Notes: Shell returns to sponsor Castroneves for 101st Indy 500

Updated: 

Shell and Penske Corporation announced today a multi-year extension of their ongoing business, technical and motorsport alliance that includes continued sponsorship of Team Penske’s cars in the Verizon IndyCar Series.

Three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Helio Castroneves will continue to represent the Shell and Pennzoil brands in 2017, for the sixth consecutive season. Castroneves will drive the No. 3 Shell V-Power NiTRO+ Chevrolet at the 101st Running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil on May 28. Shell and Pennzoil will also be associate sponsors on all Team Penske cars competing in the Verizon IndyCar Series.

Roger Penske, Joey Logano, and Helio CastronevesShell and Pennzoil will continue sponsoring Team Penske entries in the Verizon IndyCar Series and Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series through the 2022 season and beyond. Shell and Pennzoil will also continue to be the preferred supplier of fuels, lubricants and related products to the Penske organization.

“Penske Corporation is proud to continue its partnership with Shell,” said Roger Penske, founder and chairman, Penske Corporation. “Team Penske has enjoyed great success with Shell, both on and off the racetrack, and we are excited to build on our relationship well into the next decade with our teams, both in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series and the Verizon IndyCar Series.”

Shell and Pennzoil began the current relationship with Team Penske in 2011, an extension of the Shell and Pennzoil racing legacy with the legendary motorsports team. Pennzoil first aligned with Team Penske as part of its Indy car program in 1983 and won two Indianapolis 500s with driver Rick Mears in 1984 and ‘88.

Team Penske also announced that it has come to an agreement with Joey Logano to continue driving the No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil car in NASCAR Cup competition throughout the length of the Shell-Team Penske extension. Formal announcement of the extension took place today at Daytona International Speedway in advance of this weekend’s Daytona 500.

Butterball expands sponsorship with Andretti Autosport

U.S.-based food corporation Butterball has extended its relationship with Andretti Autosport for a fourth straight year, continuing as an associate sponsor of the No. 28 DHL Honda driven by 2012 Verizon IndyCar Series champion and 2014 Indianapolis 500 winner Hunter-Reay.

“Butterball has been a great partner since 2014 and I’m really excited to have them on board again this year,” said Hunter-Reay. “They were with me when I won the Indianapolis 500, which was a really special moment for everyone involved. Hopefully we can bring them back into victory lane this year, not only at Indy, but throughout the season as well.”  

The partnership will expand in 2017 as Butterball branding will be placed on all four Andretti Autosport full-time entries in the Verizon IndyCar Series. The Butterball logo will be featured below the front suspension on the Honda-powered cars of Marco Andretti, Alexander Rossi and Takuma Sato and known as the “Butterball Wishbone.”

“We are thrilled to have Butterball back for a fourth consecutive season,” said Michael Andretti, CEO and chairman of Andretti Autosport. “The partnership began with Hunter-Reay and now it has expanded to all four of our cars, which means they have become even more of a key member of the Andretti family.”  

Mentor program highlights Schmidt Peterson Motorsports sponsorship

Lincoln Technical Institute, a national leader in specialized automotive training, announced it will be an associate sponsor of the No. 5 Arrow Electronics Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda driven by James Hinchcliffe in the 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series season.

The most significant element in Lincoln Tech’s sponsorship program is the creation of its groundbreaking mentor program. Lincoln Tech will select one student and an instructor to be immersed within the SPM team for six straight races, starting with the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach race weekend April 7-9. Lincoln Tech’s auto campuses will nominate deserving students for the opportunity based on the student’s GPA, attendance, conduct and overall commitment to becoming an outstanding automotive technician.

“James and team owner Sam Schmidt’s perseverance, integrity and professionalism are traits we look to instill in all of our students,” said Scott Shaw, Lincoln Tech’s CEO and president. “We could not think of two better brand ambassadors to represent Lincoln Tech and to help mentor our students. We have been approached over the years by many racing teams looking for sponsorship. However, SPM presents the most comprehensive program and one that we felt fully engaged our campuses and our students.”

Piers Phillips, general manager of Schmidt Peterson Motorsports, said the program is good for the sport.

“The Lincoln Tech arrangement broadens our opportunity to find fresh talent,” Phillips said. “Being able to work with, guide, expose and tutor their students, as well as giving them access and exposure to the behind the scenes of our industry, is a huge opportunity; I wish I had such an opportunity at that age.”

Of note

Cape Motorsports confirmed Rick Donison as its first driver for the 2017 Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship powered by Mazda season. Donison, 18, is a winner of multiple national karting titles in his native country of India. … Platinum-selling grunge punk band Everclear will perform at Iowa Speedway on Saturday, July 8 as part of the Iowa Corn 300 race weekend. The Verizon IndyCar Series race at the 0.894-mile oval is scheduled for July 9. … One of country music’s most prominent duos will bring their blue-collar sound to the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix presented by Lear as Montgomery Gentry will perform on the MotorCity Casino Hotel Entertainment Stage on Saturday, June 3, following the first of two Verizon IndyCar Series races that weekend. Montgomery Gentry has produced five No. 1 songs on the country charts including: “Something to Be Proud of,” “If You Ever Stop Loving Me,” “Lucky Man,” “Back when I Knew It All” and “Roll with Me.” The concert is free to all grand prix ticketholders on June 3.

From the fans