TAG Heuer strikes deal with IndyCar, IMS to be official watch

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Watch sponsorships in racing are part of the fabric of the racing culture. TAG Heuer, the Swiss company, has been a racing staple for decades.

So it’s cool to see an iconic, legacy brand such as TAG Heuer officially strike a deal with INDYCAR and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, whereby TAG Heuer will become the official watch of the Verizon IndyCar Series and IMS. As this year, TAG Heuer will also sponsor the Carb Day Pit Stop Challenge at IMS.

“The Indianapolis Motor Speedway is proud of its long association with TAG Heuer and excited that the partnership has expanded to include the Verizon IndyCar Series,” Mark Miles, CEO of Hulman & Company, the parent of INDYCAR and IMS said in a release. “TAG Heuer is an iconic brand and a perfect representation of the speed, precision, technology and innovation that are the pillars of our sport.”

A special edition Indy 500 Chronograph will be created as well, to be awarded to the winner of each race.

What the release doesn’t indicate is whether drivers or teams with other personal watch contracts will need to switch.

The TUDOR United SportsCar Championship has, unsurprisingly, preferred TUDOR in the watch game, and what had been team sponsors like Chopard, Rebellion, BRM and TAG Heuer have fallen out of the paddock this year.

Interestingly, Dempsey Racing had a deal with TAG Heuer for its 24 Hours of Le Mans appearance, but it would not come over to the U.S. for its TUDOR Championship program.

So, watch what happens from here. And yes, I’ll see myself out after that bad pun.

Pagenaud leads no-tow times in Sunday practice

Photo: IndyCar
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Sunday practice ahead of Day 2 of qualifying for the 102nd Running of the Indianapolis 500 was split into two groups – one for the drivers who ended Saturday qualifying in positions 10-33, and one for the drivers who made the Fast Nine Shootout for the Pole.

In the combined times, Ryan Hunter-Reay was fastest overall. But, Simon Pagenaud topped the all-important no-tow speeds with a lap of 229.409 mph.

Pagenaud’s Team Penske teammates Helio Castroneves, Josef Newgarden, and Will Power were second, third, and fourth on the no-tow chart – and they were also the only four drivers from the Top 9 who went out for practice.

Of the drivers who qualifying between positions 10 through 33, Alexander Rossi had the quickest no-tow speed of 227.779 mph.

Combined results are below. Qualifying begins at 2:30 p.m. ET.

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