Tuesday, February 2, 2010

DRR Confirms 2010 Lineup

After days of speculation, today Dreyer and Reinbold Racing confirmed the return of Mike Conway and the addition of Justin Wilson to their 2010 lineup. Conway will again pilot the #24 Dad's Root Beer/Roll Coater Dallara as he did last season. Justin Wilson who is leaving Dale Coyne Racing will bring his 2009 sponsor along with him in Z-Line Designs and will run the #22. According to Dennis Reinbold the #23 of DRR was left open for the possibility of a 3rd full-time entry, and remember Milka always runs the #23.

At the beginning of last month Dale Coyne said that his 2010 lineup would be announced at the end of January, which has obviously come and past. The hold up could have to do with the Z-Line Designs move. In last months teleconference Coyne stated "Z-Line has been a great sponsor over the past 2 years and they plan to continue in 2010" However, today Coyne issued a press release saying that he is in the final stages of confirming next season drivers for a 2-car team. He also issued the released the following statement:

“I wish to personally thank Jim and Monica Sexton of Z-Line Designs for their support over the past two years. The new relationship and media aspect are great opportunities for Z-Line and their new partnership with Charter Communications and Dreyer & Reinbold Racing.

I would also like to thank Justin Wilson for his contributions and efforts of the past year. It was great to get our first win with Justin last year at Watkins Glen. We again wish him the best and know that he will be a good ambassador for Z-Line Designs.” -Dale Coyne

"I'm very excited to re-sign again with DRR for the 2010 season. Last year there was a lot to learn and was a tough season, but now I'm more prepared and looking forward to the season ahead. Over the winter the team has been striving to build a better team and from what I have seen it all looks very exciting. I'd like to thank all of my sponsors for all their continued support and can't wait to get out and win races this year," -Mike Conway

"Obviously I'm very excited to join Dreyer and Reinbold Racing. I think that they are a great team and I really like the direction that DRR is headed in. They have put a lot of work in over the winter and that is very encouraging. I believe that we will be very competitive and my aim is to win the championship. I know it mayseem steep, but I feel that we have a very good chance and I'm ready to win some races. I also think that its great that Z-line Designs has chosen Dreyer and Reinbold Racing and I really look forward to working with them for a second year. It's going to be a good season," -Justin Wilson

"We are excited to be able to put a deal together, for both Mike and Justin. They are both really talented drivers and we believe that they will be great teammates. We made a number of productive changes over the off-season and as we continue to build our team we feel that we are making Dreyer and Reinbold Racing more and more competitive," - Dennis Reinbold, Dreyer and Reinbold Racing co-owner.


And now:

1) What's the future of EJ Viso?
2) Is it possible a Hildebrand+Scheckter lineup for Coyne?

I wrote it last week, the answer is team mergers, NOW.

Example: Vision/ Coyne/ Bachelart puts Izod "Stars" Ed Carpenter in the "I Drive Green" car, and Graham Rahal in the Boy Scout's car.

That mirrors the reaction to reality taken by Nascar team owners in 2009.

Fine press releases and TV commercials are not sufficient to improve the outlook.

Transporters load for Barber in 19 days.

Andy Bernstein

Team mergers are definitely an interesting and practical idea...and Graham in the BSA car definitely would make sense...especially since he seriously needs a ride.

Just another passing thought about the Boy Scout car...If there's a Hildebrand and Scheckter pairing, Hildebrand HAS to be in the that car. While Scheckter's antics might be good for the series, it would be a PR nightmare for the BSA.

Why does J.R. Hildebrand HAVE to be in a DCR car? Because he's an American? That to me is NOT a reason why someone should get a ride in the series. Would it be nice for it to happen? Yes, it would. But for anyone to say that this HAS to happen? What are you going to do if it doesn't? Come back here and complain? Whine about it some other message board, thinking that what YOU want should overrule any other considerations? Grow up, children. I realize that's not going to happen, but I say that for my benefit, not for yours.

Thanks Ty,

J.R. without a ride is a shame, but it's no higher than third on the priority list after Rahal and the BSA.

How about N/H/L + DeFerran + Wachs. Lloyd and Hildebrand drive, add Summerton when finances permit. That's just another fictional example, but these sort of coalitions need to happen to accumulate the required resources.

Andy Bernstein

Let me clarify my comments about Hildebrand and the BSA car...I'm not saying that he should be the only choice for that car. I want the best drivers to get cars.
However, I said in my original post that if there was a Scheckter - Hildebrand pairing at DCR, Hildebrand has to be in that car, not because he is American, but because the driver of the BSA car needs to exhibit a certain character...and we all know how easily Tomas can fly off the handle sometimes.

I'm not blasting Tomas either though. He adds excitement to the series, but it would be really bad PR for the BSA if something happened and he didn't handle it well.

The closer it gets to the start of the season, the more likely it is the best drivers will get the ride. Teams waiting to confirm lineups are just watching the dominoes fall. Example - Coyne. Waiting for Wilson to make his decision. While Rahal is still available, I imagine all teams who need a driver are trying to get him. Those with sponsors, at least. Ride buyers will probably make up the rest of the spots. Should be interesting. All the chatter about who deserves the spot versus who doesn't is crazy. Its a business, and these drivers are treating it that way as much as the car owners are. Each are trying to locate sponsors as hard as the next one.

What differentiates the position of several drivers from all the rest is the direct investment that the title sponsor has made in them.

Izod has a personal sponsorship committment with Hunter-Reay, who will only appear in half of the events. Rahal and Carpenter appear in Izod promotions, but as of yet do not have seats in Series race cars.

You can argue the talent levels of all the remaining free agents, and realize that personal or team sponsorships might be found to put any available driver in a car.

But you cannot argue that the three drivers I mentioned are just faces in the crowd. They are more than that to the title sponsor.

If merging teams is the necessary step to fully fund rides for all three, as well as to fully represent the Boy Scouts car in competition, then those partnerships should be formed.

You're quite right Aaron, this isn't about "fantasy racing". It is a business.

Andy Bernstein

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