Andretti Autosport, Rahal Letterman Lanigan announce new sponsors

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Andretti Autosport and Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing made sponsorship announcements on Wednesday.

Andretti Autosport announced the expansion of an existing partnership with U.S. based food corporation Butterball.

Butterball, which accounts for about 20 percent of turkey production in the U.S., will be a season-long sponsor on the No. 28 Honda of 2014 Indianapolis 500 winner Ryan Hunter-Reay, the team said in a media release.

This will mark the third consecutive season that Butterball has partnered with Andretti Autosport.

In addition, the No. 27 Honda of Marco Andretti will carry Butterball sponsorship for the 2016 Grand Prix of Indianapolis, as well as the 100th running of the legendary Indianapolis 500.

“We’re really pleased to welcome back Butterball for a third-consecutive season,” team owner Michael Andretti said in a media release. “The expanded partnership gives Butterball a place in history as we celebrate a significant season of Indy car racing. Not only are we proud to have Butterball on the cars – but we’re thrilled to have their quality turkey on our hospitality menu!”

As for Rahal Letterman Lanigan, it announced Fifth Third Bank has joined as an associate sponsor for the No. 15 Verizon IndyCar Series ride of Graham Rahal.

“I’m very pleased that we have entered into this partnership with Fifth Third Bank,” said Bobby Rahal, co-owner of Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing with former CBS Late Show host David Letterman and Mi-Jack co-owner Mike Lanigan.  “Fifth Third Bank is a major force in the banking industry in the Midwest and is known as one of the top banking institutions in the industry.

“It’s only fitting to come together for these great races and especially the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500.”

In addition to sponsoring the younger Rahal, Fifth Third Bank is planning additional specific initiatives for the season-opening race at St. Petersburg, Florida, as well as the Indianapolis 500, Detroit and Mid-Ohio.

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Ken Roczen signs with HEP Progressive Ecstar Suzuki for 2023

Roczen Progressive Ecstar Suzuki
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ANAHEIM, California – Ken Roczen will make the move from HRC Honda to H.E.P. Motorsports with the Progressive Ecstar Suzuki team, ending a long and eventful offseason that saw his split from his longstanding team after he committed to running World Supercross (WSX).

“H.E.P. Motorsports is thrilled to announce that the team has signed Ken Roczen as its premier rider for the 2023 season,” the team announced on Instagram. “Former AMA Motocross champion Roczen will be aboard a Suzuki RM-Z450. Roczen, who won his most recent championship on a Suzuki, will be reunited with the brand and bring his exciting style, determination, and grit back to the RM Army.

“Ken Roczen will compete in the upcoming 2023 Supercross and Motocross Championship series which is set to start on January 7 at Anaheim Stadium in Southern California.”

For Roczen, it is a return to the bike of his youth and on which he had some of his greatest professional success.

“This thing has been going on for weeks and weeks and weeks in the making, but there was so much uncertainty,” Roczen told NBC Sports during Monster Energy Supercross Media Sessions. “It was a very unique situation. I just finally signed two nights ago, so it’s really only legit once the ink hits the paper. It’s been in the works for a long time, but there were just a lot of questions and a lot of input from a lot of other teams too.

“Good things take time, and I’m okay with that. I grew up riding Suzuki. Ot’s like a homecoming. It’s a special feeling”

Roczen won the 2016 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship on a Suzuki before making the move to Honda. That year he won nine of 12 Nationals and finished no worse than second as he easily outpaced Eli Tomac by 86 points. He finished third in his next Pro Motocross outing in 2018 after sitting out the outdoor season in 2017.

“I am beyond excited to reconnect with Suzuki for the 3rd time in my career. We’ve had a lot of success in the past and I’m looking forward to seeing what we can accomplish together in our future.” Roczen said in the Instagram post.