UFD returns as sponsor on Andretti's No. 27 Honda

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Marco Andretti’s No. 27 Honda will take on a new but familiar look for four races in the 2016 Verizon IndyCar Series season, including this weekend’s Desert Diamond West Valley Phoenix Grand Prix at Phoenix International Raceway.

Andretti will have United Fiber & Data as a co-primary sponsor for the April 1-2 event as well as the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach later in April, ABC Supply 500 at Pocono Raceway in August and the Grand Prix of Boston Powered by LogMeIn in September. In addition, United Fiber & Data remains an associate on the car of Andretti Autosport teammate Ryan Hunter-Reay, in the No. 28 DHL Honda, for the duration of the season. United Fiber & Data joins Snapple and hhgregg as Marco Andretti’s lead sponsors for the 2016 Verizon IndyCar Series campaign.

“We’re really pleased to see United Fiber & Data continue to grow as they return to Indy car racing,” team owner Michael Andretti said. “While the UFD colors were not on the cars in 2015, we’ve remained close friends with a solid partnership. I’d like to thank the entire UFD family for their continued support and look forward to seeing the No. 27 United Fiber & Data/Snapple car on track in Phoenix.”

This is the third season in the relationship between Andretti Autosport and UFD, which served as a major associate sponsor with the team in 2013 and 2014, and as full primary sponsor for the No. 27 driven by James Hinchcliffe in 2014.

“Unmatched speed, strategy and technology … these qualities are synonymous with Andretti Autosport and INDYCAR, and they are equally integral to United Fiber & Data’s fiber communications network,” said Bill Hynes, founder & CEO of United Fiber & Data. “Our sponsorship support for Andretti Autosport is symbolic of the relationships that connect UFD to our clients and technology partners. That’s why this partnership means so much to us, and we’re excited to see the familiar colors of the UFD livery as we return as a primary sponsor for select INDTCAR races across the country,"

Action at the Desert Diamond West Valley Phoenix Grand Prix begins with practice and qualifying on April 1. The opening practice (1-2:15 p.m. ET) and qualifying (5-6 p.m. ET) will be telecast live on NBCSN. The final practice session (9:15-9:45 p.m. ET) will be streamed on RaceControl.IndyCar.com. The race telecast starts at 8:30 p.m. ET April 2 on NBCSN.

Scott HargroveHargrove back with Team Pelfrey in Indy Lights for Phoenix, Barber events

Following a podium finish in his season debut on the streets of St. Petersburg, Scott Hargrove will return to action for Team Pelfrey for this weekend’s Phoenix Grand Prix in Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires. The 2013 Cooper tires USF 2000 Championship Powered by Mazda champion will also drive the No. 3 GAP Guard Dallara IL-15 in the April 22-24 doubleheader weekend at Barber Motorsports Park.

The Phoenix race will be the Canadian’s first on an oval.

“Phoenix will be interesting given the lack of testing we’ve had there,” Hargrove said, citing mechanical issues both he and teammate Juan Piedrahita had at the Indy Lights open test at PIR on Feb. 25, “but I’m excited for the challenge, and we were quick at the Barber test, so we’ll look to be running up front there as well.”

Indy Lights practice and qualifying take place at Phoenix on April 1, with the race set to start at 4:25 p.m. ET April 2. All sessions will be streamed live on RaceControl.IndyCar.com. A race replay airs at 11 p.m. ET April 8 on NBCSN.

INDYCAR drivers doubling up at NBA games

Verizon IndyCar Series drivers James Hinchcliffe, Conor Daly and Alexander Rossi will participate in activities at tonight’s Indiana Pacers home game with the Chicago Bulls, while driver Tony Kanaan and the Borg-Warner Trophy will be at the Detroit Pistons home game against the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Hinchcliffe (Schmidt Peterson Motorsports), Daly (Dale Coyne Racing) and Rossi (Andretti Autosport) will sign autographs for fans from 6-6:30 p.m. ET prior to the Pacers game at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. They will also partake in fun opportunities throughout the course of the game.

Kanaan (Chip Ganassi Racing Teams) is in Detroit to promote the Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix that features the only doubleheader race weekend on the Verizon IndyCar Series schedule June 3-5. He will be available for autographs at the Palace of Auburn Hills North Pavilion beginning at 6:35 p.m. ET. Fans may also have their photos taken with the Borg-Warner Trophy, which features the likenesses of every Indianapolis 500 winner, including Kanaan from 2013.

From the fans