Partnerships in racing don't always last as long as some Hollywood marriages, which makes the Indy Racing League's IndyCar Series Dreyer & Reinbold Racing (DRR) team's ongoing affiliation with Purex somewhat of a rarity.
The team announced today that the laundry soap maker will return for a sixth consecutive year as a major supporter of co-owner Robbie Buhl's #24 Dallara/Chevrolet. "We are excited to have Purex back as a co-primary sponsor for a sixth year," Buhl recognized. The partnership matches Dreyer & Reinbold's tenure in the League, as 2004 will be the team's sixth year of competition.
"Dreyer & Reinbold Racing and the IndyCar Series have been excellent business partners for the past five years," related Todd Gatzulis, director of marketing - laundry care for parent company Dial Corporation. "As we embark on our sixth consecutive year as a sponsor, I am very proud of the consistent growth that Purex, DRR and the IndyCar Series have demonstrated. We look forward to a successful 2004 on and off the track."
The continuation of this productive business relationship with Purex is a key to DRR's growth plans. "As a business, it is important for us to continue to grow our sponsor relationships each year," team co-owner Dennis Reinbold stated. "Since the end of last season, the primary objective of our team has been to focus on improving the funding level and competitiveness of the #24 car.
"Our renewed support from Purex has allowed us to attain our corporate goals and places us in a better position than ever before to compete for wins," Reinbold continued. "We made a commitment to Chevy, our sponsors and team members to solidify the position of the 24 car before considering the possibility of running a second car at DRR. We are now in a position to explore running two cars in 2004 if the circumstances provide a good fit for us."
Over the past two seasons, DRR has had a two-car effort with Sarah Fisher, the Indy Racing League's perennial "Most Popular Driver" as Buhl's teammate. It was a character-building season for both Buhl and Fisher in 2003 as they were saddled with the ineffective Gen III Chevy Indy V8 for much of the season.
Despite this power deficit, Fisher managed a second-place qualifying effort (with Gen III) at Richmond in June and Buhl, once he got the Gen IV Chevy Indy V8 produced by Cosworth Racing improved his starting and finishing positions incrementally, scoring three of his four top-10 results from Kentucky onward.
"Since the end of last season," Buhl said, "every member of our team has been working hard and is completely focused on improving our level of competitiveness. Having a consistent sponsor like Purex makes it possible for us to maintain our team's stability and has allowed us to capitalize on recent gains made during off-season testing.
"We also continue to develop our relationship with Chevy, who have made a significant commitment to the IndyCar Series. We fully intend to be a part of their future successes," Buhl declared.
As part of DRR's commitment to continuity, the team announced the return of its core group of team members: team manager John O'Gara, technical director Mike O'Gara, chief mechanic Brian Franzosi and Owen Snyder III as technical director. Vital crewmembers Phil Davis, Gary Frost, Scotty Merryman, Dan Miller and Wayne Selman remain with the north Indianapolis- based squad.
The Purex detergent brand at Dial Corporation has been recognized by many business and motorsports-related experts as one of the leaders in sponsorship activation. For Purex, the relationship with Dreyer & Reinbold Racing and the Indy Racing League (in sponsoring the Phoenix race) has helped support the brand's incredible growth as the detergent industry's value sector leader.