Verizon ups role with Penske, will sponsor Juan Pablo Montoya for 8 races

5 Comments

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.

Here’s the car, via @PaddockInsider.

Lewis Hamilton receives Daytona 500 invitation from Bubba Wallace

Lewis Hamilton Bubba Wallace
Rudy Carezzevoli/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Lewis Hamilton is a fan of the new NASCAR Cup Series team formed by Denny Hamlin and Michael Jordan to field a car for Bubba Wallace.

Will the six-time Formula One champion also be a fan in person at a NASCAR race in the near future?

Wallace is hoping so.

After Hamilton tweeted his support Tuesday morning about the news of a Hamlin-Jordan-Wallace team making its debut with the 2021 season, Wallace responded with a sly invitation to the Daytona 500.

Much would need to be worked out, starting with how much garage and grandstand access would be afforded for a 2021 season opener that likely would occur during a still ongoing novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

But it would seem fitting given that Hamilton and Wallace have been two of the world’s most outspoken Black athletes about the quest for diversity and racial justice. Hamilton recently reaffirmed his commitment to activism after his donning a Breonna Taylor shirt sparked an FIA inquiry.

The idea of Hamilton attending the season opener already had legs, too. The Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 driver has expressed a desire to race the Daytona 500 after he has retired from Formula One.

He was a spectator (with racing legend Mario Andretti) at four-time champion Jeff Gordon’s final Cup race as a full-time in the 2015 season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. In 2011, Hamilton swapped cars with three-time champion Tony Stewart at Watkins Glen International.

Having rubbed shoulders with other racing greats so often, it only would be fitting if Hamilton — who is one victory from tying Michael Schumacher’s career record and also could tie the F1 record with a seventh championship this season — spent some time with the greatest basketball player of all time.

Jeff Gordon was flanked by Mario Andretti and Lewis Hamilton before the 2015 Cup season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway (Jared C. Tilton/NASCAR via Getty Images).