INDIANAPOLIS – Dreyer & Reinbold Racing announced on Thursday that they will bring Sage Karam back to Indy for their fourth Indianapolis 500 together over the last five years. But, team owner Dennis Reinbold did also unveil that Karam won’t be their only driver in the DRR garage this Month of May. While the rumors are the team will have a second car for the ‘500 and also have JR Hildebrand with them for the Greatest Spectacle in Racing in it, Reinbold wouldn’t name any names other than the second car will definitely be there.
“In terms of a second car, we will be announcing something in a couple weeks that we will have a second car, so that is happening,” Reinbold said via an INDYCAR Media Teleconference. “I’m excited about that, and Sage (Karam) very subtly referred to not having a teammate before. Well, he’s going to have a good teammate, and we’re excited about that. We look forward to being able to share data back and forth, which we haven’t done for a few years now since we’ve been a single car with Sage and the other only year with Townsend Bell.
“So we’re excited for the future and looking forward to things, and it’s good; we should be able to focus really hard on Indy. I don’t need to focus on a modeling career. The phone is not ringing for me. Sage can do all that for me.”
Reinbold, holds Karam in a high regard, after all, the youngster finished ninth as a high school senior in a DRR car in 2014.
“With Sage, he’s a special driver,” Reinbold said of American driver. “He’s one of the guys that we’ve had — we’ve had 37 cars in the Indy 500, and one of my favorite guys of all time to work with is Sage, because he gets in the car and there’s a calmness to him. You can talk to him and coach him throughout the race — not really coach him but just talk with him very clearly, and it’s just great to work with because you can make some changes and make them make sense throughout the race.
“We’re excited to have him back again and really believe in his abilities.”
But, Reinbold and the team, as well as Karam don’t have just Indy on their minds, they’re thinking longterm future too. DRR would love to become a full-time team in the Verizon IndyCar Series again. They haven’t done so since 2012 when they fielded a full season car for Oriol Servia. From 2000 to 2012, they made every IndyCar race. But, budgets got tight, the economy got worse and securing the right amount of funding that it would take to run a full season was as difficult as ever.
Now, the economy is growing, the series has a new car and is thriving overall. That’s why a second car is coming in May and why the team thinks they could be back at more races other than Indy in the very near future.
“Yeah, we’ve had these discussions, and that is definitely something that we’ve talked about with very great interest is trying to get back to full-time or even, to start off, a little bit part-time to get back into it,” Reinbold said of a possible return to a full time venture. “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.”
Sounds like if DRR were to go to a full-time team, or even one on a limited basis, Karam would be on top of their list. Karam would love the opportunity too.
“I mean, obviously full-time is where you want to be,” said Karam of the possibility. “I think every driver just wants to be racing full-time, and if you’re full-time in INDYCAR, that’s the premier of the United States open-wheel racing. Obviously that would be something I’ve always wanted to do as a kid. I’ve always wanted to be full-time. But obviously I’m just really focusing on just the task at hand and doing the best job I can, and if I can do the best job I can do and things go well, then I think the opportunity of being full-time will present itself later down the road.
“You know, I would love to be in a full-time seat with Dennis. I think if we can have a strong showing here and hopefully we can get more partners to come on board, maybe that’s something that will be discussed down the road. But as for now, I think he’s just focused on doing the best job he can, I’m focused on doing the best job I can, and we’ll let the rest just fall into place after that.”
Sounds like this May for DRR may be like last May was for teams like Juncos Racing, Michael Shank Racing and Harding Racing. 2019 for DRR could be an expanded season for them.