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Rahal Letterman Lanigan extends partnership with United Rentals

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Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing announced Wednesday that it has extended a multi-year sponsorship agreement with United Rentals.

The deal includes primary sponsorship of Graham Rahal’s No. 15 car at the Verizon IndyCar Series races at Phoenix (April 29) and the two-race Duals at Detroit (June 3 and 4).

In addition, the agreement calls for United Rentals to be a major associate sponsor on Rahal’s car during the 2017 and 2018 seasons, as well as continue as the Official Equipment Partner of the Verizon IndyCar Series.

United Rentals is the largest equipment rental company in the world.

“We are extremely pleased to have United Rentals expand their relationship with us,” said Bobby Rahal, co-owner of Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing with former late night talk show host David Letterman and Mi-Jack co-owner Michael Lanigan. “They are a first class organization and we are proud to be able to extend our partnership.”

This year, RLL Racing teamed with United Rentals for the “Turns for Troops” program in 2016, which raised over $100,000 for military charities, as well as saw Graham Rahal awarded the “Commitment to Service Award” from Soldier Strong earlier this month.

The 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series season begins March 10-12 with the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, Florida.

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Lewis Hamilton receives Daytona 500 invitation from Bubba Wallace

Lewis Hamilton Bubba Wallace
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Lewis Hamilton is a fan of the new NASCAR Cup Series team formed by Denny Hamlin and Michael Jordan to field a car for Bubba Wallace.

Will the six-time Formula One champion also be a fan in person at a NASCAR race in the near future?

Wallace is hoping so.

After Hamilton tweeted his support Tuesday morning about the news of a Hamlin-Jordan-Wallace team making its debut with the 2021 season, Wallace responded with a sly invitation to the Daytona 500.

Much would need to be worked out, starting with how much garage and grandstand access would be afforded for a 2021 season opener that likely would occur during a still ongoing novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

But it would seem fitting given that Hamilton and Wallace have been two of the world’s most outspoken Black athletes about the quest for diversity and racial justice. Hamilton recently reaffirmed his commitment to activism after his donning a Breonna Taylor shirt sparked an FIA inquiry. Time just published a brief piece by Wallace saluting Hamilton as a trailblazer.

The idea of Hamilton attending the NASCAR season opener already had legs, too. The Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 driver has expressed a desire to race the Daytona 500 after he has retired from Formula One.

He was a spectator (with racing legend Mario Andretti) at four-time champion Jeff Gordon’s final Cup race as a full-time in the 2015 season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. In 2011, Hamilton swapped cars with three-time champion Tony Stewart at Watkins Glen International.

Having rubbed shoulders with other racing greats so often, it would seem right for Hamilton — who is one victory from tying Michael Schumacher’s career record and also could tie the F1 record with a seventh championship this season — to spend some time with the greatest basketball player of all time.

Jeff Gordon was flanked by Mario Andretti and Lewis Hamilton before the 2015 Cup season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway (Jared C. Tilton/NASCAR via Getty Images).