Photo: Dale Coyne Racing

Colts punter Pat McAfee’s new shirt company to ride Daly’s Freedom Wagon

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INDIANAPOLIS – Four days ago, Conor Daly’s No. 18 Dale Coyne Racing Honda didn’t have a primary sponsor for the 100th Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil.

Three days ago, ShirtsforAmerica.com launched.

And on Wednesday, Indianapolis Colts punter Pat McAfee’s new, burgeoning business was flying aboard a bald eagle on the way to the newly rechristened “Freedom Wagon” that just screams ‘Merica at the top of your lungs.

“Today is a gigantic day in history. Jot this day down in the books,” McAfee started off arguably the funniest press conference in recent memory at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, which you can view below.

“It’s a business that literally just started three days ago.

“Dale seems really elated. I just gave him a check.”

McAfee and Daly are friends – meanwhile Coyne has the faith and the vehicle to give Daly a shot at this year’s full Verizon IndyCar Series season including the Indianapolis 500.

Here’s more on the ShirtsForAmerica.com idea, below, via a team press release:

Photo: Dale Coyne Racing
Photo: Dale Coyne Racing

McAfee’s recently launched ShirtsForAmerica.com company was born from two ideas. One, to help an Indiana driver at this year’s Indy 500 and the other, to help two military foundations.

For each T-shirt sold, a portion of the proceeds will go to Wish For Our Heroes, which was founded by American veterans to help struggling veterans with every day situations they face off the battlefield and to The Pat McAfee Foundation. Now in its fourth year, the Pat McAfee Foundation has given more than $150 000 in scholarships to children of military families.

“Conor and I have been friends for a while now and I couldn’t wait to hear his thoughts about the 100th running of The Greatest Spectacle in Racing and how magical the Indy 500 is,” shared McAfee who is also a stand-up comedian. “Conor, being a kid from Indiana, started talking about how fantastic it is for Indiana that all of these awesome things are going to happen, how the entire world’s eyes turn to Indiana, and how every year we knock it out of the park.

“While we chatted about how lucky we were to be Hoosiers, he told me that he didn’t have a primary sponsor yet for the race. I didn’t believe him at first but then I saw it as an opportunity not only to help an Indianapolis kid run in the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500, but also, as a chance to raise some money for a couple of military foundations. So I created ShirtsForAmerica.com and sponsored his car. When we’re chugging milk in Victory Lane Memorial Day weekend, we’ll do it with some true fulfillment knowing that we’re also helping American heroes,” concluded the Colts player.

IndyCar teams with NASCAR on IMS road course doubleheader in 2021

IndyCar NASCAR doubleheader 2021
Jamie Squire/Getty Images
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The NTT IndyCar Series will be sharing Indianapolis Motor Speedway with the NASCAR Cup Series in a race weekend doubleheader for the second consecutive season, but both series will be on the road course in August 2021.

IMS announced Wednesday that IndyCar will hold an Aug. 14, 2021 race on its 14-turn, 2.439-mile road course. It’ll be a day before NASCAR’s premier series runs the same layout for the first time after the Brickyard 400 was contested on the 2.5-mile oval for the first time in 27 years.

This season’s rescheduling of the IndyCar GMR Grand Prix to July 4, 2019 (a day before the Brickyard 400) led to the first NASCAR-IndyCar doubleheader weekend. The Xfinity Series also raced on the IMS road course for the first time July 4 after the IndyCar race ended.

INDYCAR AT IMS THIS WEEKEND: Harvest GP schedule, entry lists

IndyCar will be holding its second race weekend this year at the IMS road course Friday and Saturday with the Harvest GP.

“Our first NASCAR-INDYCAR weekend was a big success last July, with positive feedback from
our loyal fans who watched the races on NBC and from the drivers, teams and participants
involved,” IMS president Douglas Boles said in a statement. “The Xfinity Series’ debut on the IMS road course provided exactly the kind of thrilling action from the green to checkered flags that we anticipated, so we know the teams and drivers of the Cup Series will put on a great show as they turn left and right for the first time at IMS.

“We can’t wait to welcome back fans to see NASCAR and INDYCAR together during this
exciting weekend as we add another memorable chapter in the long, storied history of the
Indianapolis Motor Speedway.”

It also will mark the first NASCAR Cup-IndyCar doubleheader with a crowd as fans weren’t permitted at IMS in July because of the novel coronvavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Over the course of Wednesday, NASCAR is releasing its 36-race slate for next season. IndyCar has yet to release its full 2021 schedule.