‘Sup, dog? Pigot’s Long Beach car features ‘Loki the Wolfdog’ support

Photos courtesy of Rising Star Racing
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File this one under the “cool, new and different” category: Spencer Pigot’s usual No. 20 Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevrolet will have a different primary sponsor this week, as the backing of his Ed Carpenter Racing entry shifts from alcohol to a canine.

Seriously.

Loki the Wolfdog, something of an Instagram sensation with more than 1.4 million followers on the picture-heavy social media platform, will serve as primary sponsor of Pigot’s No. 20 Chevrolet this weekend at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach (Sunday, 4 p.m. ET, NBCSN).

Pigot and fellow Rising Star Racing-supported driver Neil Alberico, who competes with Carlin in the Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires series, got connected to Loki and the opportunity snowballed from there. Loki’s owner Kelly Lund documents the dog’s adventures, and Loki has been contracted to work with key brands such as Google, REI, The North Face, Toyota and Mercedes.

“Loki is basically the coolest dog out there, and he’s a serious force when it comes to connecting household brands with that elusive millennial audience,” Art Wilmes, founder of Rising Star Racing, said in a release. “We decided to team up with him to spread the word about our drivers, the Verizon IndyCar Series, and the Mazda Road to Indy. We’re beyond pleased to have Loki with us on Spencer Pigot’s car for the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. RSR is stretching the boundaries of promotion once again by combining the coolest canine out there with our wheel-man Spencer Pigot.”

Lund added, “Loki and I are all about new adventures, and getting involved with Rising Star Racing and its drivers is the next big trip for us. My life with Loki is unconventional, and I was drawn to Rising Star Racing because they’re taking a unique look at the racing world and making a huge difference in the lives of these drivers. I never thought I’d see Loki’s face on the side of a race car, but we’re beyond stoked and can’t wait to see Spencer (Pigot’s) car when we get to the track!”

As noted, Loki and Lund are expected to be in attendance at Long Beach.

“It’s going to be great to have Loki with us this weekend in Long Beach,” Pigot said. “His following on Instagram is incredible, and I really hope he enjoys his time with us in the Verizon IndyCar Series paddock. Loki has an adventuresome spirit and I think this will be a really special experience for both of us. Rising Star Racing is providing another creative way to generate exposure and I’m really happy to be part of it.”

With Preferred Freezer Services as primary sponsor for JR Hildebrand’s No. 21 Chevrolet, it’ll be a weird, Fuzzy’s non-primary weekend for Ed Carpenter Racing at Long Beach.

As far as we can recall, this is the first dog-related sponsorship in racing since the Dogecoin effort backed Josh Wise in NASCAR a few years ago, and Wise made a surprise trip getting voted into NASCAR’s All-Star Race thanks to the popularity of the Dogecoin supporters.

Final 2023 Rolex 24 at Daytona results, stats

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DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — The 2023 Rolex 24 at Daytona overall results were all streaks: two consecutive victories in the endurance classic for Meyer Shank Racing and three in a row for Acura.

And Helio Castroneves became the second driver to win three consecutive Rolex 24s and the first to win in three straight years (Peter Gregg won in 1973, ’75 and ’76; the race wasn’t held in ’74 because of a global oil crisis).

Starting from the pole position, Tom Blomqvist took the checkered flag in the No. 60 ARX-06 that led a race-high 365 of 783 laps with co-drivers Castroneves, Simon Pagenaud and Colin Braun.

RESULTS: Click here for the finishing order in the 61st Rolex 24 at Daytona l By class

Meyer Shank Racing now has two Rolex 24 victories and the 2022 championship since entering the premier prototype category of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship in 2021.

“I think what’s so special about this team is we are a small team compared to some of our opponents, but the atmosphere, the way we work, enables people to get the best out of themselves, and I think that’s why we’re such high achievers,” Blomqvist said. “I think there’s no egos. It’s a very open book, and that just enables each and every one of us to reach our potential. I think that’s why we’ve achieved so much success in really a short time at this level of competition.”

It’s the 16th IMSA victory for MSR.

The 61st running of the Rolex 24 at Daytona marked the debut of the Grand Touring Prototype category that brought hybrid engine technology to IMSA’s top level.

In other categories:

LMP2: James Allen passed Ben Hanley on the final lap and delivered a victory in the No. 55 ORECA by 0.016 seconds. It’s the second IMSA victory for Proton Competition, which last won at Sebring in 2012. It was the first Rolex 24 victory for Allen and co-drivers Gianmaria Bruni, Fred Poordad and Francesco Pizzi.

GTD Pro: Cooper MacNeil won in the last start of his IMSA career as the No. 79 Mercedes-AMG GT3 scored the first Rolex 24 at Daytona for WeatherTech Racing and the team’s fourth career victory.

MacNeil, who co-drove with Maro Engel, Jules Gounon and Daniel Juncadella, earned his 12th career victory and first at the Rolex 24.

“Winning by last IMSA race is tremendous,” MacNeil said.

GTD: The No. 27 Heart of Racing Team delivered the first Rolex 24 at Daytona for Aston Martin, which has been competing in endurance races at Daytona International Speedway since 1964. Drivers Marco Sorensen, Roman De Angelis, Darren Turner and Ian James (also the team principal) earned the victory in the English brand’s 13th attempt.

It’s also the first Rolex 24 at Daytona win for Heart of Racing, which has seven IMSA wins.

LMP3: Anthony Mantella, Wayne Boyd, Nico Varrone and Thomas Merrill drove the No. 17 AWA Duqueine D08 to victory by 12 laps for the team’s first class win in IMSA.


STATS PACKAGE FOR ROLEX 24 HOURS OF DAYTONA:

Fastest laps by driver

Fastest laps by driver after race (over the weekend)

Fastest laps by driver and class after race

Fastest lap sequence

Lap chart

Leader sequence

Race analysis by lap

Stint analysis

Time cards

Pit stop time cards

Best sector times

Race distance and speed average

Flag analysis

Weather report

NEXT: The 2023 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season will resume with the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring March 18 with coverage across NBC, USA and Peacock.