Archive for February 24, 2020

By: Jeff Majeski — Jeff’s Indy Talk

Robbie Buhl drove the Purex car in the Indy Racing League — IndyCar Image: Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Former IndyCar driver Robbie Buhl announced he’s returning as an owner for a team that will field entries for both the GMR Grand Prix at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the Indianapolis 500 this May.

The new entity that Buhl is part of is Citrone/Buhl Autosport, which is a partnership between Robert and Nick Citrone and Tom and Robbie Buhl. Robert Citrone is the founder of Discovery Capital Management and the largest minority owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers.

The Detroit native competed in 78 IndyCar races between 1993 and 2004, including every 500 from 1996 through 2003. His best finish was sixth in 1999 after starting in the last row (32nd) driving for A.J. Foyt.

Buhl had a good chance for the win in 2001, hounding leader Helio Castroneves as the race entered the final 100 miles. Buhl spun coming off Turn 2 and into the inside wall on the back straight. While the car wasn’t damaged, the incident dropped him from contention, and he wound up 15th.

Buhl believed Castroneves, then a rookie, had blocked him during previous overtaking maneuvers – a charge others have since lodged from time to time against the now three-time Indy 500 champion.

“Castroneves blocked me all over the place,” Buhl said in the 2001 Indy Review yearbook. “But that’s not why I spun. I’m not making excuses.”

Johnny Lightning produced this nice diecast replica of Robbie Buhl’s Purex car.

After retiring from driving, Buhl was involved with the Dreyer & Reinbold operation for several years. It was with that team that he scored one of his two IndyCar wins – the Delphi Indy 200 at Walt Disney World in 2000, driving the colorful Purex car.

His other victory also came on a short oval as he took advantage of Eddie Cheever Jr.’s exploding gearbox in the late stages to claim the 1997 Pennzoil 200 at New Hampshire International Speedway.

Since leaving Dreyer & Reinbold, Buhl has been active in Detroit through Buhl Sport Detroit, a motorsports marketing company in the revitalized Corktown area that operates a rallycross team, Racing4Detroit, and an advanced driver training program called Teen Street Skills.

Click here to read the official press release.