DREYER - Dennis Reinbold History at Indy
DENNIS REINBOLD & HIS FAMILY HISTORY AT IMS
STILL CARRIES INDY 500 PASSION TO WIN THE GREATEST RACE
Dreyer & Reinbold Families & Indy 500 Connection Traces Back to 1927
SPEEDWAY, Ind. (May 22, 2019) – Indy 500 team owner Dennis Reinbold and his family hold the longest legacy at the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway. It dates back to 1927 with his grandfather, the legendary Floyd “Pop” Dreyer, serves as a mechanic and crewman on the historic Duesenberg team.
For Reinbold, his earliest memory of the annual month of May for the Indy 500 was hearing the engines roar around the 2.5-mile oval just a mile and a half from his parents’ home.
“We used to ride our bicycles to 16th and Georgetown and listen to those incredible sounds of the Indy 500 engines pounding around the Speedway,” said Reinbold, who has entered and qualified 41 Indy 500 entries as a car owner dating back to 1999. “Then we would ride around a makeshift oval at the church parking lot near our house as if we were the drivers in the race. I was always Lloyd Ruby since my uncle was on his pit crew. He was the ‘Underdog’ and I always root for the ‘Underdog.’”
Reinbold carries a similar role now with his current Dreyer & Reinbold Racing organization, a one-off Indy 500 team set to take the coveted “Drink of Milk” in the IMS victory lane this Sunday in the 103rd Indy 500 with American drivers J.R. Hildebrand and Sage Karam.
Reinbold, the high-successful Indianapolis businessman, admits he still gets chills every May when he drives under the 16th St. tunnel into the track between turns one and two. And he carries a passion to capture the “Greatest Spectacle in Racing” each year his team enters the annual 200-lap Classic.
“It’s a passion for me to come to IMS and be able to prepare and put the cars on the grid each year,” Dennis explained. “And I have got to win this race. We need to win and that’s really the passion behind me coming to the Indy 500 every year. It’s really the only reason we show up, to put the car in Victory Lane. We work all year-round to try to do that and try to improve from the year before.”
Reinbold knows the history of the Indy 500 and his family. Placed high about his current race shop in Carmel, Ind., are a variety of his grandfather’s racing vehicles as well as past cars from the Dreyer & Reinbold Racing stables over the last two decades. Now, he is ready for his latest entries to find a place in history with a winning car in the IMS Museum.
“A lot of times I’ll sit there through the middle of the race and say, ‘all of the things that we have worked on in the last year have piled up to this moment,’” he admits. “We’re as prepared and ready to win this race as possible, and for whatever reason we haven’t pulled that off quite as of yet. But here’s to this being the year.”
Reinbold’s passion is unique to an Indy 500 “only” team as he maintains a full-time race crew while only currently competing in the Indy 500. Obviously, with the proper funding, Dennis would love to return to the entire NTT IndyCar Series with his racing team.
“We have had the same people for a long, long time,” said Reinbold. “So, we have faith in each other and we can produce a really good competitive product on race day. Maybe our qualifying isn’t as good as we would like. But we have shown that our race car setups are excellent, and we can move to the front of the field during the race. Sage has shown that in the past and I believe that Sage and J.R. will have cars that can move up the field through the race.”
And Reinbold has faith in his current drivers as well. He gave Hildebrand his first IndyCar Series ride back in 2010 (Mid-Ohio and Sonoma) and Karam his first ride back in the 2014 Indy 500. Sage drove from 31st to ninth that day and was awarded the “Hard Charger of the Race.”
In recent Indy 500 races, Karam has driven his DRR mount into the top-ten by mid-race and even into the top-five before misfortune has halted the Nazareth, Pa., driver’s charges. Last year, Sage started 24th and, at lap 154, ran sixth ahead of Scott Dixon and Alexander Rossi before the No. 24 WIX Filters Chevrolet hit the front straight wall. Hildebrand, in his first Indy 500 start for Reinbold in the Salesforce Chevrolet, placed 11th from his 27th starting spot.
This Sunday, Hildebrand will start 21st in the 33-driver field while Karam takes the 31st position when the race starts at 12:15 p.m. EDT at the “Racing Capital of the World.”
“Last Monday, we had excellent race setups on both cars,” said Reinbold. “I think Sage and JR like their cars a lot heading into Sunday’s race. So, we’ll be ready to go at the drop of the green flag. And we want to see that checkered flag and drink the milk.”
That would be the ultimate topping to the long legacy of the Dreyer & Reinbold families at the Indy 500.
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.