Sunoco named IMS official fuel; extends relationship with INDYCAR

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Sunoco has joined the Indianapolis Motor Speedway as official fuel, and has also extended its relationship with INDYCAR. The full joint release is below:

Sunoco has been named official fuel of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, continuing the company’s rich tradition in motor sports and its successful partnership with INDYCAR.

Sunoco’s relationship with INDYCAR goes back to 1968 in Riverside, California, when Mark Donohue drove the No. 12 Sunoco Eagle for Penske Racing. That same team of Penske, Donohue and Sunoco won its first Indianapolis 500 four years later.

Sunoco will continue as the official fuel of INDYCAR in 2015 and beyond. In addition, Sunoco will maintain its support of INDYCAR’s young stars as title sponsor of both the Sunoco Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year and the Verizon IndyCar Series Rookie of the Year awards.

The Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year Award has been presented to some of the greatest names in the history of the sport, including Parnelli Jones, Mario Andretti, Rick Mears, Tony Stewart, Jim Clark and Jackie Stewart. The 2015 award announcement is scheduled for Monday, May 25, during the Indianapolis 500 Victory Awards Celebration at IMS.

The Sunoco Rookie of the Year Award in the Verizon IndyCar Series is presented at the end of the season to the top rookie in the Verizon IndyCar Series point standings.

“We’re pleased to be able to strengthen our partnership with Sunoco by announcing the brand as the official fuel of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway,” said Mark Miles, CEO of Hulman & Company, the parent of INDYCAR and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. “Sunoco is a natural fit with INDYCAR and IMS, as they not only provide a world-class product to our competitors, but they also have a strong heritage in motorsports as well. The Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year has long been a coveted honor that first-year drivers chase, so to have a company with a proven track record sponsor the award is truly fitting.”

“We are thrilled to extend our relationship with INDYCAR and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and to share our passion for this sport with its tremendous fans,” said Cynthia Archer, executive vice-president and chief marketing officer for Sunoco, Inc. “INDYCAR is one of the most demanding and competitive racing series in the world, and we are proud that these drivers and teams trust the quality and performance of our race fuels to take them to the checkered flag.”

IndyCar disappointed by delay of video game but aiming to launch at start of 2024

IndyCar video game 2024

An IndyCar executive said there is “absolutely” disappointment that its long-awaited video game recently was delayed beyond its target date, but the series remains optimistic about the new title.

“Well, I don’t know how quick it will be, but the whole situation is important to us,” Penske Entertainment president and CEO Mark Miles said during a news conference Monday morning to announce IndyCar’s NTT title sponsorship. “Motorsport Games has spent a lot of money, a lot of effort to create an IndyCar title. What we’ve seen of that effort, which is not completely obvious, is very reassuring.

“I think it’s going to be outstanding. That’s our shared objective, that when it is released, it’s just widely accepted. A great credit both to IndyCar racing, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, something that our fans love.”

In June 2021, IndyCar announced a new partnership with Motorsport Games to create and distribute an IndyCar video game for the PC and Xbox and PlayStation consoles in 2023.

But during an earnings call last week, Motorsport Games said the IndyCar game had been delayed to 2024 to ensure high quality.

Somewhat compounding the delay is that IndyCar’s license for iRacing expired after the end of the 2022 season because of its exclusive agreement with Motorsport Games.

That’s resulted in significant changes for IndyCar on iRacing, which had provided a high-profile way for the series to stay visible during its 2020 shutdown from the pandemic. (Players still can race an unbranded car but don’t race on current IndyCar tracks, nor can they stream).

That’s helped ratchet up the attention on having a video game outlet for IndyCar.

“I wish we had an IndyCar title 10 years ago,” said Miles, who has been working with the organization since 2013. “We’ve been close, but we’ve had these I think speed bumps.”

IndyCar is hopeful the Motorsports Game edition will be ready at the start of 2024. Miles hinted that beta versions could be unveiled to reporters ahead of the time “to begin to show the progress in a narrow way to make sure we’ve got it right, to test the progress so that we’re ready when they’re ready.”

It’s been nearly 18 years since the release of the most recent IndyCar video game for console or PC.

“(We) better get it right,” Miles said. “It’s something we’re very close to and continue to think about what it is to make sure we get it over the line in due course.”