Dennis Reinbold finds himself in a unique situation with the No. 23 Chevy he’s entered for 2012 Indianapolis 500 winner Ryan Hunter-Reay.
The jet-black machine which carries new green accents is largely bereft of sponsor logos. The greatest areas of real estate — the sidepods and front wings — are completely bare. And it’s not a problem or concern for the local auto dealer.
If that’s how Dreyer & Reinbold Racing’s No. 23 car remains for the rest of the 107th running of the Indy 500, the veteran team owner won’t mind, but the absence of branding isn’t for a lack of trying.
“We’ve had a lot of different conversations with different people, many of which have gone down to the finish line and didn’t quite get done,” Reinbold told RACER. “So that’s where we’re at. But we’re not sacrificing anything that we’ve put together. We’re not desperate at all. We’re happy with where we’re at. And we’re going forward. So we do have the ability to sell some spots on the car, but if it happens, great, that’s a good thing. If it doesn’t work, it’s not the end of the world. Our objective is to come here and win this race. So it doesn’t change any of that.”
Although Reinbold doesn’t need to find sponsors for Hunter-Reay’s c ar this month, he wouldn’t mind dressing the 2.2-liter twin-turbo V6-powered rocket in more branding.
“For the first time, I think ever, I put my dealerships on the on the engine cover, which I’m pretty excited about,” Reinbold said. “My team there does such a good job on a daily basis to get us positioned to where we can come out here and do this and they’re biggest supporters that I have. So I’m excited about putting DreyerandReinbold.com on the car for the first time, and I think they’ll be ecstatic about that when they see it. If there’s the right fit with other companies to come onboard, we’ll certainly talk to them.”
For Hunter-Reay, who’s channeling his inner Johnny Cash in all-black driving gear, having a stealthy car for the first time at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway has been a source of amusement.
“Like Dennis said, this No. 23 entry from the beginning when we started talking has always been 110-percent good when it comes to the funding, when it comes to the attention to detail, the personnel, and that’s why I’m here,” he said. “It just so happens that we’ve had several deals right there and seemingly done and it’s been almost day to day, week to week on changing scenarios. The positive point is that he can be patient and he’s looking for the right fit. And I’ll continue being the dark horse in the black mystery car until then. It’s a new thing for me, and I’m kinda’ liking it.”