It’s taken until June for Tony Kanaan’s No. 11 KV Racing Technology-SH Chevrolet to find sponsorship for all remaining races, but the last one is a big one.
The team announced Wednesday that Sunoco and “Turbo,” the upcoming DreamWorks Animation film about a snail’s quest to race in the Indianapolis 500, will serve as primary sponsors of Kanaan’s car at the Texas, Iowa, Pocono and Mid-Ohio races.
“We are thrilled with our partnership,” said Cynthia Archer, Sunoco’s vp of marketing development. “Teaming up with DreamWorks Animation and 2013 Indianapolis 500 champ Tony Kanaan is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. It gives us a great platform to create excitement for our annual Free Fuel 5000 promotion and the TURBO movie.”
Kanaan couldn’t contain his excitement during a teleconference Wednesday, noting how the movie is targeted toward a younger demographic.
“My kid is the most excited kid right now,” he said of his son Leo. “He’s familiar with the Turbo movie. That for me is big. As you knew we were struggling and Sunoco and Turbo picked up the races that were left! I’m very excited about that.”
It’s a great fit for both parties; Sunoco’s history in IndyCar dates to 1968, and won the first IndyCar race at Pocono in 1971 with Mark Donohue. Donohue led 126 of 200 laps for Roger Penske in that race. IndyCar returns to Pocono this year, for the first time since 1989.
At the Indianapolis 500, the Sunoco/”Turbo” colors ran on Townsend Bell’s No. 60 Panther Racing Chevrolet.
Tickets on sale for 2019 IndyCar race at Circuit of the Americas
Tickets are now on sale for the upcoming IndyCar Classic at the Circuit of the Americas March 22-24, 2019 and in grand Texas fashion, the series and track kicked off the sale with appearances by Simon Pagenaud and Colton Herta in San Antonio and Austin respectively.
The CoTA race will be the second race of the 2019 season.
The highly anticipated debut of IndyCar at CoTA adds another marquee event to the track’s schedule along with Formula 1, World Rallycross and the Pirelli World Challenge.
Pagenaud was joined by retired San Antonio Sours player Brent Barry and local businessman Red McCombs as they visited the Alamo and world famous McNay Art Museum.
This will be IndyCar’s first trip to the track, but Pagenaud came within one position of winning at Texas Motor Speedway in 2018. Driving for Team Penske, he started and second behind his teammate Josef Newgarden and finished a season-best second to Scott Dixon.
Pagenaud hopes to add to his current 11 victories after going winless in 2018.
After visting San Antonio, focus shifted to Austin where Herta was joined by Jay Frye, President of Competition and Operations at IndyCar and Bobby Epstein, Chairman of Circuit of the Americas.
Herta took to the streets of Austin and visited the Texas State Capitol building as part of his tour.
Herta, who will turn 19-years-old the week after IndyCar visits CoTA, will campaign for Rookie of the Year honors in 2019. He has one previous start in the series at Sonoma this September. He qualified 19th and completed all 85 laps before finishing 20th in the 25-car field.
In 33 starts in Indy Lights competition, Herta has six wins, 20 podium finishes and nine poles.