Indy 500 notes: Camping World sponsoring pole sitter Dixon’s car

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INDIANAPOLIS – Scott Dixon will sport a new livery and sponsor when the 2017 pole sitter for the 101st Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil leads the field to the green flag on Sunday.

Scott DixonChip Ganassi Racing announced today that the four-time Verizon IndyCar Series champion and 2008 Indy 500 winner will be sponsored by Camping World, the nation's largest recreational vehicle and outdoor retailer. The No. 9 Camping World Honda will roll out in full livery for Miller Lite Carb Day on Friday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

“After weeks of discussions, we're proud to partner with Camping World, a brand that is the leader in its industry, and introduce them to our team’s Indy car operation,” said team owner Chip Ganassi. “They have a tremendous sports marketing portfolio, which includes some common ground for us in NASCAR.’

Camping World is led by CEO Marcus Lemonis, an entrepreneur, investor, television personality and chairman and CEO of Marcus Lemonis LLC and Good Sam Enterprises, the world's largest RV owners’ organization.

Lemonis is known as the "business turnaround king" and host of CNBC's prime-time reality series, “The Profit,” in which he lends his expertise to struggling small businesses around the country and judges’ businesses based on a "Three P" principle: People, Process, and Product.

“The Indianapolis 500 is the biggest motor race and the largest spectator sporting event in the world,” Dixon said, “and I’m very much looking forward to representing a new partner in Camping World this weekend and starting from the pole makes it even more special. I also know the show ‘The Profit’ very well and am excited to work with Marcus and his team.”

Drivers headed to 21 North American cities on Indy 500 media tour

In what has become an annual Indianapolis 500 tradition, the 33 participating drivers will fan out across North America on Tuesday of race week to spread the word about “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing.”

This year, the field for the 101st Running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil is scheduled to visit 21 cities in less than 24 hours. Drivers will meet with local media to discuss the race and partake in activities to increase the already-surging interest in the Indy 500.

Pole sitter Dixon will visit Toronto, where he has won twice in his Indy car career on the streets around Exhibition Place. The Verizon IndyCar Series visits the Canadian city again for the Honda Indy Toronto in July.

Reigning Indianapolis 500 champion Alexander Rossi, heralded Indy 500 rookie and two-time Formula One world champion Fernando Alonso and AJ Foyt Racing driver Conor Daly will visit New York City. Wrestling legend Ric Flair will join the three drivers in New York as the official celebrity emcee of the Indy 500 Snake Pit presented by Coors Light, which will feature EDM artists Zedd and Marshmello, along with support by RL Grime, Action Bronson, Adventure Club and The Trap House in the Indianapolis Motor Speedway infield on race day.

Pennsylvania natives Marco Andretti and Sage Karam will throw out the first pitch at Citizens Bank Park in front of their home crowd as the Philadelphia Phillies meet the Colorado Rockies in a National League baseball game. Helio Castroneves will bring the INDYCAR Experience street-legal two-seat Indy car to NRG Park to surprise members of the NFL’s Houston Texans with a thrill ride.

Sports fans can catch “Dancing with the Stars” sensation James Hinchcliffe on “SportsCenter” at 9:40 a.m. and 7 p.m. ET Tuesday, as the Schmidt Peterson Motorsports driver visits ESPN headquarters in Bristol, Connecticut.

The full list of the markets to be visited and drivers attending is below:

Bristol, Connecticut/ESPN: James Hinchcliffe

Buffalo: Graham Rahal

Charlotte: Will Power

Chicago: Juan Pablo Montoya

Columbus: Mikhail Aleshin

Dallas-Fort Worth: Tony Kanaan

Dayton: Jack Harvey, Zach Veach

Denver: Buddy Lazier

Detroit: Carlos Munoz, Simon Pagenaud, Spencer Pigot

Fort Wayne: Jay Howard, James Davison

Houston: Helio Castroneves

Louisville: Pippa Mann, Ed Jones

Miami-Fort Lauderdale: Oriol Servia, Gabby Chaves, Sebastian Saavedra

Milwaukee: Max Chilton, Charlie Kimball

New York: Alexander Rossi, Conor Daly, Fernando Alonso

Philadelphia: Marco Andretti, Sage Karam           

St. Louis: Ed Carpenter, Takuma Sato

San Francisco: JR Hildebrand      

Tampa-St. Petersburg: Ryan Hunter-Reay

Toronto: Scott Dixon

Washington: Josef Newgarden

Coverage of the 101st Indianapolis 500 begins at 11 a.m. ET Sunday on ABC and the Advance Auto Parts INDYCAR Radio Network. Tickets are available at IMS.com

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