IndyCar: Andretti planning driver, sponsor announcement for Sunday in Milwaukee

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MILWAUKEE, Wis. – Before Sunday’s ABC Supply Co. Wisconsin 250 at Milwaukee IndyFest Presented by the Metro Milwaukee Honda Dealers, Andretti Autosport will hold a driver and sponsor announcement at 11:40 a.m. CT.

The unnamed driver, said sponsor representative and team principal Michael Andretti will all be on hand.

Smart money is on Indianapolis 500 and two-time defending Milwaukee IndyFest champion Ryan Hunter-Reay and DHL; RHR seeks a three-peat Sunday and DHL, just recently, was confirmed as Victory Lane sponsor once more for this race. Both RHR and the team have expressed publicly their intent to continue together as RHR’s current contract was extended through 2014; he last re-signed in late 2012.

Of course it could also be James Hinchcliffe, who the team had a one-year option to extend into 2015. Hinchcliffe has made several additional Honda-related appearances in the last week with his TUDOR United SportsCar Championship one-off in a Honda-powered Riley DP, and was also on hand at a David Hobbs Honda appearance on Friday.

Marco Andretti is signed through 2015 and Carlos Munoz would likely not command such an announcement, given his sponsors are current Andretti-affiliated products Cinsay and AndrettiTV.com.

A lesser but still potential possibility is Simon Pagenaud, who has been linked to Andretti since the summer. However, Pagenaud told the Indianapolis Star’s Curt Cavin Saturday he’ll be deciding his future after the season ends.

Or, it could be something out of left field none of us have seen coming all around.

We shall stay tuned to see who this announcement reveals, officially.

Ganassi announces multiyear sponsorship extension with American Legion for No. 10

Chip Ganassi American Legion
David Allio/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
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Chip Ganassi Racing announced a new primary sponsorship deal with The American Legion this week, shoring up the funding on its No. 10 Dallara-Honda of Alex Palou.

The 2021 NTT IndyCar Series champion primarily had driven with NTT Data sponsorship the past two seasons. But NTT Data will move next season to McLaren Racing as a primary sponsor for Felix Rosenqvist in 10 races and on the Indy 500 car of Tony Kanaan (who drove an American Legion car for Ganassi at the Brickyard last year).

It was the latest twist in a McLaren-Ganassi saga that included a contract dispute for the services of Palou (who is expected to move to McLaren in 2024 after reaching an agreement to race with Ganassi next year).

Ganassi stayed within its own walls to help plug the sponsorship gap left by NTT Data, re-signing The American Legion to a multiyear extension. The Indianapolis-based non-profit organization, which has been sponsoring Ganassi cars for the past few seasons, also will be associated with other Ganassi drivers, including Indy 500 winner Marcus Ericsson and development driver Kyffin Simpson in Indy NXT.

The Ganassi organization will continue promoting The American Legion’s “Be The One” campaign aimed at reducing veteran suicides. The team launched an online auction for the initiative this week.

“Supporting our nation’s veterans is of immense importance to our organization and we are humbled to continue supporting The American Legion’s mission in ending veteran suicide,” team owner Chip Ganassi said in a release. “We will do absolutely everything we can to help veterans get the support they need while raising public awareness of the ‘Be The One’ platform.”

“We have received an overwhelming amount of support from fans, active-duty military members and veterans as a result of this partnership and we’re pleased to see it grow,” said Dean Kessel, chief marketing officer at The American Legion. “Thanks to the continuous collaboration with the team’s other partners, and the promotion of the ‘Be The One’ initiative, we are discovering more ways to engage with the military community than ever before. We want all veterans to know that it’s okay to ask for help.”