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Conor Daly, Ryan Hunter-Reay to run Indy 500 with Dreyer & Reinbold Racing in 2024

Written by Archie O’Reilly

Conor Daly will be attempting to qualify for the 108th Running of the Indianapolis 500 with Dreyer & Reinbold Racing (DRR) and Cusick Motorsports this May, it has been confirmed by the team. He will line up alongside Ryan Hunter-Reay, who returns to the team after driving for them at the Indy 500 in 2023.

Indiana native Daly, who will be running the No.24 car, lost a full-time IndyCar ride in June after Ed Carpenter Racing opted to part ways with him on performance grounds as the team looked for a new direction following collective underperformance. He was incidentally replaced by Hunter-Reay.

Daly is accustomed to running towards the front of the field in the Indy 500, leading a combined 47 laps across 2021 and 2022. He has qualified for the race on all 10 attempts, starting a best of 11th-place with Andretti Autosport in 2019. His headline race finish was a sixth-place in 2022, though he finished eighth in 2023 and 10th in 2019.

Daly has competed in IndyCar in 10 separate years, but only five have been full-time, resulting in two 17th-place and three 18th-place championship finishes. He has managed one pole position, with Carlin at Iowa Speedway in 2020, and one podium - a second-place with Dale Coyne Racing at Detroit in 2016.

DRR will become the 10th team that Daly has competed for across his 108 starts in IndyCar, outlining the lack of continuity that has seen his potential left unfortunately unfulfilled.

Daly said in the team’s release: “When Dennis [Reinbold] first called me, he told me he believed I could win the Indy 500 and all he wanted going into 2024 was the best chance to win as a team. As a driver, what more could you want? I’m extremely thankful for the belief that Dennis has in me and the chance to drive one of his cars.

“To be teamed up with a champion like Ryan as well, I believe truly makes us a threat in the month of May.”

Hunter-Reay, who will run in the No.23 car in May for the second year in succession, was the 2012 series champion and won the 98th running of the Indy 500 in 2014. Providing he makes the field, this will be the 43-year-old veteran’s 16th start on the oval at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Hunter-Reay has won 16 times across 250 races in IndyCar, picking up a total of 44 podiums. He spent 11 years with Andretti Autosport, with whom he won the championship and Indy 500, before departing the team at the end of 2021. It felt a natural end to his full-time IndyCar career, with a 17th-place championship finish.

But while Hunter-Reay didn’t intend on returning to a programme that saw him race on road and street courses, he was called upon by Ed Carpenter Racing (ECR) to replace Conor Daly midway through the 2023 season. Most importantly to the team, he served a purpose as a leader amid a search to turn around their performance level.

Before teaming up with ECR, Hunter-Reay partook in the Indy 500 with DRR, returning after a hiatus that saw him involved in a mentoring role with Juncos Hollinger Racing in 2022. He qualified a respectable 20th-place and gained nine positions to finish 11th in the race, albeit he was left disappointed, feeling more was on the table.

Aside from winning the race in 2014, Hunter-Reay has finished inside the top 10 on six occasions. This includes an sixth-place on debut with Rahal Letterman Lanigan in 2008 and, most recently, a 10th-place finish in the August edition of the race in 2020.

“It has been an absolute pleasure to work with Dreyer & Reinbold Racing since joining them in 2023,” Hunter-Reay said. “I’m thrilled to be back and ready to build on where we left off last year. We had a very strong showing at the 500 last year and if it were not for a failed front wing adjuster early in the race, I truly feel we would have been fighting in the top five.”

“We are delighted to welcome Ryan Hunter-Reay and Conor Daly to Dreyer & Reinbold Racing for the 2024 Indianapolis 500,” team owner Dennis Reinbold said. “Both drivers bring a unique blend of skill, experience, and passion to the team, and we are confident that they will represent us admirably on race day.”

“We are thrilled to renew our partnership with Dreyer & Reinbold Racing for the Indianapolis 500,” Don Cusick, Founder & CEO of Cusick Motorsports, added. “The collaboration symbolises our shared passion for the sport, and together, we aim to write new chapters of success at the Brickyard with new and existing partners.

“I am grateful for the opportunity to continue working alongside Dennis Reinbold and his team, which has provided a firm footing for us to grow alongside our partners. I am excited about our driver pairing this year with Ryan Hunter-Reay and Conor Daly and cannot wait for May to arrive.

“Finally, I would like to thank Stefan Wilson for kickstarting this adventure back in 2021. Stefan’s contributions and commitment has been second to none and he will forever be an integral part of our journey. We will support him however we can for the future.”

DRR have been part of the IndyCar picture since 2000 after being established by Indianapolis car dealer Reinbold in 1999. Reinbold’s grandfather, Floyd Dreyer, was a former factory motorcycle racer who also built successful Indy 500 cars in the 1930s, as well as championship-winning sprint cars, midgets and quarter midgets. 

The team won on debut at Walt Disney World Speedway in 2000 but never repeated that success. They became an Indy 500-only outfit in 2014 after a hiatus in 2013, finishing a best of seventh-place in that period, with Sage Karam in 2021. 

The team has successfully qualified all of its 42 drivers for the Indy 500, including Hunter-Reay and Stefan Wilson in 2023. Hunter-Reay went on to finish 11th in the race but Wilson suffered an injury in the subsequent Monday practice session, with Graham Rahal taking over but starting the race off the lead lap due to a car issue.


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