Verizon officially confirmed as IndyCar new title sponsor

4 Comments

After weeks and months of speculation, INDYCAR has confirmed Verizon as new title sponsor of the IndyCar Series. Verizon now formally replaces IZOD, which departed at the end of the 2013 season.

A new multi-dimensional partnership linking sports, entertainment and technology beginning at the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, which kicks off the 18-race season March 30 (3 p.m. ET, check local listings).

“Verizon is delighted to become the title sponsor of the INDYCAR series and to bring even more of our innovative technology to the fans, to the teams and to the entire motorsports community,” Dan Mead, president and CEO of Verizon Wireless said in a series release.  “The intersection of racing and technology has never been more relevant, and our expanded partnership with INDYCAR provides a unique opportunity to demonstrate that synergy, integrate new services like LTE Multicast and help propel the sport forward.”

Added Hulman & Co. CEO Mark Miles, head of INDYCAR’s parent company, “Verizon’s commitment to INDYCAR demonstrates its belief in the direction of our sport and further corroborates our long-term goals.”

The move is the latest enhancement to Verizon’s presence and stature within IndyCar.

Further details will follow in a teleconference later this morning.

Initially, Verizon entered IndyCar with Team Penske in 2009, as primary sponsor for Will Power for his part-time role. Power’s program was expanded into a full-time seat in 2010.

Some of the other areas of activation Verizon has gotten involved with is the Verizon P1 Award (pole position), the Verizon IndyCar mobile app, and with a presence on each car’s rear wheel guards (the latter began last year).

In some respects, this could have been seen to be coming with the gradual ramp-up in involvement Verizon has committed to IndyCar over the years.

For it to be formalized and confirmed, though, makes it more than just a perfect dream scenario: it makes it reality.

Here’s the new series logo below, and a link to a preview video below that.

source:

Josef Newgarden dominates from pole to win KOHLER Grand Prix at Road America

Leave a comment

There’s a reason why Josef Newgarden calls Road America his favorite racetrack – and he showed why Sunday, dominating to victory in the KOHLER Grand Prix at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisc.

Newgarden led all but two laps from the pole and was in a class of his own throughout the 55-lap caution-free race on the 4.048-mile, 14-turn road course in central Wisconsin, defeating runner-up Ryan Hunter-Reay by 3.3759 seconds.

“(I wanted this one) really bad,” Newgarden told NBCSN in victory lane. “I wanted to win here since last year. This car has been a rocket all weekend. It wasn’t easy. Ryan was very quick and I knew Dixon was right behind him, so we were working for it the entire race.

“I kind of knew what I had to do, but it was a lot of work. Ryan was really pushing me. It’s good to get a win. It doesn’t matter what car, as long as it’s Team Penske.”

It was Newgarden’s series-leading third win of the season in the first 10 races (also won at ISM Raceway in Phoenix and Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Alabama), pushing him past Team Penske teammate and Indy 500 winner Will Power and Scott Dixon, who both have two wins in the 2018 campaign.

“I was hoping to make it more interesting for the fans here at Road American and on TV,” Hunter-Reay said. “The last two stints, when he put on used red and I had blacks, he was really hooked up. … I was pushing 110 percent, that’s for sure.

“Unfortunately, I just couldn’t catch up to Josef. I was able to close up the gap a little bit here and there, but not like I was early in the race. He found his own way for sure. Definitely, the clean air out front helps, but hats off to him: he had a great race and deserves the win.”

Dixon finished third, followed by Takuma Sato, Robert Wickens, Graham Rahal, Simon Pagenaud, Spencer Pigot (his best finish of the season), Ed Jones and James Hinchcliffe.

Dixon (393 points) maintains the Verizon IndyCar Series points lead, Hunter-Reay (348) moved up two spots to second place, Alexander Rossi (tied with Hunter-Reay for second at 348) dropped one spot to third, Newgarden (343) climbed one spot to fourth and Will Power (328) dropped two spots to fifth in the standings.

“It’s so tight … so tough,” Dixon said. “The Verizon IndyCar Series, right now, the competition is through the roof. To get a podium these days is tough enough, yet to get a win. But we’ll keep pushing and see what we get.”

There was action right from the opening lap, including misfortune for Indianapolis 500 winner Will Power, who suffered engine issues that sent him to the pits after the opening lap.

After trying to work on his car in the pits, Power’s team pushed it back to the paddock to attempt further repairs, but those efforts failed and the car was retired.

Power was third in the IndyCar points standings coming into the race, 36 points behind series leader Scott Dixon. He finished last (23rd) in Sunday’s race and will likely drop to fifth in the standings.

“They replaced the exhaust, and it just blew straight back out,” Power told NBCSN’s Marty Snider. “So, there’s obviously something going on in there that’s gone wrong.

“I feel bad for all the guys. It’s just one of those things, you know – you’ll get that every now and then at some point. No good, but we’ll move on to the next one.”

Also, 2016 Indy 500 winner Alexander Rossi had an issue with what appeared to be brakes- or suspension-related that resulted in a lengthy pit stop after 38 laps. Rossi finished 16th in the 23-car field.

“Hugely disappointing,” Rossi told NBCSN. “It was good enough for fourth … but I guess it just wasn’t meant to be.”

Follow @JerryBonkowski