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Sponsor lineups coming into focus for IndyCar teams

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AVONDALE, Ariz. – Just because not all of the 21 cars testing this weekend for the Verizon IndyCar Series’ Prix View test at Phoenix International Raceway are in finalized liveries doesn’t mean they don’t have most or all of their commercial considerations finalized.

Here’s what we’ve gathered so far about the sponsor lineups, by team:

TEAM PENSKE

  • Simon Pagenaud’s No. 1 Chevrolet will have Menards for 10 races, with Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) in its 2017 guise and PPG and DeVilbiss to round out the rotation. Pagenaud’s No. 1 car has PPG colors this weekend.
  • Josef Newgarden’s No. 2 Chevrolet will continue in Verizon colors at St. Petersburg, with Verizon (perhaps via its hum by Verizon brand), PPG, DeVilbiss and possibly Hawk Performance on board.
  • Helio Castroneves’ No. 3 Chevrolet continues with Hitachi, Rev Group and Shell, this year with Shell rather than Pennzoil branding set to feature.
  • Will Power’s No. 12 Chevrolet is in Verizon colors all year.
  • It’s not yet fully set which sponsors have which races, but there’s not expected to be upheaval within the Penske partner portfolio.

CHIP GANASSI RACING TEAMS

  • The revealing of the sponsor or sponsors set to adorn Scott Dixon’s No. 9 Honda remains the biggest question mark of the rest of the offseason. But expect Dixon’s all-white, sponsorless No. 9 car you see this test to be a relic of just this test.
  • Tony Kanaan’s No. 10 NTT Data Honda also has additional support, as previously announced, from 7-Eleven – although largely in an associate role.
  • Full season liveries for Max Chilton (Gallagher) and Charlie Kimball (Tresiba) continue, now on the Hondas.

ANDRETTI AUTOSPORT

  • DHL (Ryan Hunter-Reay), hhgregg (Marco Andretti) and Panasonic (Takuma Sato) adorn the respective Nos. 28, 27 and 26 Hondas, with Sato’s red, white and blue colors coming over from A.J. Foyt Enterprises.
  • The Andretti-Herta Autosport entry for Alexander Rossi has NAPA Auto Parts as announced for seven races (St. Petersburg, Long Beach, Indianapolis (both races) Road America, Watkins Glen and Sonoma). The team is working on the rest of the commercial program for this No. 98 Honda.

RAHAL LETTERMAN LANIGAN RACING

  • Expect a similar portfolio of partners back for Graham Rahal’s No. 15 Honda as was in 2016. “Status quo” is a good way of putting it. United Rentals’ black, blue and chrome colors from AERO Advanced Paint Technology are on the No. 15 car this test.
  • Oriol Servia’s confirmed for the Indianapolis 500 and pair of Detroit races in the second car. The team might be able to add the INDYCAR Grand Prix to the schedule, but is unlikely to run any of the first four races.

ED CARPENTER RACING

  • Beyond Fuzzy’s Ultra Premium Vodka, ECR is yet to reveal any additional primary partners for 2017. All three of its confirmed drivers – JR Hildebrand, Ed Carpenter and Spencer Pigot – all took shots in Fuzzy’s Vodka firesuits (no, this pun was not intentional).

SCHMIDT PETERSON MOTORSPORTS

  • A slightly different livery adorns the No. 5 Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda for James Hinchcliffe this year but it retains the same gold and black colors as last year.
  • Mikhail Aleshin’s No. 7 SMP Racing Honda is all-black this test but is expected to join the red, white and blue car brigade once the SMP colors come on board.

A.J. FOYT ENTERPRISES

  • Two ABC Supply Co. Chevrolets for the young guns, Conor Daly and Carlos Munoz. Distinguishing the near identical liveries is easier said than done!

DALE COYNE RACING

  • As it stands, both Coyne cars will retain a white, red and blue livery with the Boy Scouts of America signage on Ed Jones’ No. 19 Honda. Sebastien Bourdais’ No. 18 car just says Dale Coyne Racing on it.

Red Bull Air Race: Yoshi Muroya joins Sato as Japanese champs at Indy

Photo: Joerg Mitter/Red Bull Content Pool
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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.

CHECKING OUT EACH OTHER’S RIDES

ASTLES BREAKS THOUGH AS WELL

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.

Photo: Joerg Mitter/Red Bull Content Pool