Cusick Motorsports team owner Don Cusick says they are excited about the 107th running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge, which takes place on Sunday, May 28. Speaking to Paddock Eye on Tuesday, when asked about how the preparations for ‘The Greatest Spectacle In Racing’ is going, he said that they have been excellent given the fact that they made the announcement several months ago, which has given them plenty of run-up time where, in the past, they made the entry announcement late.
Cusick said they have often asked, ‘Well, what should we do?’ They sit back and enjoy the ride.
We have a lot of guests coming in and it’s well-known around the paddock that we’ve got 20 sponsors on the car and with those 20 sponsors comes around 100 people all coming to the race some of them for the very first time. So, there is a lot of logistics involved but we have Tom Fink (Director of Operations with Cusick Motorsports) and course Anders. I think we’re ready, knock wood, as ready as we could be.
Does having Ryan Hunter-Reay in the second car with DRR complement what you have with Stefan?
I think that having a former winner and a person of Ryan’s character and ability on the team is a huge help. Stefan and Ryan have run together before at Andretti so they knew each other and I think it’s a really good match up. They get along really, really well so, I have high hopes. It’s practice and all that but we came out of the box pretty strong and that Dreyer and Reinbold team focuses on one thing and one thing only (running Indy only) and they do a really good job, so, we’re super excited and of course this is such an upgrade from where we’ve been that it’s almost like a whole different experience.
What are your expectations going into May? What goals have you set is it a top five?
I think you hit the nail on the head. If we can be in the fast 12 for qualifying and finish in the top ten, that would be successful. Candidly, I think we can compete at the top of the field. Stefan’s been there before; he knows how to do it. Certainly, Ryan has. There’s no doubt about it, it’s super competitive. I think a top-five finish would exceed everyone’s expectations, and we’d be thrilled but, moreover we are trying to build credibility for our programme and you we want to grow and run more races. We certainly want to lockdown the 500 for at least the next three years. We feel really strong that DRR are a great platform but there are a lot of moving pieces. So, we’ve gor a lot of irons in the fire. There’s a lot of different conversations going on. But i think that the last few years and most especially this year, has kind of given us the credibility that people are talking to us about different opportunities and we appreciate that.
What is next for the team? Are you using the Indy 500 to show potential new sponsors that this is who we are and what we do?
The eventual aim is to be a full-time team. I think the way things are shaping up; I think the conversations we are having will probably be 2025 at this point. I think for 2024, our short-term goal would be to run the ovals, and indeed, DRR has the equipment capability for that. To answer your first part of the question regarding sponsors, we are showing a new group of companies that have, in some cases, an interest in motorsport. In some cases, you are just interested in B to B, this platform, and what it’s all about, and as you know, it’s an experience like no other. We equate it to being in the handle with Tom Brady at the Super Bowl. You get that whole race experience, with a small team like ours. I think it excites the fans and sponsors, and as much as having your name on the side of the car is fantastic, I think the real value for them is integrating and interfacing with all the different people we bring.
Cusick Motorsports will be back on track at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Tuesday, May 16, with the opening day of practice for the Greatest Spectacle In Racing with Stefan Wilson. For further information on Cusick Motorsports, click here.
For more information on the 107th running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge on Sunday, May 28, click here.