Sage Karam will return to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway this May, with plenty of familiar faces around him. Karam will attempt to make his sixth Indianapolis 500 start, and his fifth with the Dreyer & Reinbold Racing team. WIX Filters will once again partner with the No. 24 Chevrolet in the Greatest Spectacle in Racing.
During their first year together, Karam and DRR finished 9th after starting the race from the last row. The past few years, they have been fast throughout the month, only to find trouble late in the race. There was no mention of a second car, but the expectation is that JR Hildebrand will also return to the DRR stable. The full press release from today is below.
[Dreyer & Reinbold Racing Press Release]
WIX Filters announced today it is returning to the 2019 Indianapolis 500 set for May 26 with a continuation of its partnership with Dreyer & Reinbold Racing as chief technical partner for the team’s No. 24 Indy 500 entry and driver Sage Karam.
Now in its 80th year of production, the global manufacturer of filtration products begins its seventh season of a multi-level partnership with Dreyer & Reinbold Racing, including serving as the Official Technical Partner and oil filter of the team, within several racing forms including the Indy 500 and ARX Rallycross.
“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 Jeff Blocker, director of sales for WIX. “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. And Sage has been outstanding to work with on and off the race track. 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.”
Many racing teams have relied on the performance and quality of WIX Filters for over 50 years, and in return, the race track provides exceptional testing grounds for the WIX engineers.
Dreyer & Reinbold Racing, which has entered and qualified 38 cars in the Indy 500 dating back to 1999, has taken Karam to impressive Indy 500 run in each of his previous four runs in the DRR machine at the historic Indianapolis Motor Speedway including winning the “Hard Charger” Award as a rookie in 2014. Last year, DRR fielded two drivers in the Indy 500 with Karam in the No. 24 WIX Filters car and veteran J.R. Hildebrand in the No. 66 Salesforce car.
“Dreyer & Reinbold Racing and WIX Filters have enjoyed a great seven-year partnership and we’re thrilled to bring WIX back to the Indy 500 in 2019 with Sage,” said Dennis Reinbold, team owner. “WIX has been a leader in its category for 80 years and has made numerous valuable contributions to motorsports industry as well as to Dreyer & Reinbold Racing. We want to put WIX Filters in the winner’s circle this year and Sage will be a solid contender.
“I can’t wait to be back with WIX and DRR for the 2019 Indianapolis 500 and I’m looking forward to putting our No 24 WIX Filters Special in victory lane,” said Karam, the 23-year-old Nazareth, Pa., racer. “This year is WIX Filters 80th anniversary, and I’m excited to help them celebrate throughout the year and represent them on the track. Make sure to follow my social pages along with WIX for behind the scenes race coverage and giveaways.
“WIX Filters is so well known around the world and their staff is outstanding to work with at the track and off. Our WIX IndyCar was a great-looking machine last year and I’m anxious to see this year’s livery as well. Working with a global brand like WIX Filters brings a lot of prestige to Dreyer & Reinbold Racing and I’m honored to be a part of this partnership.”
The Dreyer & Reinbold Racing family has a great legacy at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway dating back to the 1920s with legendary car builder Floyd “Pop” Dreyer, who built cars for the entire front row in 1931. Reinbold, Dreyer’s grandson, has qualified every car he has entered as car owner in the Indy 500 and has recorded four top-10 finishes including a best of fourth in 2012.
“It’s hard to believe this Indy 500 will be my fifth with DRR and each year we have had a strong race car,” Karam continued. “We’ve run in the top 10 each time and we just need to get to that checkered flag again. My racing mindset has improved each year and I’m ready to take the No. 24 WIX Filters DRR car to the front on May 26.”
Karam will enter his sixth career Indy 500 and fifth with the Dreyer & Reinbold Racing team. But in 2014 as a rookie for DRR, Sage won the “Hard Charger Award” with a spectacular drive from 31st to ninth. In 2016, Sage drove from 23rd to fourth before retiring from the event on lap 94 in DRR machinery. Last year, he came from 24th to sixth on lap 154. Karam also won the Indy Lights point championship in 2013.
Karam will take the No. 24 WIX Filters DRR IndyCar to the IMS oval for the first time on Tuesday, May 14 when practice rounds open on the famed oval. Qualifying for the 103rd running of the Indy 500 is set for Saturday, May 18 and Sunday, May 19. The start for this year’s Indianapolis 500-Mile Race is scheduled for 12:15 p.m. EDT on Sunday, May 26.