THREE MORE DREYER & REINBOLD CARS QUALIFY FOR INDY 500 FIELD Conway, Andretti, Duno Join Hamilton For DRR In Third Round of Qualifying Saturday INDIANAPOLIS (May 16, 2009)-- Co-team owners Dennis Reinbold and Robbie Buhl had to...
THREE MORE DREYER & REINBOLD CARS QUALIFY FOR INDY 500 FIELD
Conway, Andretti, Duno Join Hamilton For DRR In Third Round of Qualifying Saturday
INDIANAPOLIS (May 16, 2009)-- Co-team owners Dennis Reinbold and Robbie Buhl had to take a sigh of relief Saturday evening as three more of the Dreyer & Reinbold Racing drivers qualified for the 33-driver lineup in the 2009 Indianapolis 500 Mile Race set for Sunday, May 24.
Reinbold, working from pit lane with each of his three drivers, John Andretti, Mike Conway and Milka Duno, and Buhl, working in the Versus television booth as a race analyst, already had Davey Hamilton in the field last Sunday when the Idaho veteran averaged 221.9 miles per hour to secure the 22nd position. But Saturday was tough for Reinbold and Buhl to watch at times in the windy conditions.
However, when the 6 p.m. gun fired, Andretti, Conway and Duno had placed their respective cars in the field entering the final day of time trials Sunday. Andretti and Duno attempted early runs, but handling problems with their mounts caused the drivers to pull into the pits without completing their four-lap runs. Both returned to the track later in the day to notch positions in the field.
For Conway, the four-lap qualifying run was an outstanding performance after he suffered a mild concussion last Sunday in a high-speed crash in Turn One. The 25-year-old British rookie driver put together four solid laps of 220.366, 220.416, 220.139 and 219.576 for a 220.124 average and the 28th spot on the starting grid in the No. 24 Purex Dreyer & Reinbold Racing Honda Dallara.
Andretti, seeking his tenth Indy 500 start, drove his No. 43 Richard Petty Window World Honda Dallara to lap speeds of 220.017, 219.478, 219.582 and 218.696 for an average of 219.442 and the 31st position. Duno, in the No. 23 CITGO DRR Honda Dallara, clocked in the 32rd slot with speeds of 218.719, 218.537, 217.305 and 217.605 for an average of 218.040.
Three drivers will attempt to bump into the 33-driver field on Sunday, and Andretti and Duno will be prepared to re-qualify if necessary.
DENNIS REINBOLD, Co-owner, Dreyer & Reinbold Racing: "This is definitely one of the longer days I have spent here at the Speedway. We are in and qualified, and we are really happy to get numbers posted today. We know what we have to do for tomorrow, and it's supposed to be a nicer day. The wind was tough out there today, so if it's nicer conditions we can be more aggressive with the trim of our cars. We have more speed to go out and make the race. We wanted to start out by getting everyone in. I'm really happy with all the drivers for staying focused all day long and really stepping up when it came time to qualify. We started off a little tough with Milka and John's first runs. But we made some adjustments in practice and got back out. Mike did a great job. He ran very consistent laps and had a great line out there. It's a tough thing to qualify for your first Indianapolis 500. I know he had some nerves going in, but you have to do exactly what he did and believe in the car. I'm really proud of him."
MIKE CONWAY, No. 24 Purex Dreyer & Reinbold Honda Dallara: "I'm really happy we qualified. I was the most comfortable I had been all day. I wasn't sure what to expect going in, but, once we did the first lap and it was 220, I knew it would be good to keep the averages up. I'm pretty happy with the run and we're in. I want to thank my crew. They did a great job. Tomorrow is another day, and we will see what happens."
DAVEY HAMILTON, No. 44 HP Kingdom Racing Honda Dallara: ."We wanted to run today, but, unfortunately with all of the rain that came, we weren't able to go out. The good news is we have all the cars in the field, which is the important thing. The bad news is there are two that are real questionable. But regardless Mike is in, and I'm in solid. We will definitely go do our long runs tomorrow."
JOHN ANDRETTI, No. 43 Richard Petty Window World Honda Dallara: "Right now, we are in the show. But we are in a spot that is an attainable speed for people to capture, so we have to look at that. I think if tomorrow is a really good day, it could go much deeper than that. This has been my roughest month of May. We are working hard and we will do our best to make it all happen. We will see what happens for tomorrow."
MILKA DUNO, No. 23 CITGO Dreyer & Reinbold Honda Dallara: "This is part of our journey. Everyone is in the same place, but the important thing for us, right now, is we made it in. We will see for tomorrow. If we have to go again, it is no problem, because we a have a good car. We keep gaining speed. We wanted to have a safe car going into qualifying after our first run."