Associated Press

RLL re-ups with Steak ‘n Shake for 2016 IndyCar season

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Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing has extended its support with Steak ‘n Shake, what Graham Rahal termed as his “good luck charm” throughout 2015, for a second consecutive season in the Verizon IndyCar Series.

The announcement was confirmed Thursday at the Performance Racing Industry trade show in Indianapolis.

Steak ‘n Shake will be the primary sponsor of Rahal’s Honda entry at five 2016 IndyCar events, including races in St. Petersburg, two events at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Mid-Ohio and Sonoma. Maxim Magazine branding will continue to be prominently featured on the race car. Both are owned by Biglari Holdings Inc.

Team co-owner Bobby Rahal had hoped to retain the restaurant chain for a second season and made significant progress to do so over the course of the year.

“We are very pleased that Steak ‘n Shake will be back with us in 2016,” he said in a news release. “The 2015 IndyCar Series season was a great one for us both on track and off and our partnership with Steak ‘n Shake was one of the many highlights. We are looking forward to building on that success together in 2016.”

Graham, meanwhile, enjoyed a career year with two wins, including one in full Steak ‘n Shake livery at his home race at Mid-Ohio, and finished fourth in the points.

The announcement is the latest in RLL’s offseason; the team has also confirmed a two-car BMW M6 GTLM program in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, and added Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires champion Spencer Pigot for a three-race program in a second IndyCar (“introducing Pigot” and his seat fit posts linked within this sentence).

IndyCar race weekend doubleheader schedule at IMS road course

IndyCar weekend schedule Indianapolis
Jamie Squire/Getty Images
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The NTT IndyCar Series will return to Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the third time this season but with a weekend schedule that will put the action in front of fans for the first time in 2020.

The track’s 14-turn, 2.439-mile road course will play host to IndyCar and sports cars series over four days. The action will begin Thursday with practice and concluding with an eight-hour race Sunday featuring the Intercontinental GT Challenge and GT World Challenge America.

The NTT IndyCar Series will hold a Friday-Saturday race doubleheader called the Harvest GP presented by GMR.

ENTRY LISTS: Who’s racing IndyCar at IMS this weekend

The name is a nod to the Harvest Classic, which was held Sept. 9, 1916 to help the track stay solvent during World War I. The event had three races of 20, 50 and 100 miles (all won by Johnny Aitken) that was the only racing held outside May at IMS from 1911-93.

A limited crowd of 10,000 will be allowed each day this weekend, and those fans will be the first to experience new video boards, concession stands, restrooms and 5G wireless connectivity.

Here’s the IndyCar weekend schedule for Indianapolis Motor Speedway Harvest GP:

(All times are Eastern)

IndyCar weekend schedule: Thursday, Oct. 1

Noon — Indianapolis 8 Hour/GT World Challenge America test session
2:25 p.m. — IndyCar practice (NBC Sports Gold)
6:20 p.m. — IndyCar qualifying for Harvest GP, Race 1 (NBC Sports Gold)

IndyCar weekend schedule: Friday, Oct. 2

10:20 a.m. — Indianapolis 8 Hour/GT World Challenge America practice
1:40 p.m. — Indianapolis 8 Hour/GT World Challenge America practice
3:30 p.m. — IndyCar Harvest GP, Race 1 (USA Network, NBC Sports Gold)

IndyCar weekend schedule: Saturday, Oct. 3

10:20 a.m. — IndyCar qualifying for Harvest GP, Race 2 (NBC Sports Gold)
12:10 p.m. — Indianapolis 8 Hour/GT World Challenge America qualifying
2:30 p.m. — IndyCar Harvest GP, Race 2 (NBC, NBC Sports Gold)
5:30 p.m. — Indianapolis 8 Hour/GT World Challenge America pole shootout

IndyCar weekend schedule: Sunday, Oct. 4

10 a.m. — Indianapolis 8 Hour/GT World Challenge America race