SPEEDWAY (May 23, 2022) – Weather played a vital role at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Saturday in the first round of Indy 500 qualifications with rain and wind returning the famed “Brickyard” as Dreyer & Reinbold Racing drivers Santino Ferrucci and Sage Karam securing positions for the May 29 “Greatest Spectacle in Racing.”
Ferrucci, entered in his fourth 500-mile event, recorded a four-lap speed average of 231.508 miles per hour to land the 15th position in the 33-car lineup with his red and black No. 23 DRR Screamin’ Sicilian Pizza/Barrett-Jackson Chevrolet. The Dallas, TX, racer clocked four laps of 232.239, 231.729, 231.329 and 230.741 just after 12 p.m. Saturday to jump him to eighth on the speed charts. After 4 p.m. rain showers ended qualifying, Santino will start on the outside of the fifth row on May 29.
Karam, entered in his ninth 500-mile race, will start 22nd with a four-lap average of 230.464 in his second qualifying attempt in Saturday afternoon in the No. 24 DRR AES Indiana/500 Festival Chevrolet. Sage’s laps were 231.013, 230.411, 230.017 and 230.329 in windy conditions for qualifying.
Earlier in the day, Karam looked to be on a strong attempt with 232.555 and 231.613 m.p.h. laps, but the car’s handling was not the same and he backed down to a 229.905 average. After a rain delay, the Easton, PA, driver was able to improve his 26th position to 22ndon the Indy 500 grid set.
“It wasn’t a bad run, but it wasn’t my favorite qualifying showing,” said Ferrucci, who finished sixth in the 2021 Indy 500. “We were way faster this morning in practice, but we had a right front tire vibration on the first lap of qualifying. That hurt the run. So, I just held on and got the best time. It’s a shame because our No.23 car is fast. The car balance was all over the place for the four laps today. I think we might have tried for another run to get in the Top 12. But the weather halted that chance. Now, I’m anxious for Monday’s practice. We feel very good about our race setup.”
“In the first qualifying run, the track got hot, and we had a late draw (27th),” said Karam, who placed seventh in last year’s Indy 500. “We were just a little too trimmed out and I made a little mistake on the third lap. I just tried too hard for the track temp at that time. I knew our car was faster than what we showed in the first attempt.
“In the second run, the car was very good, but the wind changed so much from before. I didn’t get a tail wind down the back straight which can help us get up to 240 (miles per hour). That just hurt the momentum early in the run. I thought we would have a chance at the big speed, but the wind change hurt. That was the best we had in it for the time we got out. I think the track was slower in the late afternoon. So, I was happy to make up some spots (4) from the previous run.”
DRR team owner Dennis Reinbold was pleased with his team’s effort in qualifying considering the difficult weather conditions with the wind and rain throughout the day
“We had some difficult conditions today, but the team did a good job adjusting to the elements,” said Reinbold, who has now qualified 45 entries as a car owner dating back to 1999. “Santino and Sage performed well as the weather changed so much today. Sage had a tough second attempt after we had the rain delay. The wind completely changed directions and the air cooled off quickly. We were hoping for spots in the Top 12, but we will take 15th and 22nd and concentrate on our race setups on Monday.”
Ferrucci and Karam return to the historic “Brickyard” this Monday, May 23, for a two-hour practice session scheduled from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. EDT.
The 106th “Greatest Spectacle in Racing” will begin at 12:45 p.m. on Sunday, May 29.
About Dreyer & Reinbold Racing
Dreyer & Reinbold Racing was founded in 1999 by Indianapolis car dealer Dennis Reinbold. The legacy of the Dreyer and Reinbold family dates back to the 1920s with Reinbold’s grandfather, the legendary Floyd “Pop” Dreyer, a former factory motorcycle racer. Dreyer served as a crewman and mechanic on the famed Duesenberg driven by Benny Shoaff and Babe Stapp in the 1927 Indy 500. Dreyer went on to build Indy 500 cars in the 1930s many of which started on the front row. In addition, Dreyer constructed championship-winning sprint cars and midgets as well as quarter midgets called Dreyerettes. Dreyer & Reinbold Racing captured its first win in 2000 with driver Robbie Buhl at Walt Disney World Speedway in Orlando, Fla., and has fielded a variety of drivers including Buhl, Buddy Lazier, Sarah Fisher, Buddy Rice, Al Unser Jr., Sage Karam and J.R. Hildebrand. Dreyer & Reinbold Racing has successfully qualified all 42 drivers for the Indy 500 in its history. DRR, who competed in Rallycross for the first time in 2015, captured the 2016 Lites rallycross championship. In 2021, the team campaigned Tanner Foust and Cabot Bigham in the Supercar division of Nitro Rallycross. Additionally, the team ran a selection of lites cars that included drivers such as Sage Karam, Conner Martell, and Lane Vacala.