Photos courtesy of Rising Star Racing

‘Sup, dog? Pigot’s Long Beach car features ‘Loki the Wolfdog’ support

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File this one under the “cool, new and different” category: Spencer Pigot’s usual No. 20 Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevrolet will have a different primary sponsor this week, as the backing of his Ed Carpenter Racing entry shifts from alcohol to a canine.


Loki the Wolfdog, something of an Instagram sensation with more than 1.4 million followers on the picture-heavy social media platform, will serve as primary sponsor of Pigot’s No. 20 Chevrolet this weekend at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach (Sunday, 4 p.m. ET, NBCSN).

Pigot and fellow Rising Star Racing-supported driver Neil Alberico, who competes with Carlin in the Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires series, got connected to Loki and the opportunity snowballed from there. Loki’s owner Kelly Lund documents the dog’s adventures, and Loki has been contracted to work with key brands such as Google, REI, The North Face, Toyota and Mercedes.

“Loki is basically the coolest dog out there, and he’s a serious force when it comes to connecting household brands with that elusive millennial audience,” Art Wilmes, founder of Rising Star Racing, said in a release. “We decided to team up with him to spread the word about our drivers, the Verizon IndyCar Series, and the Mazda Road to Indy. We’re beyond pleased to have Loki with us on Spencer Pigot’s car for the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. RSR is stretching the boundaries of promotion once again by combining the coolest canine out there with our wheel-man Spencer Pigot.”

Lund added, “Loki and I are all about new adventures, and getting involved with Rising Star Racing and its drivers is the next big trip for us. My life with Loki is unconventional, and I was drawn to Rising Star Racing because they’re taking a unique look at the racing world and making a huge difference in the lives of these drivers. I never thought I’d see Loki’s face on the side of a race car, but we’re beyond stoked and can’t wait to see Spencer (Pigot’s) car when we get to the track!”

As noted, Loki and Lund are expected to be in attendance at Long Beach.

“It’s going to be great to have Loki with us this weekend in Long Beach,” Pigot said. “His following on Instagram is incredible, and I really hope he enjoys his time with us in the Verizon IndyCar Series paddock. Loki has an adventuresome spirit and I think this will be a really special experience for both of us. Rising Star Racing is providing another creative way to generate exposure and I’m really happy to be part of it.”

With Preferred Freezer Services as primary sponsor for JR Hildebrand’s No. 21 Chevrolet, it’ll be a weird, Fuzzy’s non-primary weekend for Ed Carpenter Racing at Long Beach.

As far as we can recall, this is the first dog-related sponsorship in racing since the Dogecoin effort backed Josh Wise in NASCAR a few years ago, and Wise made a surprise trip getting voted into NASCAR’s All-Star Race thanks to the popularity of the Dogecoin supporters.

Marco Andretti to drive throwback scheme to honor 25th anniversary of grandfather Mario’s last win

Photo courtesy Andretti-Herta Autosport
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Marco Andretti wanted to do something really special to honor the 25th anniversary of grandfather Mario Andretti’s final Indy car win in 1993 at Phoenix International Raceway (now known as ISM Raceway).

So the third-generation Andretti, along with his team, Andretti-Herta Autosport, came up with a plan and design that will take longtime race fans back in time when it appears early next month for the Phoenix Grand Prix.

Marco Andretti’s No. 98 Oberto Beef Jerky Circle K/Curb Honda will be decked out in the colors of the car his grandfather won his last race on the one-mile short track 25 years ago.

“When the idea of a throwback livery celebrating my grandfather’s final win was thrown around, Oberto was ready to get to the drawing board,” Marco Andretti said in a media release. “The black, white and red car resembles many of my family’s race cars and was a big part of my life growing up.

“It’s really cool to be able to add one of my cars to that family legacy.”

The car is a virtual double of the legendary Newman-Haas Racing and Texaco/Havoline-sponsored car Mario drove on that celebratory day in the Valley of the Sun 2 ½ decades ago.

Various events and ceremonies during the April 6-7 race weekend will honor the senior Andretti. That includes several of his former competitors who will be on hand to celebrate with Mario, including Emerson Fittipaldi, Bobby Rahal, Jimmy Vasser, Paul Tracy, Arie Luyendyk, and of course, son Michael Andretti and grandson Marco Andretti.

Check out what happened on that day 25 years ago:

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