DRR/Cusick, Hunter-Reay bring David energy to Fast 12 Goliaths

Scott McLaughlin won his first Indianapolis 500 pole on Sunday and Kyle Larson won the hearts of IndyCar fans after becoming the fastest rookie qualifier in Speedway history on his way to securing fifth.

But the biggest accomplishment this weekend at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway was reserved for the smallest team, which only competes at the Indy 500, as Ryan Hunter-Reay cracked the Fast 12 qualifying group with his No. 23 Dreyer & Reinbold Racing/Cusick Motorsports Chevy.

The combination of the 2014 Indy 500 winner and the team owned by Dennis Reinbold and run this year in partnership with Don Cusick was formidable in time trials as Hunter-Reay out-qualified the entire Chip Ganassi Racing team, plus three of the four cars from both Andretti Global and Rahal Letterman Lanigan.


There was one giant killer in qualifying, and it was RHR and DRR.

“I can’t tell you how much it means to everybody involved in this program, how much attention to detail they put into it, the effort that goes into it,” Hunter-Reay told RACER after posting a four-lap average of 230.567 mph.

“They’re the last to get parts, they’re the last on the assembly line to get the development done and to get in the wind tunnel and things like that. It’s a huge deal for us to get into that Fast 12. It’s really fun to be a part of that. We made the right decisions at the right time and got it where we need to get it. I’m really, really thrilled for the team on that. They should be proud of it. You could definitely win from 12th.”

Through Reinbold and Cusick, Hunter-Reay’s No. 23 Chevy is loaded with an array of small sponsors, and thanks to the infectious enthusiasm from the owners, plus the entire DRR staff, Indy 500 fans have been gifted a true David to support as they take on the Goliaths.

“I think the foundation is that passion that Dennis Reinbold has for this race,” Hunter-Reay added. “His whole year revolves around it. A lot of the crew members I’ve worked with in the past, they get together and they get to focus on this one race, and it has its advantages. It’s great to have Don Cusick on board. He’s so passionate about this program as well. It’s a great atmosphere in the team. When you get to really pull it all together, and have a great effort like that, now we’re in the top 12.

“Really proud of that, honestly. I’ve been working with not only (race engineer) Todd Bowen, who I worked with last year as my engineer, but Peter Gibbons; way overqualified. It’s phenomenal to get these names together and everybody’s got one drive. We’re the only one-off team that made it into the Fast 12 so very proud of this group.”

Hunter-Reay’s teammate Conor Daly qualified 29th in the No. 24 DRR/Cusick Chevy.

Story originally appeared on Racer