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Local racing team on verge of calling it quits after 500

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Carmel-based Panther/Dreyer & Reinbold Racing, a company that was in expansion mode as little as two years ago, is on the verge of closing shop.

Dennis Reinbold, co-owner of Panther DRR, told employees and top driver Oriol Servia this week about financial issues facing the IndyCar Series team.

Servia was told the Associated Press that the team will close after the Indianapolis 500 if sponsorship isn't found. The race is scheduled for May 26.

The decision was first reported Thursday night by Speed.com and confirmed by Servia.

Dreyer & Reinbold Racing was founded in 1999 by Reinbold, an Indianapolis native who operates BMW, Infiniti, Suburu and Volkswagon dealerships in Carmel and Greenwood. His grandfather, Floyd "Pop" Dreyer, was a top motorcycle racer in the early 1900s who went on to become a leading builder of midget race cars.

Former Indy Racing League driver Robbie Buhl is a co-owner of the business, which had about 40 employees as of two years ago.

In 2011, the team invested more $1.2 million to expand its 30,000-square-foot Carmel headquarters by 12,000 square feet and add a machine shop. The team fielded four cars in the 2010  Indianapolis 500, but has struggled to find sponsors in recent years.

Panther Racing, a 15-year-old local racing team that ran into some legal problems two years ago, joined forces with DRR about a year ago after DDR broke ties with engine supplier Lotus.

Servia joined the team prior to the 2012 season after Newman-Haas Racing closed its doors during the offseason because of a lack of sponsorship. The Spaniard had just finished a career-best fourth in the IndyCar standings with three podium finishes when Newman-Haas folded.

He finished fourth in last year's Indianapolis 500.
 

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  • 25/8
    It's just Dreyer? Darn
  • 25/8
    So much for "strong" ratings. LOL. Too bad for Servia but couldn't happen to a bigger jerk than Barnes.
  • You stay classy Burl
    Pretty sure you hit every possible stereo type. You seem like a pretty classy - non judging - worldly - midwestern kind of guy. I am just a simple, public school educated kid. Your wisdom is groundbreaking.
  • The Boys of Brazil...
    ...will just have to carry on without me. I have other plans. Like nearly every single other American, I will be doing something else. Besides, there are plenty of fans in Japan and Brazil to make up for the fact that hardly anybody cares in the USA. Are there enough race tracks to sort of forge a Brazil/Japan schedule for 2014 and move the IndyCar Series out of North America altogether? I ask, beause, well, NOBODY cares in America. Maybe DRR/Panther or whatever they are can get something together then and keep going nex year in the Brahma/Samsung Racing Special or something, at least run the Motegi 500 you know? Go for that coveted Takuma Sato Trophy! Just do it Pokemon!Maybe TK can keeo his race car off the wall once and for all and win! Meanwhile, have fun being one of the 0.28ers, watching The Trill in Brazil. Because nothing says IndyCar like a bulbous DW12 roaring down a chuck-holed street, parallel to a freeway full of Brazlian banana trucks.
    • 3 for 3 Burl!!!!
      For the record - IndyCar Superfan Burl is 3 for 3 this week in reading and commenting on articles - and always in the pole position. Nice work! Again Burl, I cannot thank you enough for reading, watching and clicking. They all count and it is fans like you that keep this sport going. BTW - still waiting to here where we are watching the Brazil race. I will bring the Itaipava!
    • But...but...but....
      ....but....but....I thought "sponsor-spend" was up and everything was hunkey-dorey in the key metrics and targetd demographics. A team folding? No way! It can't be. According to Dispicable, the 0.28 TV rating the IndyCar Series is averaging thus far going into the much-anticipated ratings bonanza Thrill in Brazil race all of heartland America is talking about, only reflects irrelevant data. The real numbers, of which proprietary insider-ey elements only know, show the IndyCar Series is a big, big deal with all kinds of fandom tuning in and frothing at the mouth about things like Takuma Sato's win, ZERO IndyCar Starts Daly making a big run for the Borg next month, and Tristan Vaultier taking over for Simon Pagenaud as the poster boy. Surely "spnsor-spend" is enormous. I'll bet DRR-Panther or whatever they call themselves is using the lack of sponsorship as an excuse. I'll bet major American companies are pounding on their door over there in Carmel trying to hitch on to this wild ride. I'll bet Buhl and Dennis and whoever over there are just too scared to admit they cannot handle the fame and fortune of the IZODless IndyCar Series. Be carefult what you wish for you know? Right, Dispicable? This Series is HAPPENING!
    • Not possible
      IRL Disciple told us all that despite the dismal TV ratings this series is all "gangbusters" this sponsors seeking sponsorship value in the series (think CHEAP). I am shocked that this may not be the case....DRR is just trolling for sponsorship $$$$. And besides, who needs them anyway when the series is so ripe with competition for sponsorship with the HUGE 18 to 49 adult male crowd. Everyone is happy! (or so I was told)....could it be that 40% losses in TV ratings and 0.18 ratings could be hurting the small teams? Say it ain't so!

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