Put In Solid Laps In PracticeTHREE DREYER & REINBOLD DRIVERS HIT THE TRACK TUESDAY
Rice, Bell and Duno Get Solid Laps In A Busy Day At The Brickyard INDIANAPOLIS
The three Dreyer & Reinbold Racing drivers — Buddy Rice, Townsend Bell and Milka Duno — produced solid showings Tuesday in the opening of practice for the 92nd Indianapolis 500-Mile Raceway on the famed 2.5-mile oval at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
It was a busy day on the famed Brickyard with 31 drivers and cars taking laps in the first full day of practice. A sunny day produced fast speeds and no incidents on the track with Marco Andretti leading the way with a speed of 226.599 miles per hour. Rice, the 2004 Indy 500 pole position and race winner, came out impressively Tuesday in his No. 15 Dreyer & Reinbold Honda Dallara with a best speed of 224.170 m.p.h. Rice clocked the eighth fastest speed of the day with a total 48 laps. Bell, the former Indy Lights champion, comes back to the Indy 500 after his rookie performance in 2006.
The California native brings the unique-looking No. 99 William Rast Dreyer & Reinbold Honda Dallara to the speedway for the first time and, with limited track time, clocked a strong 222.583 m.p.h. in just 35 laps.
The open-wheel veteran returns to Indy after two starts in 2008 with a solid Top Ten finish on the Motegi oval in Japan last month. Duno, one of three females attempting to qualifying for this year’s Indy 500, didn’t enter the track until mid-afternoon but still recorded 27 laps in the No. 23 CITGO Honda Dallara. The Venezuela na- tive, who plays “Kellie Gearbox” in the upcoming SPEED RACER movie, had a best speed of 217.412 m.p.h.
The Dreyer & Reinbold cars return to action Wednesday when practice began at noon.
BUDDY RICE (No. 15 DRR Honda Dallara): “Our first day was extremely good. We are definitely pleased how things started out for the Speedway. Even though the result wasn’t good at Kansas, we were able to take the handling settings that we had there and move them to here. The car was pretty good at Kansas and we can see that momentum shaping up here. It’s always great to come to Indy and feels good to get the car handling so well so quickly. With the weather changing all of the time, we need a good point to start.”
TOWNSEND BELL (No. 99 William Rast Honda Dallara): “We went out to get a reading on the car’s initial setup,” Within a couple of laps, I was flat on the throttle and the car’s handling was outstanding. We have found a good starting point of the month of May. That is always difficult here at Indy. So you need to have a solid start with the car. The people around the speedway were really into the new paint scheme. The flat green makes the car look like a fighting vehicle. It’s a much different scheme than seen on any other car at the track. I think the more people that see the car, the more people will like it.”
MILKA DUNO (No. 23 CITGO Honda Dallara): “At the be- ginning, the car was not very good. It was moving around too much. So we took it back to the garage and made some changes. Our car was better after those changes. The en- gineers are definitely going in the right direction with the car now. I feel much more comfortable with the car. I think we have a time to get things ready for qualifications. It is very exciting to come to Indianapolis for the 500.” CONTACTS: Kaaveh Akbari; 317-727-6957, Tom Blattler; 317-525-5692, Kathryn Wellner; 414-852-5277