Steak ‘n Shake expands primary sponsorship to Pocono, Sonoma for Rahal

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Graham Rahal has called Steak ‘n Shake his “good luck charm” in the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series season, and that charm will be with him to finish it out as he and the Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing team go for a championship.

The company’s initial six-race primary sponsorship deal (Long Beach, both Indianapolis, both Detroit and Mid-Ohio) has now expanded to the final two races of the year at Pocono Raceway at Sonoma Raceway respectively the next two weeks. It had maintained associate sponsorship status in the races it hasn’t been on board as primary.

“The excitement and support of Steak ‘n Shake’s involvement with the team and Indy car racing has exceeded my wildest expectations,” team co-owner Bobby Rahal said in a release.

“I said when we first announced the partnership that it was our goal to put them in Victory Lane and we have been able to do that two times this season and finish on the podium a series-high six times overall so far.

“I’m very happy they have extended their relationship with us to include primary sponsorship at Pocono and Sonoma where we hope to bring them more success and hopefully a championship.”

The amount of content – and buzz – generated by Steak ‘n Shake’s involvement in IndyCar this season has been a good thing for all parties. Graham Rahal has made no secret of that fact, including during the post-race press conference following his win at Mid-Ohio.

“Those guys, I feel like they’re the good luck charm. Steak ‘n Shake came on this year, and I don’t know, things just started to click,” Rahal said at Mid-Ohio.

“You know, like particularly here, this race, having that sponsor is pretty cool for me because I used to go Steak ‘N Shake over here all the time when I was a kid with all my buddies, in my teen years, causing a lot of trouble. So it’s pretty cool to kind of come full circle.

“We’d like them to continue for next year. We really want to build this team and continue. I don’t have a contract with this team, but I don’t plan on going anywhere. I mean, I feel like who’s better?  You know, that’s kind of where I’m at.”

Michael Carter wins Mazda Road to 24 Shootout

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Michael Carter was selected as the winner of the 2018 Mazda Road to 24 Shootout.

Carter was one of four drivers who competed for the honor and a $100,000 scholarship that went along with it. Matthew Dirks, Hannah Grisham and Loni Unser also competed.

With the scholarship, Carter will compete in the 2019 Battery Tender Global Mazda MX-5 Cup.

“What a journey this has been,” said Carter in a press release. “The reason I started racing a Mazda was because of the Mazda Road to 24 Shootout. It was our one single goal all along and to finally accomplish that is surreal. The process begins next week of getting ready for next season, for the series test at Barber, and to put together a good season in the Global MX-5 Cup.”

Carter was invited to the Shootout largely because of his 2018 performance in SCCA. He finished second in the SCCA Hoosier Super Tour Points Championship, won the Spec Miata Challenge and won in Spec Miata at the American Road Race of Champions.

The 18-year-old Carter had his eye on the Road to Mazda early.

“Each year, it is exciting to see the next batch of talent that is in the pipeline,” said John Doonan, Director, Mazda Motorsports. “I heard something from Michael and his father that really hit a chord with me which was that they built a Spec Miata with the sole purpose of going up the Mazda Road to 24 ladder.

That really speaks to the challenger spirit at Mazda, to why we have the Shootout, and to the family that we have at Mazda. Michael is the driver today who walks away with the scholarship, but we had four families come together here who have all gone racing together. For all of us at Mazda, it’s very rewarding to give these families a chance to go racing together. We look forward to watching Michael take the next step in his career in next season’s Global MX-5 Cup.”