St. Pete: Dreyer & Reinbold Racing qualifying report

DREYER & REINBOLD RACING WILL START 10TH AND 12TH FOR THE HONDA GRAND PRIX OF ST.PETERSBURG St.Petersburg, FL (April 4, 2009)- Today was bittersweet for Dreyer & Reinbold Racing as they qualified for the IndyCar Series opener, the Honda Grand...

DREYER & REINBOLD RACING WILL START 10TH AND 12TH FOR THE HONDA GRAND PRIX OF ST.PETERSBURG

St.Petersburg, FL (April 4, 2009)- Today was bittersweet for Dreyer & Reinbold Racing as they qualified for the IndyCar Series opener, the Honda Grand Prix of St.Petersburg. The team had been working hard all weekend as their new drivers' adjusted to the cars, the team, and the track.

Darren Manning qualified his No. 23 machine tenth on the grid for tomorrow's race. After joining the team on Tuesday, the 33 year-old Brit has been diligently making steps on getting the car up to speed. He had a strong first session in the first round of qualifying, advancing him to the second round. Time was not on his side, as the team made a change, there just wasn't enough time to get a good lap in on the Firestone Alternate (red-sidewall) tires.

It was another story for rookie, Englishman, Mike Conway. The 25 year-old signed with the team earlier this year and has proven that he is a force to be reckoned with. Conway has shown quiet speed all weekend long and was making good progress. The rookie marked the quickest time in the first round and advanced into the second round. Unfortunately on his in-lap, he clipped the inside wall at turn nine, doing substantial damage, preventing him from moving on to the next session. Luckily, the No.24 Dad's Root Beer machine will be ready to go for tomorrow's race and Conway will be able to start twelfth.

Tomorrow marks Dreyer & Reinbold Racing's 200th race start as they embark on their tenth season as a successful operation in the IndyCar Series.

What they have to say...

Mike Conway: "We were slowly improving the Dad's Root Beer car all morning and got it a bit better on the last run on the Firestone Alternate (red-sidewall) tires. We could have gone faster again, but I made a mistake. On my in -lap I was trying to keep a good temperature in the tires, but I hit the inside wall and it spun me on the outside into turn nine. I'm really disappointed. The team did a great job and the guys have been working really hard. Hopefully, we will start P12 and I will be able to fight my way through tomorrow."

Darren Manning: "Not really where we wanted to be. We didn't get out for a final run on the Firestone Alternate (red-sidewall) tires like we wanted to do. We made a change in the middle of that 15 minutes, which is a risky move and it bit us a little bit. We are still trying to make the car more comfortable for me and for the way that I like it. I'm still getting used to it and working with the guys to make it better and better. I still think we have more to come in speed, setup and with myself. There are just a lot of little things, like with the brakes and handling, that can kill a driver's confidence, and I'm not 100 percent with the car yet. It's not mine yet. With saying all of that, getting one more lap on those tires, we would have been close to the top six and that's really good seeing from where we started. I think Mike would have been challenging for that as well.

Dennis Reinbold: "We had two cars in the top twelve. With Darren's car we ran out of time, otherwise we think we had good shot to get into the top six. With Mike, I should have brought him in, but I left him out a little too long and he just clipped an inside wall trying to hustle as he was doing what he was supposed to do out there and it caused a little problem. We are not starting as good as we would like, but it's okay. We were disappointed coming out of qualifying today with 10th and 12th, but we definitely feel like there is room for improvement and we are ready to do that. We will move up the front, so we are good."

-credit: drr

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Darren Manning , Mike Conway
Teams Dreyer & Reinbold Racing