For Reinhart, soaking in the event’s atmosphere is every bit as important as the opportunity to establish his team as a bonafide contender for the 2018 tour championship.
“I’m more excited about the experience of the weekend than anything,” explains Reinhart. “Big races like this have a completely different energy to them. Everything – from start to finish – just feels different. The more familiar we are with that feeling, the better chance we have of performing the way we know that we need to.”
In addition to familiarizing his team with a ‘big race atmosphere’, Reinhart will also remain mindful of the importance that equipment preservation plays early in a race season.
“The plan for the weekend is to soak it all in and keep our nose out of trouble,” says the Shelburne, ON native. “If we can put the car on the trailer on Sunday night in one piece, I’ll be on cloud nine.”
“The last thing our team needs to deal with is a torn up car in our first race of the season. I just want to dodge all the craziness and come away a little more knowledgeable than we were when we unloaded.”
The open-wheel specialist impressed with a number of strong late-season appearances last year, and is eager to follow up on that with a head-turning 2018 debut.
“Our 2017 season was all about getting more comfortable with this car and getting a feel for what works and what doesn’t,” explains Reinhart. “I like to think that we absolutely accomplished that. This division is advancing so quickly that you really need to stay on your toes if you want to best understand your equipment.”
“The car was working great towards the end of the season so we haven’t changed much over the Winter. We’re just looking to take advantage of this weekend to keep making gains and get a foothold in this division.”
Dale Reinhart’s 2018 season is presented by Frost Chevrolet Buick GMC Cadillac, Scott Reinhart Trailer Sales, SJR Plumbing, Dunwood Signs, Robvale Farms and BW Towing.