Senior staff writer
Greenwood auto dealership owner Dennis Reinbold has a family history at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway that began 89 years ago.
Reinbold’s grandfather was legendary Indianapolis 500 car builder and nationally famous motorcycle rider Floyd “Pop” Dreyer.
“I grew up around the Speedway, and it gets in your blood,” said Reinbold. “I still get chills when we drive through the tunnel. It’s such a cool place. It’s such a super event that I respect everything about the Speedway, and I really want to be a part of everything about it.”
Reinbold is the co-entrant with Kingdom Racing of the No. 24 Gas Monkey Energy Chevrolet, driven by Sage Karam, who is the youngest driver among the starters for the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500. Karam, 21, starts his third 500 from the 23rd position.
Reinbold has entered 35 race cars under Dreyer & Reinbold Racing in the 500 since 1999. His best finish was fourth in 2012 with Oriol Servia. His drivers have included Buddy Lazier, Sarah Fisher, Buddy Rice, Ryan Briscoe, Al Unser Jr. and Townsend Bell.
His grandfather’s list of drivers launched the family’s heritage of attracting famous drivers, especially in sprint cars: Sam Hanks, Tommy Hinnershitz, Jud Larson, Mauri Rose, Sam Hanks and Eddie Sachs.
“I feel proud to continue in what my grandfather started back in 1927 in the Indy 500,” Reinbold said.
Karam, who finished ninth as a rookie in 2014, gives Reinbold his best opportunity of reaching Victory Lane.
“Our team works well with Sage, and we feel confident he can race up front again,” Reinbold said.
Employed by the Duesenberg factory, Dreyer was a fabricator and designer with the Duesenberg team in 1927 with winner George Souders. He constructed the car bodies for the 1931 front row of Russell Snowberger, Bill Cummings and Paul Bost. Dreyer-built midget cars were driven to national championships by Everett Saylor, Duke Nalon and Jackie Holmes.
Reinbold’s uncle, Floyd Dreyer Jr., was a longtime crew member for Lloyd Ruby and Elmer George and was later head of restoration for the IMS Hall of Fame.
Reinbold grew up less than two miles from the Speedway on West Washington Street and next door to his grandfather. As a youngster he drove motorcycles on a dirt track about an hour west of the city.
“Just a legend in the sport” is how Reinbold describes his grandfather. And the more he learns about him, the more Reinbold becomes ingrained in the history of the Indianapolis 500.
(Note: Tom Blattler of Dreyer & Reinbold-Kingdom Racing contributed to this article.)