DREYER & REINBOLD RACING HAD UPS AND DOWNS IN JAPAN Motegi, Japan (September 19, 2009) -- The Indy Japan 300 was filled with ups and downs for Dreyer & Reinbold Racing in Motegi, Japan today. The team's drivers, Roger Yasukawa (No. 43 Dreyer &...
DREYER & REINBOLD RACING HAD UPS AND DOWNS IN JAPAN
Motegi, Japan (September 19, 2009) -- The Indy Japan 300 was filled with ups and downs for Dreyer & Reinbold Racing in Motegi, Japan today. The team's drivers, Roger Yasukawa (No. 43 Dreyer & Reinbold Racing), Mike Conway (No. 24 Dreyer & Reinbold Racing), and Tomas Scheckter (No. 23 MonaVie), finished 20th, 22nd and 23rd respectively.
As the green flag dropped, all three drivers had a strong start. Scheckter led the Dreyer & Reinbold Racing pack going from 10th position to 8th in the first lap. From that point on he climbed some more, but battled it out with Graham Rahal and would then start to conserve fuel and solidly sit in eighth place. The South African came in on lap 44 and had a good stop, but then his luck would soon change. On lap 88, Scheckter had to make an unscheduled stop due to an internal problem with the gearbox, which ended his day early. He finished in 23rd position.
After a year and half of not driving an IndyCar, Roger Yasukawa quickly got into the rhythm and got up to speed quickly. On the start he went from 17th to 19th, but turned it around and began to gain positions. Unfortunately, his story was similar to his teammate Scheckter's. After his first stop, which was on lap 43, he had to come back in. After hitting a bump, the right rear shock broke. The No.43 crew diligently worked and was able to get the car back out on track, despite going 34 laps down. Yasukawa brought the car home safely in 20th place.
Like his teammates', Conway had a good solid start. In the beginning, he suffered with some under-steer and slipped from 13th to 15th position. He immediately began to conserve fuel and would pit on lap 43. After a solid stop he went back out and battled with Tony Kanaan. Unfortunately on lap 106, he lost as he tried to make a pass and spun and made contact with the SAFER Barrier between Turns 3 and 4. Luckily, he was okay, but his day was cut short putting him in 22nd position.
Dreyer & Reinbold Racing heads back to Indianapolis as they will have two weeks to prepare the cars before heading to Homestead Speedway in Miami, Florida.
What they had to say--
Mike Conway, No. 24 DRR: "We started the race off okay and eventually got caught by the leaders and we couldn't stay on the lead lap. We just tried to save as much fuel as we could so that we didn't have to pit too early. It was just me and Tony Kanaan and a few others that were left on that same lap. We had some good pit stops and the Charter crew did a great job. Unfortunately, I went for a move on Tony Kanaan and it just didn't quite work out. I kissed the apron and it shot me off of the banking and I'm sorry to the Dreyer & Reinbold Racing guys, hopefully I can get them a good result in Miami."
Tomas Scheckter, No. 23 MonaVie: "We were having a great run and I was able to get the MonaVie car in the top six on the start. I just have to thank the guys for giving me a good car. We were running solidly in the top eight, having a good race. At that point I started to conserve fuel because I got into a battle with Graham Rahal and Oriol Servia. Then we had an internal problem with the gearbox. It's very unfortunate, but that's racing and these things happen. I just have to thank everyone with MonaVie Japan for coming out and supporting me. I'm really looking forward to getting this MonaVie car in the top five in Miami, because the Dreyer & Reinbold car keeps getting quicker and quicker."
Roger Yasukawa, No. 43 DRR: "We had a really good car for the race. At the start I was a bit conservative, but once we got it up to speed we had a good balance and passed a couple of cars. Right after the first stop, I went over a bump and we had an issue with the damper that broke and unfortunately was very close to hitting the wall. I was able to bring the car back into the pit and the race was pretty much over at the point for me, because we had to fix the car in the pits. I just want to thank my crew because I was able to get back out and the car felt great. I had great speed. I really want to thank the fans and Dreyer & Reinbold Racing. After this race I was thinking if I don't have a good run maybe I will quit and do something else, but I was so happy to be back in the car and all of the hard work was definitely worth it. I will just have to give it another go next year and also at the Indianapolis 500."