DREYER & REINBOLD - Thursday May 16 Practice Notes
KARAM SHOWS FORM THURSDAY WITH WIX FILTERS CHEVROLET
IN INDY 500 PRACTICE AS HILDEBRAND WORKS ON RACE SETUP
Sage goes 225.401 MPH for P6, JR at 224.481 for P18
SPEEDWAY, Ind. (May 16, 2019) – While the wind and rain hit the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway oval late Thursday afternoon, Dreyer & Reinbold Racing drivers Sage Karam and J.R. Hildebrand had already changed into their street clothes and chatted with the team’s engineers about Friday practice.
Both DRR racers showed confidence in their Chevrolet-powered Dallara machines after a solid day of running with race setups as Karam piloted the No. 24 DRR WIX Filters Chevy to a best speed of 225.401 miles per hour, the sixth fastest speed of the day. Hildebrand took his No. 48 DRR Salesforce Chevy to top speed of 224.482 m.p.h. in his 47 laps completed. Karam took 86 circuits Thursday.
In addition to working through the team’s race settings Thursday, both DRR pit crews also practiced pit stops in preparation for next Sunday’s 103rd running of the world’s biggest auto race, the Indianapolis 500-Mile Race.
Now, the racing teams will receive added horsepower on Friday (May 17) as they prepare for qualifications on Saturday and Sunday at IMS.
“Overall, it was a real big improvement for us today,” said Karam. “Basically, this is the first day that we really got a lot of running in on the track. We got in 86 laps and I got comfortable with the setup. We ran mostly race setup again. We have a good balance with the car. I’m really happy with the way the car is running right now. We are close to the balance that we will race with next Sunday. Tomorrow (Friday) we’ll work on qualifying setup and trim out the car. Then we’ll see what she can do on your own.”
“We didn’t do a lot of running today for the No. 48 Salesforce crew,” said Hildebrand. “We had run over 100 laps on Tuesday and almost 100 laps on Wednesday. We want to be smart about when we run the car as we prepare for qualifying. We ran a little bit of race running this morning and then did some additional pit stop practice. We have a few things to work on for Sunday afternoon and Monday. But overall, I’m pleased with how our team worked together this week. Sage and I are closer on our setups now. We have been talking about our qualifying plan for Friday and the weekend. Obviously, we get a little more horsepower starting Friday. So, we’ll trim out things on Friday with the qualifying program. We did do a little bit of qual work in the afternoon and the heat of the day. That could give us an idea of conditions for Saturday and Sunday.”
The fourth round of practice for the Indy 500 is set for Friday, May 17, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. in preparations for the Indy 500 scheduled for Sunday, May 26, at 12:15 p.m. EDT.
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Tom has been a contributor to RIS since 1992, and has covered IndyCar, Formula 1, NASCAR, Grand-Am, ALMS and the 24 Hours of Le Mans. In addition to his RIS work, Tom has been a contributor for General Motors, Nissan, Toyota and the ACO.