us up to have equipment, so we have extra wheel guns, we have extra tires, we have extra radios, all these things, spares. So that puts us in position to be able to try to expand in the future. And you would need all those pieces to be able to be a full-time team.
"Behind the scenes, I guess, we're working on that, but it needs to be a good fit, and of course my feelings towards Sage, I'm very excited about him. I think he should be a full-time IndyCar driver. I think he's very talented and would do a tremendous job full time in every race."
Reinbold said the second driver has to be a "quality teammate" for Karam and a driver capable of winning the race.
"We've teamed up with people in the past, and it hasn't gone exactly the way I wanted it to -- not that anything has ever been bad or anything like that," Reinbold said. "But I want to take a little more control over our future and our destiny, and I want to position ourselves to be able to expand to run full season if that opportunity came up.
"I guess that's really it -- just looking forward to the future."
Karam is the 2013 Indy Lights Champion. He competed in the 2014 Indy 500 for Dreyer & Reinbold and finished ninth. The next year, Karam was driving for famed team owner Chip Ganassi. He finished 32nd in the Indianapolis 500 when he was involved in a crash on the first lap of the race.
That was his only season with Chip Ganassi Racing.
Without a full-time Verizon IndyCar Series ride, Karam switched to the Lexus Sports Car team and returned to D&R in 2016 and 2017 at the Indy 500. He led two laps in the Gas Monkey Special in 2016 before he crashed on lap 93. Last year, driving for Mecum Auctions, Karam started 21st and finished 28th, dropping out after 125 laps.
Dreyer & Reinbold used to be a full-time IndyCar Series team but withdrew from full-time competition in the series after the 2013 Indianapolis 500 due to a lack of funding. It has been a full-time Global Rallycross team, starting with Scott Speed in the 2013 X Games. Since then, it has competed in Super Car and the last three years in Lites in GRC.
So far, the Indy 500 is Karam’s only race of any kind in 2018.
"Being 22 and saying that it's my fifth consecutive Indy 500 makes me really, really proud and happy to have people in my corner like WIX and Dennis and the whole Dreyer & Reinbold team," Karam said. "I'm just really excited to get back to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Every time you go there, it's always great vibes and always a great month. I think any race car driver looks forward to the month of May, and that's exactly the case with me.
"I'm not doing much racing this year, so for me, it's a big thing to get there and get the work going. I'm just going into Indy right now 100 percent focused and just trying to get the best result there, and then hopefully after that, if that goes the way we think it's going to go, that will parlay into maybe something else down the road and maybe later this year."
source : autoweek.com