The announcement came today that Karam will drive the No. 24 Dreyer & Reinbold entry in the 101st Running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil, marking the third time in four years that the driver and longtime Indy car team are pairing up for “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing.”
As a 19-year-old rookie competing in his first Verizon IndyCar Series race in 2014, Karam drove the Dreyer & Reinbold car from 31st on the Indy 500 starting grid to finish ninth. In last year’s historic 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500, Karam moved from 23rd to fourth less than halfway through the race when contact with another car ended his day in 32nd place.
“We are very pleased to have Sage back with our Dreyer & Reinbold Racing team for the 2017 Indy 500,” said team owner Dennis Reinbold. “We have had two sensational showings at the 500 with Sage in 2014 and 2016. His impressive runs give the team great confidence in returning to the 500 this year. Sage has worked well with the engineering staff and the crew and his approach to the (Indianapolis Motor) Speedway setups have been outstanding as his speed has shown.”
Karam climbed the Mazda Road to Indy ladder to reach the Verizon IndyCar Series, winning the USF2000 championship in 2010 at age 15 and the Indy Lights title in 2013. In addition to his two Indy 500 appearances with Dreyer & Reinbold Racing, Karam drove in 12 Verizon IndyCar Series races for Chip Ganassi Racing in 2015, including a 32nd-place finish in that year’s Indy 500.
“I’m really excited to be back with Dennis and the Dreyer & Reinbold Racing team for the Indianapolis 500 this May,” said Karam, 21. “Trying to win the 500 as a one-off team is certainly a big challenge, but I’m confident in this team and their ability to field a race car that can win this race.
“I’ll be working with the same engineers and the same pit crew from the last two races at Indy with DRR,” added Karam, “and I trust that we can build upon that continuity and ride that momentum to the double checkers and into Victory Lane.”
The Dreyer and Reinbold families have a long history in the Indy 500, dating to the 1920s with legendary car builder Floyd “Pop” Dreyer. Reinbold, Dreyer’s grandson, has been a car owner at the Indianapolis 500 since 2000 and successfully qualified 35 entries for the race. Dreyer & Reinbold Racing, a past winner in the Verizon IndyCar Series, has recorded four top-10 finishes in the Indy 500 including fourth in 2012, seventh in 2010, eighth in 2008 and ninth (with Karam) in 2014.
Practice for the 101st Indianapolis 500 begins May 15, with qualification days scheduled for May 20-21. The race is set for May 28, with live coverage on ABC and the Advance Auto Parts INDYCAR Radio Network (11 a.m. ET).