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Butterball, DHL, Hunter-Reay help donate turkeys to Midwest Food Bank

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Butterball and DHL, long-time sponsors and partners with Ryan Hunter-Reay and Andretti Autosport, recently joined forces with driver and team to donate food to the Midwest Food Bank, which helps collect and distribute food donations to not-for-profit organizations in an effort to alleviate food shortages.

As part of a tradition that dates back to 2014, the 2017 iteration gathered at an Indianapolis Kroger and helped distribute over 700 turkeys and 1,000 boxes of stuffing to a number of missions supported by Midwest Food Bank.

The combined effort was able to distribute food to such organizations Wheeler Mission, St. Vincent de Paul, Westminster Neighborhood Services, Damar Academy and Mary Rigg Community Center, all organizations based in the Indianapolis area.

“We’ve been doing this since 2014 in honor of our Indianapolis 500 win,” Hunter-Reay said of the effort. “This year Butterball has increased the number from 500 to over 700 turkeys distributed. Butterball has supplied the turkeys and DHL hopped on board for the logistics side of it. It’s great to see the Andretti Autosport partners coming together to give back to this community that gives so much to us. I’m happy to be here giving back to the community and happy to be a part of everything that both Butterball and DHL stand for.”

Kerry Doughty, Butterball CEO, added that being able to help those in need is a driving value behind the Butterball brand. “At Butterball, giving back to those in need in the communities where our employees are based is part of our core values, and partnering with Andretti Autosport and Kroger allows us to fulfill Ryan Hunter-Reay’s desire to do the same.  As a native Hoosier, this is an event I look forward to every year, because this community means so much to me. We hope each turkey is a bright spot in someone’s Thanksgiving this year.”

Christine Nashick, Chief Marketing Officer for DHL Espress Americas, asserted similar thoughts and was more than happy to support the effort.

“We are fortunate to work with great community partners like our DHL-sponsored Andretti Autosport team and Butterball, to help bring a festive Thanksgiving holiday to those in need,” she expressed. “This time of year especially, DHL works to deliver happiness to those who need a little help to truly enjoy the holidays. We are thankful to the many communities we serve, and this is one way we can show our appreciation.”

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Helio Castroneves ‘hustling’ for IndyCar, IMSA rides; talking with four to five teams

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As his season gathers steam, Helio Castroneves said his prospects for finding new rides for 2021 in IMSA and IndyCar also are gaining momentum.

The three-time Indianapolis 500 winner said Monday he is optimistic about landing in either or perhaps a combination of both series when Team Penske and Acura end their DPi partnership after this season.

“A lot of people I spoke with, four to five teams, are interested,” Castroneves said. “Whether it’s doing Indy 500 only, whether it’s pushing to do full time or do the sports cars as well. It’s been a very nice conversation.

LOOKING AHEADTeam Penske drivers seeking new rides for 2021

“I have a lot of respect for all the teams that have been talking, and I feel the same feedback. We just have to wait for their (sponsor) connections, and I’m also looking for some connections on my side as well, so hopefully we’ll be able to put this together and get something very soon.”

Given two decades of success with Penske in IndyCar and IMSA, Castroneves’ resume hardly needs burnishing. But the Brazilian has combined with co-driver Ricky Taylor in the No. 7 Acura DPi to win the past two overall victories at Road America and Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta.

But Castroneves, who doesn’t have a manager, said he has been working the phones hard rather than wait for the strong results to bring in the calls.

“At this point, I feel like I’m the one who needs to be talking to them because people need to know I want to continue racing and understand my desire,” Castroneves, 45, said. “There is opportunity, no question, in both (IndyCar and IMSA), which I’m really happy about it. However, because of the COVID-19, a lot of things sometimes have to be a little delayed. But I’m excited. Whatever the opportunity and whatever destiny guides me, whether IndyCar or sports cars, trust me I’ll be as happy as it could be and doing my 100 percent like I always did.

“It’s like politics, you need to be out there, good news or bad news. People have to make notice of your presence. I’m hustling. I want to continue to keep it going. Hopefully, we’ll have good news very soon.”

The news has been all good lately on track for Castroneves and Taylor, who hope to continue their run Sunday at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

The No. 6 duo has surged to sixth in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship standings, 10 points out of the lead with four races remaining. After thinking there was “no hope” to be competitive after opening the season with three consecutive poor finishes, Taylor now sees an opportunity for a happy ending.

“With the program going away, Helio has won all the big races and given so much back to the team and left such a mark, he’s really part of Penske history,” Taylor said. “For me, it’s been an opportunity of a lifetime to be a part of it. I’d like to leave my little mark as well. Helio has won everything except for a championship.

“Obviously, we’ve won races already together, but we can win a championship now. I think if both of us can do that together and both win our first championship for ‘The Captain,’ that would be an absolute dream come true, and we can tie a bow on it and be happy.”