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Dreyer & Reinbold confirms Duno return.

Far from becoming a third member of the crack Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing line-up, Milka Duno's return to the IndyCar Series will come with 2008 team Dreyer & Reinbold Racing, which unveiled a limited programme for the Venezuelan overnight.

Having tested with NHLR during pre-season, much was made of the rumour that Duno could take her valuable backing from CITGO to help support the efforts of Graham Rahal and Robert Doornbos. However, with NHLR insisting that the relationship was merely to give the model/honours student track time with a bigger operation, Duno has returned to DRR in order to race, and will be back on track almost immediately, replacing Darren Manning in the #23 car at Kansas Speedway this weekend.

"We are very excited to have Milka back with our team," co-owner Dennis Reinbold commented, "We had significant momentum last year and we want to pick up where we left off and continue to get results. Also, we are very proud that CITGO is returning as a primary sponsor on the #23 car."

According to the team, Duno will not only partner rookie Mike Conway - who will continue to pilot the #24 Dad's Root Beer-backed machine - but will also 'bring her oval experience to the table' in an effort to aid the Briton's near-vertical learning curve. Manning, meanwhile, is forced to watch from the sidelines after two respectable showings in St Petersburg and Long Beach, following a late call-up to the second DRR entry.

"I'm really happy to be racing and to be back at Kansas," Duno remarked, "This track is a very special place for me, because I made my debut in the IndyCar Series here. The fans are very supportive.

"I'm also very happy to be coming back to Dreyer & Reinbold Racing as they did a great job last year, and I must thank CITGO for their fantastic support. I really appreciate the opportunity to be back and will work hard to get some great results."

After racing in sportscars, Duno made the jump to the IndyCar Series with SAMAX Motorsports in 2007, finishing second in the Bombardier Learjet Rookie of the Year standings and taking a career-best eleventh place in Texas. She moved to DRR for 2008, leading five laps at Chicagoland during the pit-stop windows, before being offered the opportunity to test with NHLR over the winter.

She - and her relative lack of pace - has attracted criticism from her rivals, however, not least during a very public pit-lane spat with Danica Patrick at Mid-Ohio, where the AGR pilot accused her not moving over for faster cars during a practice session.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Indy Racing League. 24-25 Feb. 2009. IRL Homestead Test.  Homestead Internation Raceway. Homestead, Florida. Milka Duno.
EJ Viso, driver of the #5 Team Venezuela PDVSA CITGO Andretti Autosport HVM Chevrolet, races to a fifth-place finish Sunday, July 14, 2013 during the IZOD IndyCar Series Race Two in the Streets of Toronto, Ontario, Canada.. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt for Chevy Racing)
Oriol Servia, driver of the #22 Charter Panther Dreyer & Reinbold Racing Chevrolet, finished sixth Sunday, April, 21, 2013 in the Grand Prix of Long Beach Indy in Long Beach, California. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt for Chevrolet)
Oriol Servia #22 Panther Dreyer & Reinbold Racing during practice for the 96th running of the Indianapolis 500. 12-27 May, 2012, Indianapolis, Indiana, USA. (c) 2012 Dan R. Boyd LAT Photo USA (Photo credit: INDYCAR/LAT USA)
Justin Wilson #18 Sonny`s BBQ Dale Coyne Racing ahead of Oriol Servia in the #22 Panther Dreyer & Reinbold Racing car during practice for the 96th running of the Indianapolis 500. 12-27 May, 2012, Indianapolis, Indiana, USA. (c) 2012 Dan R. Boyd LAT Photo USA (Photo credit: INDYCAR/LAT USA)
Dennis Reinbold at a press conference at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. [Picture credit: IndyCar Media]
Ana Beatriz and Dennis Reinbold confer. [Picture credit: IndyCar Media]
Giorgio Pantano racing with Dreyer and Reinbold. [Picture credit: IndyCar Media]
Giorgio Pantano (Dreyer & Reinbold) on track at Infineon Raceway.  [Photo by Chris Jones for IndyCar Media]
Justin Wilson, Dreyer & Reinbold driver of the #22 car in 2011
Simon Pagenaud takes over Justin Wilson`s Dreyer & Reinbold car at the last minute at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course - August 2011. [Photo credit: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media]
Justin Wilson in his Dreyer & Reinbold car during practice at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. [Photo: Dan Helrigel for IndyCar Media]
Justin Wilson prepares for qualifying on the streets of Toronto. July 2011. [Picture credit: Jim Haines for IndyCar Media]
Justin Wilson out on the streets of Toronto. July 2011. [Picture credit: Jim Haines for IndyCar Media]
Mike Conway (Dreyer & Reinbold) in a horrific crash on the last lap of the 2010 Indianapolis 500. The accident left him sidelined with injuries for the remainder of the season, until he returned to racing with Andretti Autosport in 2011. [Picture credit: Jef Richards for IndyCar Media.]
Justin Wilson suited up onPole Day for the 2011 Indy 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Saturday, May 21. [Picture credit: Shawn Gritzmacher for IndyCar Media]
3-4 September, 2010, Sparta, Kentucky USA
#22 Team Z-Line Designs/ Dreyer & Reinbold Racing`s Justin Wilson.
3-4 September, 2010, Sparta, Kentucky USA
#24 Motegi Racing Wheels/ Dreyer & Reinbold racing`s Paul Tracy with Helio Castroneves and Scott Dixon.

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Andrew Long - Unregistered

April 24, 2009 8:14 AM

It's a sad say when you replace someone like Manning with Duno - who better looking than Manning - is hardly going to set the world on fire. Is her oval experience that that much better than Manning or is a pretty face and the Citgo $$$$'s that talk ?

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