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Penske, Menards announce extension for 10 IndyCar races in 2017

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Team Penske and Menards have announced an extension of their partnership for 10 races in the 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series season, including the 101st Indianapolis 500.

Menards’ luminous yellow livery graced Simon Pagenaud’s no. 22 Team Penske Chevrolet for the month of May at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, starting what initially was set to be a three-race deal.

The partnership eventually expanded to five races as Pagenaud raced in Menards’ colors for Road America, Iowa and Pocono, and will do so a further 10 times in 2017 after a long-term deal was announced.

Here’s the release from Penske on the deal:

Team Penske announced today that it has reached a partnership extension with industry-leading home improvement store company Menards for the 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series season and beyond.

The easily-identifiable bright yellow paint scheme of Menards will continue to shine on track with 2016 Verizon IndyCar Series championship contender Simon Pagenaud and the No. 22 Dallara/Chevrolet for 10 races in 2017, including the 101st running of the Indianapolis 500 on Sunday, May 28.

“Partnering Menards with our Verizon IndyCar Series program just makes sense. The company’s deep Midwest roots are a perfect fit with the IndyCar fan base,” said Roger Penske, whose team will prepare to clinch its 14th IndyCar Series Championship this weekend at Sonoma Raceway.

“Menards is a great example of a partner that is completely engaged with our program at Team Penske. They not only make the most of our partnership by building brand awareness, Menards also helps market and promote the series, as well as our other team partners. We are excited to continue to build with them for the future.”

The partnership between Team Penske and Menards began in 2016. The relationship started out with Menards serving as a primary sponsor on the No. 22 Team Penske Chevy for three races before it grew to a total of five races this season.

In 2017, Menards will continue to enhance its presence with primary sponsorship on the No. 22 car with Pagenaud at 10 races, focusing on events and areas where the company has strong marketing presence.

“Menards is an institution in the Midwest and it’s an honor to represent them,” said Pagenaud, who carries a 43-point lead in the series championship over teammate Will Power into the final race of the season at Sonoma on Sunday.

“Every time I walk into one of their stores I’m amazed. There’s nothing you can’t find there. More importantly, though, is the friendly atmosphere the store associates create. Everyone at Team Penske is looking forward to growing with Menards next year and into the future.”

Conor Daly honors friend killed Saturday amid Indianapolis unrest

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IndyCar driver Conor Daly posted a poignant tribute to Chris Beaty, a former Indiana University football player and Indianapolis business owner who was killed Saturday amid protests and rioting in the city.

Daly said he got to know Beaty, who owned an event and marketing promotions company, five years ago when he was organizing Indianapolis 500 afterparties.

Daly annually had been involved in Beaty’s parties since then and said Beaty helped get him home earlier this year when Daly’s blood sugar crashed while at an event.

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“The world lost a tremendous person. RIP Chris Beaty,” wrote Daly, who also tweeted “The violence has to stop.”

According to the Indianapolis Star, Beaty died after suffering multiple gunshot wounds during Saturday night’s unrest in downtown Indianapolis. It’s unclear if the shooting was tied to the protests.

Graham Rahal also posted about his interaction with Beaty.

Daly, Rahal and the rest of the IndyCar Series will return to action Saturday night at Texas Motor Speedway (8 p.m. ET, NBC).