Valvoline to partner with Hendrick Motorsports from 2014

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Valvoline, a longtime partner of Ford teams in NASCAR, will switch to Chevrolet’s longtime flagship team Hendrick Motorsports in 2014.

The new multiyear agreement through 2017 will see Valvoline featured as a prominent associate sponsor on the four cars driven by Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Gordon, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Kasey Kahne. Valvoline will also be the preferred oil for the Hendrick Automotive Group, the fleet of dealers owned by Hendrick Motorsports team boss Rick Hendrick.

Valvoline has past history with Hendrick – it was a lubricant technology partner for Gordon’s first three full seasons in Cup from 1993 to 1995 – and Hendrick himself won his first drag race at age 14 with Valvoline in the car.

Valvoline has long been associated with Roush Fenway Racing, notably on Mark Martin’s No. 6 Ford and more recently with its green Valvoline NextGen brand featured on the No. 17 Ford driven by Matt Kenseth and this year, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. It has also been on the No. 13 Germain Racing Ford driven by Casey Mears this year.

Those longing for a return to the more traditional Valvoline blue, white and red would seem to have high hopes because all four Hendrick cars have a variation of blue paint schemes, with only Earnhardt Jr.’s Diet Mountain Dew livery in the green department.

IndyCar race weekend doubleheader schedule at IMS road course

IndyCar weekend schedule Indianapolis
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The NTT IndyCar Series will return to Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the third time this season but with a weekend schedule that will put the action in front of fans for the first time in 2020.

The track’s 14-turn, 2.439-mile road course will play host to IndyCar and sports cars series over four days. The action will begin Thursday with practice and concluding with an eight-hour race Sunday featuring the Intercontinental GT Challenge and GT World Challenge America.

The NTT IndyCar Series will hold a Friday-Saturday race doubleheader called the Harvest GP presented by GMR.

ENTRY LISTS: Who’s racing IndyCar at IMS this weekend

The name is a nod to the Harvest Classic, which was held Sept. 9, 1916 to help the track stay solvent during World War I. The event had three races of 20, 50 and 100 miles (all won by Johnny Aitken) that was the only racing held outside May at IMS from 1911-93.

A limited crowd of 10,000 will be allowed each day this weekend, and those fans will be the first to experience new video boards, concession stands, restrooms and 5G wireless connectivity.

Here’s the IndyCar weekend schedule for Indianapolis Motor Speedway Harvest GP:

(All times are Eastern)

IndyCar weekend schedule: Thursday, Oct. 1

Noon — Indianapolis 8 Hour/GT World Challenge America test session
2:25 p.m. — IndyCar practice (NBC Sports Gold)
6:20 p.m. — IndyCar qualifying for Harvest GP, Race 1 (NBC Sports Gold)

IndyCar weekend schedule: Friday, Oct. 2

10:20 a.m. — Indianapolis 8 Hour/GT World Challenge America practice
1:40 p.m. — Indianapolis 8 Hour/GT World Challenge America practice
3:30 p.m. — IndyCar Harvest GP, Race 1 (USA Network, NBC Sports Gold)

IndyCar weekend schedule: Saturday, Oct. 3

10:20 a.m. — IndyCar qualifying for Harvest GP, Race 2 (NBC Sports Gold)
12:10 p.m. — Indianapolis 8 Hour/GT World Challenge America qualifying
2:30 p.m. — IndyCar Harvest GP, Race 2 (NBC, NBC Sports Gold)
5:30 p.m. — Indianapolis 8 Hour/GT World Challenge America pole shootout

IndyCar weekend schedule: Sunday, Oct. 4

10 a.m. — Indianapolis 8 Hour/GT World Challenge America race