By: Spencer Neff
Ahead of Thursday and Friday’s open test, IndyCar1909.com will look at two organizations that will join the NTT INDYCAR SERIES as they attempt to make the 33-car field for the 107th Indianapolis 500 presented By Gainbridge. The first of which is Dreyer and Reinbold Racing.
In 2022, Sage Karam returned to Dreyer and Reinbold, who expanded to a second car after running Karam as a single-car effort in 2021.
Joining the No. 24 would be 2019 Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year Santino Ferrucci in the No. 23.
Ferrucci started a career-best 15th and earned a fourth consecutive Top 10 finish in as many starts, ending the day 10th.
Karam started 22nd and finished 23rd after last-lap crash. For 2023, DRR will have a different look to it.
This year, Dreyer and Reinbold will feature two drivers who are new to DRR but have worked together before.
Brother of seven-time INDYCAR race winner, the late Justin Wilson, Stefan has become a fan favorite since making his “500” debut at the 100th running in 2016, nine months after his brother’s death from injuries sustained during an event at Pocono Raceway.
Wilson has made five previous starts in the series, four of which have been at the Indianapolis 500. The best effort of the Sheffield, England native’s career was in 2018, where he started 23rd and led three laps before a late-race pit stop would see him finish 15th.
Last year, Wilson’s entry into the race was put together late with help from DragonSpeed, who entered the race with Ben Hanley in 2019-2020. After engine issues rendered them unable to record a qualifying time, the No. 25 started 33rd, completing 198 of 200 laps and finishing 26th.
Wilson and Cusick Motorsports announced their partnership for the 2023 race on November 17th. This will be Stefan’s first race with DRR but Justin ran full-time with the team in 2010-2011, including runner-up finishes at St. Petersburg and Long Beach in 2010.
“I’ve been very impressed with how hard DRR has worked at and focused on the 500,” said Wilson.
“It’s such an honor for me to join them in partnership with Cusick Motorsports and work with them on our collective goal of trying to win the Indy 500. There’s a great opportunity here for us to all grow together. I hope this leads to more 500’s, and maybe even more races together.”
“I am excited about our new partnership with Cusick Motorsports and Stefan Wilson,” added Dennis Reinbold, Dreyer & Reinbold Racing team owner.
“Stefan and Don Cusick have been enjoyable to work with and we are focused on achieving success on and off the track at the speedway. We are impressed with Stefan’s work ethic and grit which will apply well in the racecar.”
After joining Wilson’s effort in 2021 and 2022, Cusick Motorsports Founder and CEO Don Cusick will partner with DRR to support Wilson’s effort.
“As soon as the checkered flag fell on the Indy 500 this year, we set out to find the best possible partner for the future,” said Cusick
“We have immense respect for what Dreyer & Reinbold Racing have done both on and off track over the years and quickly identified them as our ideal partner for this endeavor.”
After not taking part in an NTT INDYCAR SERIES event as a driver in 2022, 2012 INDYCAR Champion Ryan Hunter-Reay joins DRR for the Indianapolis 500.
The 2014 Indianapolis 500 winner teams with one of his teammates from his last drive in the race with Andretti Autosport in 2021.
Hunter-Reay, who has remained around the paddock in part as a mentor to Juncos Hollinger Racing’s Callum Ilott last year, was announced as the driver of the No.23 on March 15. 11 years after winning the championship in their return to the series, Chevrolet will power Hunter-Reay again.
“I’ve been eager to share this news for quite some time. This partnership with Dreyer & Reinbold Racing presents a unique opportunity for me and I can’t wait to get back on track at IMS,” said Hunter-Reay.
“I feel laser-focused and energized. The Indy 500 isn’t just a motor race, for me; it’s a way of life.”
“I was incredibly attracted to the fact that DRR is a streamlined program that puts all ofits energy into the month of May. I guess you can say I’m going back to my roots, considering how I started my IndyCar career with smaller teams that took the fight to the bigger efforts and won. If you look at DRR’s record at Indy and their impressive recent results, the pool of talented engineers and crew; it’s a perfect fit.”
“Dennis Reinbold embodies everything the Indy 500 is about,” Ryan added of his car owner.
“He is, without a doubt, one of the Indy 500’s most passionate entrants. I look forward to working with him, the entire team, and my teammate Stefan Wilson.”
“I am thrilled to have Ryan Hunter-Reay join our lineup for the 2023 Indianapolis 500,” Reinbold added regarding his new driver.
“Ryan is a proven winner at the Speedway, winning in 2014, and is a tremendously talented driver who is a great addition to our team for this year’s 500.”
Although DRR has yet to win the Indianapolis 500, the team is familiar with success at the Greatest Spectacle in Racing.
Oriol Servia earned a best finish of fourth in 2012, while three previous “500” winners have driven for the team (Al Unser Jr., Buddy Lazier and Buddy Rice). In 2000, Robbie Buhl scored the team’s first and olnly victory to date in their debut at Walt Disney World Speedway.
Header Image: Dennis Reinbold during a May 19 Press Conference at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway (Matt Fraser/INDYCAR)