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).

F1 races in Austin, Mexico City hitting financial rough patches

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AUSTIN, Texas — Two of Formula One’s three races in North America are facing financial issues that are raising concern about their future.

Organizers of the U.S. Grand Prix won’t get at least $20 million from the state of Texas for the 2018 race after missing a paperwork deadline set by state law. And new questions lurk about the future of the Mexican Grand Prix after the country’s new president suggested the government may not spend on the race like it has the last four years.

Both races have been popular with drivers and fans, and have enjoyed key dates on the F1 calendar. Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton clinched season championships in Texas in 2015 and in Mexico City in 2017 and 2018.

Officials in Formula One and at the Circuit of the Americas, host of the U.S. Grand Prix, did not immediately respond to requests for comment Wednesday.