Verizon Wireless has confirmed it will serve as primary sponsor Juan Pablo Montoya for eight IndyCar races, which marks the first bit of primary sponsor news for the Colombian in his return to the series.
Verizon will continue for a full year on Will Power’s No. 12 Chevrolet; additionally, the wireless giant will serve as primary sponsor for all three Team Penske cars (Montoya, Power, Helio Castroneves) at the inaugural Grand Prix of Indianapolis on May 10.
“Verizon has been a terrific partner for Team Penske and we are excited to continue to grow our relationship with them in 2014 and beyond,” team boss Roger Penske said in a release. “Verizon’s technology and marketing activation has meant so much to Team Penske and the sport of IndyCar racing and we look forward to building on this special partnership in the future.”
The remaining 10 races on Montoya’s car are still to be determined. Verizon first partnered with Penske in 2009, with Power’s then-part-time third car and also with the team’s GRAND-AM Rolex Series’ Porsche Riley Daytona Prototype.
Takuma Sato isn’t the only major Japanese athlete to take home top honors at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway this year. Countryman Yoshihide Muroya joined him in that on Sunday after winning Red Bull Air Race at IMS, and the Red Bull Air Race World Championship in the process.
Fittingly, the 101st Indianapolis 500 champion was there on site to join him in the celebration.
Muroya flew with a track-record run in the final and erased the four-point deficit to points leader Martin Sonka. The record run came after a disappointing qualifying effort of 11th in the 14-pilot field in the Master Class.
A day after the win, Muroya joined Sato in heading to Sato’s new Verizon IndyCar Series team, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing’s, Indianapolis-based shop.
A few social posts from Muroya’s victory and the subsequent celebration are below.
Muroya wasn’t alone among big winners at the Speedway. In the Challenger Class, Melanie Astles of France became the first woman to win a major race at IMS, and is the first female winner in the Red Bull Air Race World Championship.
Nine women have competed in the Indianapolis 500 (Janet Guthrie, Lyn St. James, Sarah Fisher, Danica Patrick, Milka Duno, Simona de Silvestro, Pippa Mann, Ana Beatriz, Katherine Legge) and Mann is the first woman to have been on the pole position at IMS, having done so for the Freedom 100 in 2010 in Indy Lights.