Sage Karam, Reinbold looking forward to additional races in 2020

Chris Jones / IndyCar

The 2020 NTT IndyCar Series season begins this weekend, and for the first time in six years, Dreyer & Reinbold Racing will be on the paddock at St. Petersburg.

A staple of the series from 2000-12, DRR competed in the first five races of the 2013 season before withdrawing from full-time status because of sponsorship issues. The team since has run on an Indy-only basis.

But that will change this season. DRR will compete in at least three races this year, including St. Pete, the Indy 500, and at least one more street course race following Indy.

WATCH: Where to find this weekend’s St. Petersburg GP

VIEWER’S GUIDE: Five things to watch this season in IndyCar

While till far from a full-time schedule, team owner Dennis Reinbold said he is looking forward to competing in additional events again.

“I’m ecstatic. It’s one of those things that you don’t know how much you miss it until it starts becoming real,” Reinbold said. “It’s been six years since we’ve done a road or street course or anything outside of Indy really. We’re excited to branch out and do some more this year.”

Once again, WIX Filters returns as a sponsor of DRR’s No. 24 Chevrolet, as will driver Sage Karam. Five of Karam’s six Indy 500 starts have been with DRR, and the 25-year-old looks forward to continuing to build his relationship with the team. 

“I get along really well with all the crew members at Dreyer & Reinbold and with Dennis, I look at him as almost like a second father,” Karam said. “I can go to him for anything. He’s one of the good guys of motorsports. It’s hard nowadays finding loyal people and people you can really trust in the racing world, and I feel like I’ve been lucky and blessed to be able to come into this team.” 

Like DRR, Karam’s IndyCar starts outside of the 500 have been few and far between. The 25-year-old competed in 12 of 16 races for Chip Ganassi Racing in 2015 and ran at Toronto and Iowa for Carlin last year, but he has yet to run a full schedule. 

Similarly to Reinbold, Karam also desires to compete full-time. But both parties know that there’s still plenty of work to do and funding to secure before DRR is on the grid at every race of the season. 

The team has been making a series of calculated moves to ensure the most from its 2020 program. Aside from Indy, the team is focused solely on improving its rhythm on the street courses before attempting to run other ovals and road courses.

“I want to be realistic. Are we ready to go back to natural-terrain road courses like Barber and Mid-Ohio? No. We’re not,” Reinbold said. “We didn’t do the COTA test on purpose because we were like ‘let’s focus on the street courses because we know that’s what we’re going to do’.”

Instead of Circuit Of The Americas, the team elected to test in January at Sebring, whose bumpy track surface replicates the conditions of street courses like St. Petersburg, so testing there was a logical decision. 

Reinbold said that testing at a track other than Indy for the first time in several years did present initial challenges, but the team learned a lot from Sebring.

“We’ve been kind of drinking from a firehose from the standpoint of relearning the things that we haven’t touched for a while,” Reinbold said. “It’s been a lot of fun.

“We have a ton of data that we have worked hard to sort through. Just brakes and shocks and all of those things that you have to work on to be able to come out and A: not embarrass yourself, and B: be competitive, which is our goal.”

In addition to St. Pete, Reinbold said that the team will race at Detroit or Toronto later this season, with a small chance that the team could compete in both weekends.

“We haven’t finalized on that as of right now so the back half of that is up in the air a little bit, Reinbold said. “We’re looking into which one is going to fit us best.”

While DRR is taking a slow approach to returning to full-time competition, the team doesn’t have a set timeframe for when they plan to do so. Nor is the team looking to replicate Meyer Shank Racing’s model of increasing the number of races they compete in each year. 

“We’re not tailoring ourselves after anybody else to that degree,” Reinbold said. “We want to do more. We got to do a better job of finding a better budget to be able to do that. That’s where we stand.

“I like the idea of doing a full season and we want to get back there. It’s just baby steps for a little bit until we can put it all together and we haven’t gotten it all together at this point in time.”

