May 5, 2014
The last of Davey Hamilton's 11 Indianapolis 500 Mile Race starts came in 2011 with Dreyer & Reinbold Racing.
This month, Hamilton and Kingdom Racing has partnered with Dreyer & Reinbold Racing principal Dennis Reinbold – through an alliance with Chip Ganassi Racing Teams -- on an Indianapolis 500 entry with 2013 Indy Lights champion Sage Karam driving the Chevrolet-powered No. 22 car. Last week, the Ganassi organization announced an agreement with Karam on a multi-year deal as a development driver.
Karam, 19, of Nazareth, Pa., participated May 5 in the Rookie Orientation Program. The 2.5-mile oval opens for full-scale practice May 11, with qualifications May 17-18. The 98th running of “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing” is May 25. Jeff Britton is Karam’s race engineer.
Dreyer & Reinbold Racing, which fielded Oriol Servia in the 2013 Indianapolis 500 (11th place), joined INDYCAR in 2000 and made immediate impact with Robbie Buhl winning the season-opening race at Walt Disney World Speedway from the 22nd starting position. The Indy 500 was the last in 2013 for the team, which maintained a technical partnership with Panther Racing.
“We knew what we were up against last year and it was always the intention to come back, but come back the right way and do it well,” said Reinbold, whose team won in its INDYCAR debut in 2000 with Robbie Buhl behind the wheel. “I’m excited about having Sage join our team and all the work and prep we’ve done for the sole purpose to trying to win this race.
“It’s great to be back, and it’s the first step of many that hopefully we could come back full time.”
Hamilton, who has made 51 INDYCAR starts, also is a partner in the No. 77 Schmidt Peterson Hamilton Motorsports car driven by Simon Pagenaud. Schmidt Peterson Motorsports also has the No. 7 SMP Racing car driven by Mikhail Aleshin and the No. 5 car with 1995 Indy 500 winner Jacques Villeneue entered.
“We, as Kingdom Racing, wanted to have an entry in this race, too. It’s been a long-time goal that is finally coming to fruition,” Hamilton said. “Doing it with Dennis has just worked out great. I have a fantastic relationship with Sam and Simon, but there really wasn’t an opportunity for me to do a car over there.”
Hamilton sees a long-term opportunity with the team, which was named in part in honor of Reinbold’s grandfather, Motorsports Hall of Fame member Floyd “Pop” Dreyer.
“Having Sage is important because we need young talent in drivers, owners, everything in INDYCAR,” Hamilton said. “I want to be in that role; I’m out of the driver’s seat and in the owner’s role and I want to be here as long as I can.
“Dennis needs to be back in the sport full time. He shut his INDYCAR team down last year because of funding, but he didn’t let any of his guys go. That shows determination and how much of a class guy he is.”