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.”

Sergio Perez wins rain-delayed race in Singapore over Leclerc; Verstappen seventh

Sergio Perez Singapore
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SINGAPORE — Max Verstappen’s Formula One title celebrations were put on hold after the Red Bull driver placed seventh at a chaotic Singapore Grand Prix, won by his teammate Sergio Perez on Sunday.

Perez’s second win of the season saw him finish 7.6 seconds ahead of Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc, with Leclerc’s teammate Carlos Sainz Jr. in third place.

Perez was investigated for a potential safety car infringement but still kept the win after a 5-second time penalty for dropping too far back after being warned.

Verstappen had won the past five races but needed to win here and finish 22 points ahead of Leclerc to be crowned champion for a second straight season. That could happen next weekend at the Japanese GP.

Verstappen made a mistake after the second safety car restart, following AlphaTauri driver Yuki Tsunoda’s crash on Lap 36. When Verstappen tried to overtake Lando Norris’ McLaren, he locked his tires and needed to pit again.

Leclerc started from pole position with Verstappen going from eighth after a team blunder in qualifying.

The race start was delayed by more than an hour to clear water off the Marina Bay Circuit track following heavy rainfall. Drivers had to finish the 61-lap race within a two-hour window; 59 laps were completed.

Tricky conditions saw the virtual safety car deployed three times and DRS was allowed with about 30 minutes remaining.

Perez made a good start and jumped past Leclerc while Verstappen dropped several places. The first safety car was on Lap 8 when Zhou Guanyu’s Alfa Romeo was cut off by Nicholas Latifi’s Williams.

Perez got away cleanly at the restart, while Verstappen climbed into seventh behind Fernando Alonso – whose 350th F1 race ended disappointingly when his engine failed on Lap 21, bringing out the first VSC.

With the track still damp, drivers decided against changing to quicker tires – apart from Mercedes’ George Russell, who struggled for grip.

Hamilton made a rare mistake on Lap 33 and thudded into the crash barrier. Soon after, the leading drivers changed tires in a flurry of stops. They did so just before the safety car was deployed again following Tsunoda’s error.

Verstappen overtook Sebastian Vettel’s Aston Martin right at the end for seventh place.