While the road to full-time status may be a slow one, Karam has faith in Reinbold and trusts his decisions. 

“Dennis, he’s one of those guys who’s just not going to do it because he has to do it and wants to do it. If he’s going to do it, he’s going to do it right,” Karam said. “I don’t think he’s going to come into this knowing he’s got to cut corners to make certain races happen. Quite frankly, I wouldn’t want to do that either. He’s doing this the right way, and we’re going to chip our way at it.”

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World of Outlaws release 2023 Sprint Car Series schedule

2023 Outlaws Sprint schedule
World of Outlaws

The 2023 World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series schedule features 87 races, almost identical to the last year’s number, to be contested at 36 venues across 19 states. With cancelations for mostly weather, they closed out this year’s calendar on November 5 with 69 events in the books. Carson Macedo won a series high 11 races.

In 2022, David Gravel chased Brad Sweet into the three-race finale on the Dirt Track at Charlotte Motor Speedway in one of the most hotly contested championships in Outlaws history. Sweet emerged victorious for the fourth straight year.

For the 19th consecutive season, the Outlaws Sprints will begin their season at Volusia Speedway Park for the DIRTcar Nationals from Feb. 9-11 and will return March 5-6 for another two-day show before hitting the road with a three-track swing into Pennsylvania to take on the Posse.

MORE: 2023 World of Outlaws Late Model Schedule

“Every year we continue to build the best schedule we can for drivers and fans across the country,” said World of Outlaws CEO Brian Carter is a series release. “I’m excited for the journey we’ve put together, which includes the biggest races in Sprint Car racing, our new Spring Swing through Pennsylvania, the thrill of combining the World of Outlaws and ‘Bike Week’ and so much more.”

Some tracks returning from hiatus and one brand new course include 81 Speedway in Park City, Kans. in April and again in October, Tri-City Speedway in Pontoon City, Ill. in April, Ogilvie (Minn.) Raceway in June and BAPS Motor Speedway in York Haven, Penn.

BAPS hosts its first race in more than 30 years when the track was known as Susquehanna Speedway. This midweek show will give the local Pennsylvania Posse 14 attempts to beat the traveling Outlaws.

Ogilvie Speedway is completely new to the series and makes it the 224th different venue they will have challenged.

MORE: Brad Sweet protects his place in history

Notably missing from the calendar are Vado (N.M.) Speedway Park, Cotton Bowl Speedway in Paige, Texas, Bakersfield (Calif.) Speedway and the Bristol Motor Speedway Dirt Track.

In addition to the new spring Pennsylvania Swing, the second date at Volusia Speedway will coincide with Daytona Beach’s Bike Week and bring new eyes to the sport.

Knoxville Raceway adds another multi-night show to the calendar in April, giving this track eight sanctioned events in 2023.

And of course, there are plenty of mainstays and high dollar events, such as the Memorial Day Spectacular at Lawrenceburg (Ind.) Speedway, the 35th running of the Brad Doty Classic in July and the Labor Day Spectacular at Gray’s Harbor in Elma, Wash.

Several big paydays are on the line in 2023 including the 40th annual Kings Royal at Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio paying $175,000 to the winner, the Huset’s High Bank Nationals’ $250,000-to-win finale and the grandaddy of them all, the 62nd Knoxville Nationals with a total purse exceeding $1 million.

2023 Outlaws Sprint Schedule

Thursday-Saturday, Feb. 9-11 – Volusia Speedway Park (Barberville, FL)

Sunday-Monday, March 5-6 – Volusia Speedway Park (Barberville, FL)
Friday-Saturday, March 10-11 – Port Royal Speedway (Port Royal, PA)
Friday, March 17 – Williams Grove Speedway (Mechanicsburg, PA)
Saturday, March 18 – Lincoln Speedway (Abbottstown, PA)
Friday, March 24 – Talladega Short Track (Eastaboga, AL)
Saturday, March 25 – Magnolia Motor Speedway (Columbus, MS)
Friday, March 31-Saturday, April 1 – Devil’s Bowl Speedway (Mesquite, TX)

