In addition to owning the Indy car team, Reinbold is also a well-known Indianapolis automobile dealer, specializing in BMW, Infiniti, Subaru, Cooper and Volkswagen brands.
The pandemic forced Reinbold and other car dealers to develop new ways to structure their business approach.
“In the car business with the dealerships, we are working at it and doing the right things in terms of selling cars and servicing cars,” Reinbold explained. “We put all of the procedures in place early during the shutdown to be socially distant in all of these things. We have good procedures in place to where now we can work on the next thing.”
Although the in-person experience was initially limited because of the state of Indiana’s stay-at-home order that was instituted in March, Dreyer & Reinbold sold cars online.
“Our people are talking to customers and we are doing as much online as we can,” Reinbold noted. “The delivery of a car becomes simpler. Maybe at the end of all of this, we learn some lessons on how we can expedite selling a car and servicing a car because we are more proficient at that now.
“The real-life experience in the car business is important. Anymore, people come in pretty well educated and prepared for the type of car they want. We can go over features and those things on the web and over the phone. From that standpoint, it hasn’t interrupted our business. We are doing it differently, but it has worked out very well.”
The University of Indianapolis graduate is hopeful a vaccine will be developed to ultimately end the pandemic.
As for his NTT IndyCar Series team, driver Sage Karam has enjoyed some increased awareness and exposure through the IndyCar iRacing Challenge — a six-race virtual racing series that concluded on May 2. Karam won one of the six races and claimed two poles.
“It’s been a great substitute,” Reinbold said. “A lot of people have tuned in to watch. Sage has done a great job. He is out there with two poles and doing really well, but also helping other guys get more proficient with what they do. He is doing what he can to help further the series at this point in time.
“When we return to racing, I think Sage’s iRacing success can help create more fans. I think it has. He is just a great race driver. I think he will come out of this ahead. He is definitely going to be prepared and ready to go. There is some translation into driving the race car. We were prepared with him as a team. We are still ready to go. I’m looking forward to things getting started back up.”
Karam has raced for Dreyer & Reinbold since 2016.
From 2016 through ’19, the team competed in only the Indianapolis 500. The past two 500s saw the team add a second car for J.R. Hildebrand.
This year, the team was set to run a more ambitious schedule with the hopes of returning to full-season competition in 2021 or ’22.
Reinbold’s original plan had the team competing at St. Petersburg, the 104th Indianapolis 500 and the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix. This year’s Detroit Grand Prix was canceled and the St. Petersburg event will conclude the season in October.
Dreyer & Reinbold Racing will reassess its schedule in June with the Aug. 23 Indianapolis 500 its focus.
“We are in a wait-and-see mode and will pick whatever races outside of the 500 we think we would be good at,” Reinbold said. “At this stage, our preparation level on street courses is further along than other courses. We are pretty well prepared for Indy as well. Those are the races we are pointing to at this point. I don’t know what is going to end up happening.
“It could still be St. Pete at the end of the year,” he added. “We would like to do that one and look at some others that may work for us.”
That, of course, depends on how soon the virus can be contained and when the world can return to work. The season began June 6 at Texas Motor Speedway in a race that was televised on NBC but run without fans in the grandstands.
“The communication with IndyCar has been great,” Reinbold said. “They are open to discuss whatever they can, but none of us know what we are going to do. I think IndyCar took the bull by the horns and announced the rearranged schedule.”
IndyCar racing and the Indianapolis 500 are part of Reinbold’s heritage.
He vividly remembers seeing Bobby Unser’s black-and-yellow checkered Bardahl Special during his first visit to Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 1969, and he saw his first 500 the following year.
Reinbold has attended the Indianapolis 500 every year since 1983.
Dreyer & Reinbold Racing began in 2000 and has entered 41 cars in the Indy 500.
“It’s a pretty special place, a really special place to me,” Reinbold said. “It’s a race I don’t plan to miss. We will do our two cars at Indy.”
The return of IndyCar engines to Indianapolis Motor Speedway next month will be music to Reinbold’s ears.
But for now, he continues to make an entirely different kind of music with Dennis and Bob.