IRL: Buhl Eager to Clean Up in 2000 After Landing Deal With Purex

IRL: Buhl Eager to Clean Up in 2000 After Landing Deal With Purex

Post by motorsport.co » Thu, 20 Jan 2000 04:00:00

        INDIANAPOLIS, Tuesday, Jan. 18, 2000 -- Dennis Reinbold's family
involvement in auto racing goes back to the 1920s, when his grandfather
Pop Dreyer worked with the Duesenbergs at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
        Driver Robbie Buhl attended his first race at Indy when he was 7.
        "I fell in love with racing," said Buhl, now 36.
        Reinbold and Buhl announced Jan. 18 that they have formed an Indy
Racing League team along with third partner Eric DeBord, who owns Pole
Position Productions in Chicago and is chief financial officer for D & K
Products. It will be called Team Purex Dreyer & Reinbold Racing, as Purex
laundry detergent is the primary sponsor.
        The announcement came only nine days before practice begins for
the Indy Racing League season-opener, the Delphi Indy 200 at Walt Disney
World Speedway on Jan. 29 at Orlando, Fla. Despite the short time frame,
Buhl plans not only to race but to challenge for the victory.
        "I've been developing this relationship the last year and a half,"
Buhl said about his new partners. "This isn't something that came out of
thin air.
        "With the qualified people we have, I think we have as good a shot
as anybody to win this first race."
        Buhl already is in Orlando preparing to begin two days of prerace
testing. The team's manager is Mitch Davis, who worked with driver Jeff
Ward last year, and chief mechanic John O'Gara, Buhl's former chief when
he drove for John Menard in 1998, and chief for series defending champion
Greg Ray last season.
        The entire program came together when Purex stepped up as the
primary sponsor after having some involvement with Dreyer & Reinbold
Racing last year, including sponsorship at the Indianapolis 500.
        The Purex logo appeared on the Dreyer & Reinbold Racing car as a
secondary sponsor in early races last year. He said the Purex officials
enjoyed the participation and wanted to become more involved, especially
with the league 's new five-year TV package with ABC, ESPN and ESPN2.
        When Purex came on board for this season, a G Force chassis was
quickly acquired, painted and put into racing shape by the night of Jan.
17.
        "I don't think we're that far behind the 8-ball," Buhl said.
        "I know the pieces you have to have to succeed on the racetrack.
I'm e***d. We all bring different things to the race team." The team
will use an Aurora engine for the first race. The team is not totally set
on using the Aurora engine for the entire season, according to Reinbold,
who owns Infiniti dealerships.
        "We'll start with the Aurora, then reassess things after the first
race," he said.
        Reinbold added that he has a lot of faith and confidence in the
3.5-liter Nissan Infiniti powerplant currently being used only by 1998
Indy 500 champion Eddie Cheever Jr.
        Buhl, who won races at Snetterton and Silverstone, England, as a
Formula Ford beginner in 1984, noted that he has been on both sides of the
fence during his career, racing for big-budget teams like Menard and for
low-budget teams, too.
        The key to being successful is surrounding a driver with talented
people with whom he enjoys working, Buhl said.
        "If you're having a good time and enjoying yourself the results
come easier," Buhl said. "We're going to focus on having a good race car.
I'm familiar with the Firestone tires. I know the life of those tires."
        Reinbold is extremely e***d to be participating for the full
season but admits the Indianapolis 500 is a special attraction. He became
a fan who wanted to get involved due to the combination of the stories he
heard from his grandfather -- Pop Dreyer built cars for the starting front
row for the 1931 Indy 500 - and the sounds he heard from the Speedway each
May, as he grew up only 1? miles from the track.
        "The interest will spike up late in May this year," he said.
        Buhl has driven at Indy four times and finished in the top 10
three times. He made a last-minute deal to drive A.J. Foyt's spare car on
Bubble Day last May and brought it home sixth behind winner and teammate
Kenny Brack.
        He has driven in 24 Indy Racing League events, winning at New
Hampshire in 1997. Last season he dropped out of competition after Indy to
tie up some business demands, returning in the fall to drive at Las Vegas
and Texas for Tri Star Motorsports, partially owned by 1996-97 league
champion Tony Stewart and former Team Menard guru Larry Curry. Buhl placed
third at Vegas but fell out early at Texas.
        This will be his fourth appearance at the Disney 1-mile tri-oval.
He chased winner Buzz Calkins and runner-up Stewart home in third at the
Indy Racing League's inaugural race in 1996, missed the next race, then
placed 20th in both 1998 and 1999.
        Buhl, whose team has leased the ISM garage in Indianapolis, said
he will continue the Racing For Kids program. The team will arrive a day
early at each race, and he will visit a nearby children's hospital. He
will visit the Arnold Palmer Children's Hospital on Jan. 26 in Orlando.
        "I didn't do the racing like I liked to do it last year," Buhl
said. "That' s not the case this year. I'm back to full-time racing."

DELPHI INDY 200 AT WALT DISNEY WORLD SPEEDWAY NOTEBOOK

Schedule: The Delphi Indy 200 at Walt Disney World Speedway starts at noon
(EST) Jan. 29. Pole qualifying starts at 12:30 p.m. Jan. 28. Practice
sessions start at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Jan. 27, and 10 a.m. and 4:15 p.m.
Jan. 28.

An autograph session with all Indy Racing drivers is scheduled for 5:30
p.m. Jan. 28 in the Midway outside Turn 3 at the track.

The USAC Coors Light Silver Bullet Series 50-lap feature starts at 2:30
p.m. Jan. 29, with qualifying for that event at 2 p.m. Jan. 28.

***

On the air: The Delphi Indy 200 will be televised live on ABC at noon
(EST) Jan. 29 on ABC. The debut of "Indy Racing 2Day" will be at 11:30
a.m. Jan. 29 on ESPN2.

ESPN2 will televise pole qualifying at 1:30 p.m. Jan. 28.

The Indy Racing Radio Network will broadcast a 30-minute prerace show at
11:30 a.m. Jan. 29, followed by the live race broadcast at noon. The area
IRRN affiliate is WQTM-AM 740, Maitland, Fla.

The IRRN race broadcast also will be available live on the Internet at
www.indyracingleague.com as part of a partnership between Indy Racing
Online and Yahoo!/broadcast.com, the world's leading Web broadcast site.

***

Tickets: Tickets are available for the Delphi Indy 200 at Walt Disney
World Speedway by calling (800) 822-INDY or by visiting tickets.com at
http://SportToday.org/ . Ticket information also is available on the World
Wide Web at http://SportToday.org/ .

-IRL/IMS-