Dreyer & Reinbold Racing has confirmed today that Sage Karam will once again race for the team in the 2019 Indianapolis 500. The team, which only enters the Indy 500 each year, will once again field Karam in their #24 Chevrolet, with Sage hoping that a potentially strong performance could lead to an expanded race schedule with the team in the future.
Should Karam successfully qualify for the Indy 500 in May, it will be his sixth consecutive start in the famous race and his fifth start with Dreyer & Reinbold Racing. The partnership between Dreyer & Reinbold and Karam has proven to be a good one over the last few years, with great speed often showcased year-on-year.
Sadly, potential speed has often failed to transfer into a decent finish. Karam’s first Indy 500 in 2014 ended with a superb ninth place having qualified thirty-first, but since then, Karam has not finished the race. A mixture of accidents and mechanical issues have prevented Karam from reaching the chequered flag, but each year, the speed has still been there.
Joining the reunited Dreyer & Reinbold and Karam will be the team’s long-term sponsors, WIX Filters. 2019 will be the seventh season that the team has been sponsored by WIX. In today’s announcement, Jeff Blocker, the director of sales for WIX, stated that the partnership between the company and Dreyer & Reinbold has been “tremendous” over the last few years and that he was excited to see Karam put in “another strong performance” in May.
“Dreyer & Reinbold Racing and WIX Filters have formed a tremendous partnership for many years now, and we’re very excited to continue our technical relationship for another year at the legendary Indy 500 with talented young driver Sage Karam,” said Blocker. “Dennis Reinbold’s racing team is very experienced and always comes to the world’s biggest race with a solid chance to contend for victory.
“Each year, Sage charges up the Indy 500 field and puts the WIX car in contention and we look forward to another strong performance this year with the No. 24 WIX Filters race car.”
Karam too will be looking forward to putting on a show in the #24 Chevrolet. Except, this time, he will be hoping that he can get to the chequered flag in a strong position. Karam said today that he was hoping that a strong finish at Indianapolis Motor Speedway could snowball into further races with the team in the NTT IndyCar Series.
Since 2014, Dreyer & Reinbold Racing has only taken part in the Indianapolis 500. The last full IndyCar campaign by the team was back in 2012 with Oriol Servia. Despite their absence from other races in recent years, Sage Karam intimated today that Dreyer & Reinbold Racing are interested in expanding their schedule at some point in the future.
“That’s been our goal, to see how we can take an Indy 500 program to the next level and maybe run a half season to full season at some point,” Karam said. “I’ve been working hard with them to see what we can do. The first line of business is always to get the Indy 500 deal done. Everything else after that is what we’re shooting for. A lot of it comes down to how we run at the speedway. For a small team, if you do see me do additional races, it would be more of the street circuits and permanent [road] circuits because the ovals are a bit higher risk.”
Dreyer & Reinbold Racing ran two cars in the last year’s Indy 500, with Karam joined by J.R. Hildebrand. It is not yet known whether the team will once again run two cars this year, nor who the potential driver could be. An announcement is expected in the next few weeks or months.
The 2019 Indianapolis 500 will be the sixth round of the upcoming 2019 NTT IndyCar Series. The championship will kick-off with the season-opening Grand Prix of St. Petersburg on Sunday, March 10. The 103rd running of the Indianapolis 500 will take place on Sunday, May 26, with the first tests at IMS set to take place at the end of April.