SPEEDWAY, IN (July 5, 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.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 Martell, Cole Keatts, Gray Leadbetter and Lane Vacala in the Lites division.