The 500 Festival, a nonprofit organization providing life-enriching events and programs that celebrate the spirit and legacy of the Indianapolis 500Â®, and Dreyer & Reinbold Racing today announced a partnership with young racing driver Dillon Welch to support Welch’s effort in the upcoming BC39 USAC Midget races at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on September 4th and 5th at the specially-prepared 1/5-mile dirt track inside near turn three of the famed IMS oval.
Through the partnership with the 500 Festival and DRR, the No. 81 Tucker-Boat Motorsports Toyota-powered midget car, driven by Indiana native Welch, will feature branding of the 500 Festival’s mini-mini kids’ run that will take place Saturday, October 5, 2019, at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The mini-mini provides a unique opportunity for kids ages 5-12 to run or walk in one of four different race distances that take place at the world-famous Yard of Bricks. The event will take place on Saturday, October 5, 2019 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
The mini-mini event logo and a tag line, “Kids Run Here," will be featured on Welch’s No. 81 Tucker-Boat Motorsports Toyota-powered midget car at the BC39 USAC event. The 500 Festival’s partnership with Dreyer & Reinbold Racing is a commitment to advancing health and fitness among Indiana youth. The mini-mini event logo and tag line was previously featured on both Dreyer & Reinbold Racing IndyCars for the 103rd Running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge where Sage Karam and J.R. Hildebrand also served as spokespersons and ambassadors for the mini-mini. Additionally, DRR team owner, Dennis Reinbold, served as a 500 Festival board director from 2002-2008.
Welch currently lives in Charlotte, N.C. but was born and raised in Carmel, Ind. He graduated from Ball State University where he won two regional Emmy awards and worked numerous Ball State sporting events in the production truck as well as broadcasting. Welch began racing at age seven and still continues to combine his broadcasting career and racing. Welch is a member of the NBC Sports television announcer crew for the NTT IndyCar Series, the Motor Racing Network radio announcer crew and is co-host of the popular “Rip the Fence" motorsports podcast.
Dillon competed in the inaugural BC39 midget event at IMS in 2018 where he qualified for the prestigious 39-lap main event. Earlier this year at Tulsa, Okla., Welch finished seventh in the Chili Bowl Nationals, the largest midget car racing event in the world with over 350 entries from 33 states.
“We are excited to be a part of this great dirt track event at IMS and to partner again with DRR to promote the mini-mini where kids can finish their own race at the legendary yard of bricks on October 5," said Bob Bryant, president and CEO of the 500 Festival. “We enjoyed a great month of May with the Dreyer & Reinbold Racing team in this year’s Indy 500 and we wish Dillon the best in his racing events at the BC39 races."
“Dreyer & Reinbold Racing is invested in the Indianapolis community. We teamed with the 500 Festival in May to promote the mini-mini with our two DRR cars in the Indy 500," said Dennis Reinbold, DRR team owner and Indianapolis businessman. “Now, we wanted to assist Dillon in his quest to compete in the popular BC39 midget races at IMS. The BC39 event gives us the opportunity to provide awareness for programs that meaningfully engage the youth throughout the state of Indiana."
“I am so excited to represent the 500 Festival and their outstanding mini-mini kids run," said Welch. “Growing up in the Indianapolis area, I know the importance of the 500 Festival and what it has meant to the city of Indy and the state of Indiana. They have been an important part of the community beyond the month of May in Indianapolis for decades. It is wonderful to be associated with a great organization such as Dreyer & Reinbold Racing. I want to thank everyone involved in the 500 Festival mini-mini at IMS on October 5."
The 500 Festival mini-mini is the only kids run to take place at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. It is a timed fun run designed specifically for kids and provides Indiana’s youth with an experience similar to the OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon that’s sized just for them. Kids participating in the mini-mini will experience the larger-than-life fun of a 500 Festival running event – complete with course entertainment, cheering sections, a trip through runner’s service, and the coveted mini-mini medal. The 2019 500 Festival mini-mini will take place on Saturday, October 5. Four different race distances are offered, from 0.5 miles to 2 miles, allowing participants ages 5 – 12 to select the race that best meets their age and ability. Now through Tuesday, October 1, you can register for the mini-mini for just $15. All participants will receive a commemorative technical t-shirt, finisher’s medal and a runner's bib with a timing device.