AutoZone sponsor double set for Montoya, Cindric in Iowa this weekend

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AutoZone will have an expanded presence at next weekend’s IndyCar and ARCA races at the Iowa Speedway (pictured right on Kevin Harvick’s NASCAR Xfinity car in 2007).

The leading retailer and a leading distributor of automotive parts and accessories will serve as an associate sponsor on Juan Pablo Montoya’s IndyCar for the 13th of 16 Verizon IndyCar Series races this season.

Additionally, AutoZone will serve as the primary sponsor for 16-year-old Austin Cindric in his ARCA Racing Series debut with Cunningham Motorsports on Friday, July 16. Cindric just finished his sophomore year at Cannon School in Concord, N.C.

“I’m very excited to get the opportunity to race in the ARCA Series. Representing AutoZone in my first race is really special,” Cindric said in a release. “I’ve grown up around some of the most respected names in the sport, and I really appreciate all of those who have supported me.”

Valtteri Bottas wins chaotic season-opening F1 Austrian Grand Prix

Mark Thompson/Getty Images
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SPIELBERG, Austria — Valtteri Bottas won a chaotic season-opening F1 Austrian Grand Prix while six-time series champion Lewis Hamilton finished fourth after getting a late time penalty Sunday.

The Formula One race was interrupted three times by a safety car, and nine of 20 drivers abandoned, including both Red Bulls of Max Verstappen and Alexander Albon – who tried to overtake Hamilton on the outside with 10 laps left, touched wheels and flew off track.

Hamilton was given a 5-second time penalty for causing the collision, having earlier been hit with a three-place grid penalty after an incident in Saturday’s qualifying was reviewed by stewards.

SHOW OF SUPPORT: Drivers take knee before race

Bottas led all 71 laps in the eighth victory of his career. It was the second consecutive victory in the season opener for the Finn, though he won four months earlier in 2019 after this season’s start was delayed by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Lando Norris of McLaren F1 celebrates after his first podium finish (Mark Thompson/Getty Images).

Bottas started from pole position and Hamilton from fifth, but it looked like a straight fight between the two Mercedes drivers as has been the case so often in recent years.

But late drama in Spielberg ensured otherwise and Hamilton’s time penalty meant Charles Leclerc took second place for Ferrari, and Lando Norris sent McLaren’s garage into raptures – and threw all social distancing rules out of the window amid the euphoria – with third place.

It was the 20-year-old British driver’s first career podium, and his superb final lap was the fastest of a dramatic season opener.

Norris became the youngest British driver to secure a podium finish and the third-youngest ever in Formula One.

Valtteri Bottas leads Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton during the Formula One Grand Prix of Austria (Mark Thompson/Getty Images).