Dreyer & Reinbold team relish Indy 500 The thrill of competing on the world’s greatest race track is never lost on an IndyCar driver or team owner. Even the most experience Indy 500 competitors get excited. For the three Dreyer & Reinbold drivers, Buddy Rice, Townsend Bell and Milka Duno, that thrill begins on Tuesday, May 6, when they return to action in the famed 2.5-mile oval at the Indianapolis Mo- tor Speedway in practice runs for the 92nd running of the Indianapolis 500.
For Rice, he has had his number at the top of Indy’s scoring pylon and his face emblazed on the coveted Warner-Borg trophy. The 2004 Indy 500 champion still holds the record for the largest winner’s purse ($1,761,740 ) after pulling off the clean sweep of winning the pole position, the pit stop champion- ship and 500 title. But the popular Phoenix driver still gets chills driving into the “Brickyard” grounds for a chance at another 500 crown.
Rice will drive the No. 15 Rollcoater/Bachrach Honda Dallara for Dreyer & Reinbold Racing for a second time at the Speedway in hopes of collecting another winner’s ring. Rice, a new father with the birth last month of daughter, Mina, has competed in four Indy 500s. Rice, who makes his 85th IndyCar Series start on May 28, will be joined by Bell and Duno, both seeking their second starts in the world’s biggest auto racing event.
Bell, a former Indy Lights champion and an outstanding businessman, returns to the Indy 500 for the first time since his rookie performance in 2006 in the No. 99 William Rast Dreyer & Reinbold Honda Dallara. The San Luis Obispo, Calif., open-wheel veteran has two starts in 2008 with a solid Top Ten finish on the tricky Motegi oval in Japan last month.
Duno, one of three females attempting to qualifying for this year’s Indy 500, returns for her second Indy 500 appearance after a debut last year in the No. 23 CITGO Honda Dallara. The Venezuela native also will be a movie star this month with the opening of feature film, SPEED RACER. Duno plays the part of “Kellie Gearbox” in the film that debuts this Friday, May 9.
This year’s Indy 500 marks the second time Dreyer & Reinbold Racing has campaigned three cars at Indy 500. Last year, DRR qualified Rice, Sarah Fisher and Roger Yazukawa in the 33-car field. Yazukawa joined the team on the second weekend of qualifications.
Team owners Dennis Reinbold and Robbie Buhl believe their team is prepared for the 92nd running of the Indy 500.
“After running three cars last year at Indy, we learned a lot as we get ready for this year’s 500,” said Reinbold, who first entered the Indy 500 in 1999. “We added Roger’s car to our program in the middle of the month last year and that put a little more stress on our team. Now, we understand how the three-car program works for the month of May. We are excited to return to the world’s biggest and greatest racing event. It should be a thrill to compete there as it always is at the Indy 500.”
“It is a thrill to come to Indianapolis every year for the 500,” said Buhl, an eight-time Indy 500 starter. “Whether you are a driver, team owner, a crew member, a sponsor or a fan, the Indy 500 supplies the type of excitement not found at any other racing activity. It is a privilege just to be a part of the event.”