Sage Karam will race with Dreyer & Reinbold Racing in this year’s Indianapolis 500. The American, who has raced in the last four Indy 500’s, three of which with DRR, will drive his familiar number #24 in May for the famous race.
The team will formally announce Karam in an IndyCar live stream tomorrow. The 22-year-old driver from Pennsylvania has competed solely in the 500 for the last two seasons after losing a part-time seat with Chip Ganassi Racing at the end of the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series. During 2015, Karam showed flashes of great pace, including his series-best finish of third at that year’s Iowa Corn Indy 300 at Iowa Speedway.
In his four starts at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Sage’s best finish came in his first attempt in 2014 when he took ninth whilst racing for Dreyer & Reinbold. The following year saw Karam’s luck run out when he was involved in an incident with Takuma Sato on lap one of the race which took him out of contention.
Sage’s poor luck continued into the 2016 Indy 500. After climbing through from twenty-third to fourth, Karam crashed out of the race whilst trying to pass Townsend Bell. His most recent trip to the Brickyard in 2017 also ended in retirement for a third straight year. This time he was let down by a battery failure.
Karam will be hoping that his fifth Indy 500 entry see’s a turn of fortune and a return to the top ten. Dreyer & Reinbold Racing’s targets, however, lie solely on the race win.
“Our whole outlook entering Indy 500 is that if I’m going to commit money, equipment and cars, I want drivers who give me the very best chance of winning Indy,” said team co-owner Dennis Reinbold in an interview with Motorsport.com a few weeks ago, “That’s the only goal at Indy. And we’ve been competitive several times in the past, so I know we can do this.”
“Over the years I’ve entered 37 cars in the 500, and there have been occasions where our choice of drivers has been governed more by funding issues. Well now we’re not in that position, and we’re free to have a totally different approach. We can say, ‘It’s time to go win that race and this is how we do it.'”
Dreyer & Reinbold Racing will expand to a two-car effort for this year’s Indianapolis 500, which will be the first time that they have run more than one car since the 2011 Verizon IndyCar Series; the last time that the team competed full-time. It is not yet known who will be driving the second car, but Reinbold claimed earlier this month that both of their planned drivers had the potential to win. Candidates include other former drivers such as Oriol Servia.
Karam’s first on-track action in the Dreyer & Reinbold Racing #24 will be on May 15; the first day of practice for the 2018 Indianapolis 500. Qualifying will take place on the following weekend on May 19 and 20, with the 102nd running of the 500-mile race being run on May 27.