Sage Karam has his ride for the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500 on May 29. He’ll be reunited with Dreyer & Reinbold Racing, which could field two cars in this year’s race. For now though, the team is focused on having more success with the young American driver. Karam drove for DRR in 2014, which was his first career race in the Verizon IndyCar Series. It was an impressive performance, as Karam took the car from 31st to a ninth place finish.
Last season, Karam finished 32nd in the Indy 500, after crashing on the first lap when he made contact with AJ Foyt Racing’s Takuma Sato. It was one of 12 races that Karam took part in, driving for Chip Ganassi’s team. Karam and the Ganassi team parted ways in late November of last year, after sponsorship could not be secured for the No. 8 car. Earlier this week, it was unveiled that the car is likely to return this year, possibly with a combination of drivers during the season, such as Sebastian Saavedra and Max Chilton.
Performance car firm “Gas Monkey Garage” will sponsor the deal, and is using the Indianapolis 500 as a platform to launch their new energy drink. “I’m really thrilled to be associated with Gas Monkey Garage for the 100th Indy 500,” said Karam. “It’s exciting to return to the Dreyer & Reinbold / Kingdom team as well. We had a great run in 2014 at Indy. As a kid, Discovery Channel was one of my favorite stations and, mostly recently, I really got into the ‘Fast N’ Loud’ show with the Gas Monkey Garage guys. I love cars and these guys are fun to watch. So I can’t wait to work with them and drive the Gas Monkey Special in May.”
Veteran ace Townsend Bell was behind the wheel of the DRR car last May. They finished in 14th position, and still could pair together in time for the race this year. Dennis Reinbold said that they are currently still working on adding a second car for the race, but nothing has been finalized as of yet. Having a teammate could prove extremely beneficial, especially for Karam.
“I’m keeping an open mind on two cars still,” Reinbold told Motorsport.com, “as there’s a little bit of time to get more deals done, but we have a sponsor for one car because of the interest around the 100th Indy 500. I’m going to keep working on it, but a lot of things still have to happen. I wouldn’t even say it’s as good as 50-50 yet, whereas the first one is accomplished.”
Reinbold also noted that the team has been talking to JR Hildebrand and Oriol Servia about a second car, in addition to Bell. “I don’t think it’s any secret that we’ve had discussions with all those guys,” he said, “because they could all do a great job for us. And to have two of them would be quite a thing to pull off.”
Even if the team sticks with one entry again in this year’s race, it could actually work out better economically. There are entry fees, the tire program, and of course the engine lease for each car, which adds up quickly. Speaking of the engine, the team will once again be with Chevrolet for the Month of May. Reinbold’s team has been an Indy-only crew the past four years, but he would love to change that. His plan is to return to the IndyCar Series full-time, but knows that likely won’t happen until next year at the earliest.