DREYER & REINBOLD RACING QUALIFIED FOR THE INDY JAPAN 300
Motegi, Japan (September 18, 2009)- Dreyer & Reinbold Racing qualified for the Indy Japan 300 in Motegi, Japan today. The team's drivers Tomas Scheckter (No. 23 MonaVie), Mike Conway (No. 24 DRR), and Roger Yasukawa (No. 43 DRR) qualified 10th, 13th, and 17th respectively.
Working to get his setup just right, Tomas Scheckter qualified 10th for tomorrow's race. The South African is right on par to conquer his unfinished business at Twin Ring Motegi. In 2005, who at the time was the pilot of the No. 4 Panther Racing machine, was leading the race and with two laps to go ran out of fuel. After today's qualifying session Scheckter is extremely happy with his car setup and is prepared to earn his third IndyCar victory and finish what he started five years ago. Tomorrow will mark his eighth start with Dreyer & Reinbold Racing and his sixth at the Twin Ring Motegi circuit.
Scheckter has had plenty of success at the 1.5 mile oval with two top-ten finishes (10-2005, 9-2007), led 86 laps in five starts at the track, and his best start was fourth in 2003. Scheckter has had eight pole positions, all of which were on ovals (2002-Texas 1,Kansas, Michigan; 2003-Texas 1, Michigan; 2005-Homestead, Texas, Nashville). He has also won twice, both on ovals (Michigan, 2002; Texas, 2005). His best result this season was sixth at Iowa. He also finished eighth place at Chicagoland Speedway. making it his second top-10 finish this season.
Today marked Englishman, Mike Conway's first time to qualify at the 1.5 mile oval. The rookie will start 13th on the grid tomorrow. To date his best qualifying position was sixth (Watkins Glen and Toronto). On an oval his top qualifying result has been 11th (Milwaukee and Richmond). Conway's top finishes of the season have been on road courses, which were sixth and third (Watkins Glen and Sonoma) and on an oval it was eighth at Iowa. The Brit's main focus for tomorrow is to close the gap for Rookie of the Year honors. He currently sits 16th in the championship standings and just 40 points behind current Rookie of the Year leader Raphael Matos.
After a year and half of not driving an IndyCar, Roger Yasukawa quickly got into the rhythm and qualified 17th for his home race. The Japanese-American is making his return to Dreyer & Reinbold Racing for this event. It was announced in February that he would pilot a third entry for the team at the Indy Japan 300 event, marking his fifth start at the Twin Ring Motegi circuit. In 38 IndyCar Series starts, 18 of which were with Dreyer & Reinbold, Yasukawa has finished in the top-ten nine times with a best finish of seventh (twice).
Dreyer & Reinbold Racing will be on track for the Indy Japan 300 at Twin Ring Motegi September 19th. The race will be telecast live in HD at 10:30 p.m. (EDT) September 18th on VERSUS. The race will air live on the IMS Radio Network, XM channel 145. The radio broadcast also will be carried on www.indycar.com. The qualifying show airs Friday, September 18th at 6 p.m. EDT.
What they had to say--
Mike Conway, No. 24 DRR: "Qualifying went really well. In the first couple of laps we left a little bit too much in there and then on the last couple of laps we were slowly picking up the pace again. I'm fairly happy with our starting position. We worked hard on the car all day and it kept getting quicker and quicker. Now we just need a good car for the race. I just have to thank all of the guys on the Charter car for doing a good job."
Tomas Scheckter, No. 23 MonaVie: "I just have to thank everyone on the MonaVie crew for giving me a great car once again. We saved some tires, so we weren't able to have the qualifying run that we had hoped for. The guys did an amazing job on the setup. We worked hard during practice and I think that we have a good car for the race tomorrow. I'm glad to see a lot of MonaVie fans from Japan here and I look forward to putting a good show on for tomorrow."
Roger Yasukawa, No. 43 DRR: "We had a pretty good car today. I haven't been in the car for a year and a half, so I certainly had to get back in the rhythm. The team did a fantastic job of getting the car ready. I really want to thank Dreyer & Reinbold Racing, Dennis Reinbold and Larry Curry, my engineer, for giving me a great car. For qualifying, I think we had a little more speed. I know Mike and Tomas were about two tenths of a second quicker than me, so I certainly need to work on that. Really, I just wanted to focus on tomorrow, it's going to be a long race. We have a really stable car and I'm looking forward to racing in front of my home crowd. Hopefully we will finish in the top ten."