At IMS July 4 in #24 DRR WIX Filters Chevrolet at INDYCAR/NASCAR Doubleheader
Former Indy Lights champion debuts at IMS road course for first time in an IndyCar
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).