By Luis Torres, Staff Writer
Sage Karam won’t have to wait long to make his first NTT IndyCar Series start of 2020 as Dreyer & Reinbold Racing confirmed Tuesday he’ll be driving in the GMR Grand Prix at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course July 4.
It’ll be the single-car operation’s first attempt on a road course since Sao Paulo in 2013 and Karam’s first since Toronto a year ago.
The No. 24 WIX Filters Chevrolet entity had planned to compete at the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg in March before COVID-19 halted everything in INDYCAR until June 6 when the season finally started at Texas Motor Speedway.
Car owner Dennis Reinbold said the decision of having Karam, who’s raced the last four straight Indianapolis 500s for him, running at the 2.439-mile road course would suit him well.
“With some of the COVID-19 restrictions being lifted now, we felt that running Sage and the WIX Filters Chevy at the GMR Grand Prix at the Speedway would fit our racing plans,” said Reinbold. “It’s been seven years since we’ve competed in a road or street course or anything outside of the Indy oval. And the Indy 500 has been postponed until August now too. But we are very excited to come back to IMS for the Grand Prix.”
Reinbold added that running on a road course instead of an oval to start the team’s season will be a challenge and hopes it’ll pan out well for the him and Karam.
“We sat back after the test and knew we were relearning the things that we haven’t touched for a while with road racing,” said Reinbold. “It’s been a lot of fun. We have a ton of data that we have worked hard to sort through. Our plan was A: not embarrass yourself, and B: be competitive, which is our goal.”
Karam can’t thank the team enough for their long-time support and has all the confidence in the world for Reinbold’s vision.
“Dennis and his Dreyer & Reinbold team have been so loyal to my racing career and I can’t thank them enough for their support,” said Karam.
“I look at Dennis as almost like a second father. I can go to him about anything. He’s one of the good guys of motorsports. I feel like I’ve been lucky and blessed to be able to come into this team as well as with a great partner like WIX Filters. I have been with them many years too.
“Dennis is a smart businessman. If he’s going to go road racing, he’s going to do it right. Frankly, I wouldn’t want to do that either. He’s doing this the right way.”
Despite crowds not being allowed to attend the race, they can catch all the action on Independence Day as NBC will carry live coverage of the second race of the INDYCAR campaign at Noon EST.