Andretti Autosport inks hhgregg for multi-race sponsorship deal, including Indy 500

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Indianapolis-based electronics, appliance and furniture retailer hhgregg has signed a deal to provide significant sponsorship support to Andretti Autosport for several events this season.

The company, which has stores in 20 states in the U.S., will first appear as primary sponsor of the No. 27 hhgregg/Snapple car of Marco Andretti for the April 24 Grand Prix of Alabama.

That sponsorship will remain in place for the two major races in May at Indianapolis Motor Speedway: the Grand Prix of Indianapolis and two weeks later for the 100th running of the legendary Indianapolis 500.

Carlos Munoz' No. 26 Honda will carry sponsorship from hhgregg in both races at Indianapolis in May.
Carlos Munoz’ No. 26 Honda will carry sponsorship from hhgregg in both races at Indianapolis in May.

“We couldn’t be happier to welcome hhgregg to the Andretti family,” Andretti Autosport CEO Michael Andretti said in a release. “As we are both Indianapolis-based companies, the iconic 2016 season provides the perfect opportunity for our brands to come together. We are looking forward to making history with hhgregg.”

In addition to being on Marco Andretti’s car, hhgregg branding will also be on the No. 28 DHL Honda of Ryan Hunter-Reay for the Indianapolis 500.

Hhgregg branding will also be on the No. 26 Honda of Carlos Munoz for both the Grand Prix of Indianapolis and Indy 500.

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James Hinchcliffe on Andretti: ‘It’s certainly the place I want to be’

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Since before the start of the 2020 NTT IndyCar Series season, James Hinchcliffe tirelessly has worked to ensure the future would include a full-time return in 2021.

And with an opportunity to run the final three races this season with Andretti Autosport, there seems a surefire (albeit unlikely) path.

“If I go out and win all three,” Hinchcliffe joked with IndyCar on NBC announcer Leigh Diffey in an interview Friday (watch the video above), “it would be hard for them to say no, right?”

Regardless of whether he can go unbeaten at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course next weekend or the Oct. 25 season finale at St. Petersburg, Florida (where he earned his first career win in 2013), Hinchcliffe will have the chance to improve his stock with the team that he knows well and now has an opening among its five cars for 2021.

All three of Hinchcliffe’s starts this season — the June 6 season opener at Texas Motor Speedway, July 4 at the IMS road course and the Indianapolis 500 — were with Andretti, where he ran full time in IndyCar from 2012-14.

“Obviously, the plan from January 2020 was already working on ’21 and trying to be in a full-time program,” he said. “I’ve really enjoyed being reunited with Andretti Autosport, and everybody there has been so supportive. It’s been a very fun year for me on track. It’s been kind of a breath of fresh air in a lot of ways.

“It’s certainly the place I want to be moving forward. We’ve been working on that, working on those conversations. Genesys has been an incredible partner in my three races. We’ll be representing Gainbridge primarily, but Genesys will still have a position on our car in the last three.”

Gainbridge is the primary sponsor of the No. 26 Dallara-Honda that was vacated by Zach Veach, who left the team after it was determined he wouldn’t return in 2021. Hinchcliffe can empathize having lost his ride with Arrow McLaren SP after last season with a year left on his deal.

“You never want to earn a ride at the expense of somebody else in the sense that has happened here with Zach,” Hinchcliffe said. “I feel bad that he’s not able to see out the last three races of his season. I’ve got a lot of respect for him off track. He’s been a teammate this year, a colleague for years before that and honestly a friend for years before that. I’ve got a lot of time for him and his family. I understand a little bit of what it’s like in that position and what he’s going through.”

Hinchcliffe is ready to seize the moment, though, starting with the Oct. 2-3 doubleheader race weekend at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. He had been hoping to add the Harvest Indy Grand Prix to his schedule and had been working out for the possibility.

“Then last week I had given up hope (and) was resigned that wasn’t happening,” he said. “I told my trainer, ‘I think we’re done for this year.’ Three days later, this call comes. I’m glad we didn’t make that decision too early. I feel great physically.

“I look at it as a great opportunity to continue to show I’ve still got what it takes and should be there hopefully full time next year on the grid.”

Watch Hinchliffe’s video with Leigh Diffey above or by clicking here.