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Fuzzy’s Vodka ends seven-year sponsorship of Ed Carpenter Racing

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Ed Carpenter Racing will no longer be sporting the familiar green-and-white colors of Fuzzy’s Vodka.

The IndyCar Series team announced that after seven seasons, Fuzzy’s will not return in 2019 as primary sponsor for either team owner Ed Carpenter’s Chevrolet-powered car nor the car of Spencer Pigot.

According to a ECR media release, “Fuzzy’s Vodka will concentrate on business initiatives outside of motorsports moving forward.”

However, the team also noted that Fuzzy’s pullout will not affect its 2019 plans for Carpenter’s No. 20 or Pigot’s No. 21.

Carpenter will once again compete in the series’ five oval track races, Pigot will drive in all 17 races, and newly-signed Ed Jones will drive on road and street courses that Carpenter does not compete in, as well as race in the Indy 500.

Fuzzy’s departure marks the end of a relationship that began in 2012 and included 118 races and produced 16 podium finishes, including two wins apiece by Carpenter and Mike Conway, and one triumph by Josef Newgarden.

Fuzzy’s also was on Carpenter’s car when he qualified first for the Indianapolis 500 three times (2013, 2014 and 2018). Carpenter also finished a career-best second in this year’s 500.

“I am very appreciative and proud of the relationship between ECR and Fuzzy’s, really going back to before the team began,” Carpenter said in a statement. “It has been a good run and I wish them nothing but the best with their future endeavors.

“Tony George, Stuart Reed and I started ECR together back in 2012 and we are still committed now as we were then to winning Indy 500s and competing for IndyCar Series championships.

“Our plans for 2019 and beyond remain unchanged and I cannot wait to see what we accomplish together moving forward.”

In addition to Carpenter – the only owner/driver in the IndyCar Series – and Pigot returning for 2019, Jones has replaced Jordan King, who was not retained.

Jones will drive under a new partnership between ECR and Scuderia Corsa for the 12 road and street courses on the 2019 IndyCar schedule, as well as in the Indy 500.

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Red Bull’s Max Verstappen takes pole at Brazilian GP

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Red Bull’s Max Verstappen has taken pole position for Sunday’s Brazilian Grand Prix.

It’s the second career pole for the Dutch driver, who beat Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel by just 0.123 seconds.

Verstappen’s first pole was earlier this season at the Hungarian GP in August.

Six-time champion Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes will start from third position. The 2018 winner at Interlagos finished 0.191 seconds back.

Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc, Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas and Red Bull’s Alexander Albon finished in fourth, fifth and sixth, respectively.

Hamilton was fastest in final practice earlier Saturday, 0.026 quicker than Verstappen.

The Brazilian GP on Sunday is the penultimate race of the season. Hamilton secured the season title, his sixth, in the previous race in the U.S.