INDIANAPOLIS – For the second straight year, we have more than 33 cars attempting to qualify for the Indianapolis 500. With that being said, the debate on if we should let everyone race or at least let all the full time teams have an automatic starting spot in the big race is getting hotter.
See, the most logical sense would be that if we have 35-36 cars, like we’ve had the last two years, to let them all start or at the very least let the full time entrants have an automatic spot.
In a day and age where racing has dropped in numbers, why turn anyone with money away? Making this race could grow to higher car counts in the future across the board. We just went through an era where we had one manufacuturer in IndyCar. Now we’re heading towards a third here soon.
We’ve seen several big named sponsors leave the sport and now we have more starting to come in. Do you really want to send them away with a bad taste in their mouths? Why stunt their growth?
Plus, why not reward the full time teams and give them a guaranteed spot into the seasons largest race? After all, they’re investing the most and some say deserve a spot because of so. Traditionalist though disagree with all of that.
Roger Penske, Chip Ganassi and Michael Andretti all want guaranteed entrants for the full time teams. That’s a power packed group. Combined, these three owners have won 12 of the last 14 Indy 500’s and 16 of the last 19 years. You have a war between the three biggest owners in the sport against the traditionalists.
Well, what about a one-off owner? What’s his thoughts?
Dennis Reinbold, owner of Dreyer & Reinbold Racing is flattered by his rivals’ thoughts of guaranteed entrants.
“It says they’re scared of us, so whatever,” said Reinbold. “I don’t know, a lot of the same people that are for that were dead-set against it back in the day when it was proposed. I don’t know. I don’t look at it like it’s that big a deal. I mean, we have to beat people to get in the race this year, so it’s going to be the same going forward. I don’t know. I don’t think it’s an issue.”
There can be points made on all fronts which makes this highly debated topic on the forefront. In terms of a full time entry, Reinbold says that still his ultimate goal for his team other than winning the ‘500.
“We are trying to get back to full-time,” said Reinbold. “We may have to do part-time to get there. But we’re trying to grow the program, and we grew last year to two cars versus one, so that’s definitely on our radar. We have to make it work out financially and every other aspect. But we do aspire to be more involved in IndyCar going forward. We believe in IndyCar very, very much. Chevrolet has been awesome to us, been a great partner. We’re excited to have them.”