Friday, April 7 – US-36 Raceway (Osborn, MO)
Saturday, April 8 – 81 Speedway (Park City, KS)
Friday-Saturday, April 14-15 – Federated Auto Parts Raceway at I-55 (Pevely, MO)
Friday-Saturday, April 21-22 – Knoxville Raceway (Knoxville, IA)
Friday, April 28 – Tri-City Speedway (Granite City, IL)
Saturday, April 29 – Tri-State Speedway (Haubstadt, IN)

Friday-Saturday, May 5-6 – Eldora Speedway (Rossburg, OH)
Wednesday, May 10 – Lincoln Speedway (Abbottstown, PA)
Friday-Saturday, May 12-13 – Williams Grove Speedway (Mechanicsburg, PA)
Friday, May 19 – Attica Raceway Park (Attica, OH)
Saturday, May 20 – Sharon Speedway (Hartford, OH)
Friday-Saturday, May 26-27 – Atomic Speedway (Chillicothe, OH)
Monday, May 29 – Lawrenceburg Speedway (Lawrenceburg, IN)

Friday, June 2 – River Cities Speedway (Grand Forks, ND)
Saturday, June 3 – Ogilvie Raceway (Ogilvie, MN)
Friday-Saturday, June 9-10 – Knoxville Raceway (Knoxville, IA)
Friday-Saturday, June 16-17 – Beaver Dam Raceway (Beaver Dam, WI)
Wednesday-Saturday, June 21-24 – Huset’s Speedway (Brandon, SD)
Friday, June 30-Saturday, July 1 – Cedar Lake Speedway (New Richmond, WI)

Friday, July 7 – 34 Raceway (West Burlington, IA)
Saturday, July 8 – Wilmot Raceway (Wilmot, WI)
Tuesday, July 11 – Attica Raceway Park (Attica, OH)
Friday-Saturday, July 14-15 – Eldora Speedway (Rossburg, OH)
Wednesday, July 19 – BAPS Motor Speedway (York Haven, PA)
Friday-Saturday, July 21-22 – Williams Grove Speedway (Mechanicsburg, PA)
Saturday-Sunday, July 29-30 – Weedsport Speedway (Weedsport, NY)

Friday-Saturday, Aug. 4-5 – Federated Auto Parts Raceway at I-55 (Pevely, MO)
Wednesday-Saturday, Aug. 9-12 – Knoxville Raceway (Knoxville, IA)
Thursday-Saturday, Aug. 17-19 – Jackson Motorplex (Jackson, MN)
Friday, Aug. 25 – River Cities Speedway (Grand Forks, ND)
Saturday, Aug. 26 – Red River Valley Speedway (West Fargo, ND)
Thursday, Aug. 31-Saturday, September 2 – Skagit Speedway (Alger, WA)

Monday, Sept. 4 – Grays Harbor Raceway (Elma, WA)
Thursday-Saturday, Sept. 7-9 – Silver Dollar Speedway (Chico, CA)
Friday, Sept. 15 – Keller Auto Speedway (Hanford, CA)
Saturday, Sept. 16 – Placerville Speedway (Placerville, CA)
Friday, Sept. 22 – Eldora Speedway (Rossburg, OH)
Saturday, Sept. 23 – Sharon Speedway (Hartford, OH)
Friday-Saturday, Sept. 29-30 – Williams Grove Speedway (Mechanicsburg, PA)

Friday-Saturday, Oct. 6-7 – Port Royal Speedway (Port Royal, PA)
Friday, Oct. 13 – 81 Speedway (Park City, KS)
Saturday, Oct. 14 – Lakeside Speedway (Kansas City, KS)
Friday-Saturday, Oct. 20-21 – TBA

Wednesday-Saturday, Nov. 1-4 – The Dirt Track at Charlotte (Concord, NC)