INDIANAPOLIS – From the moment team owner Ricardo Juncos arrived at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway with an all-white car nicknamed the “White Rabbit,” he was hoping to attract a sponsor for the team’s effort in the Sunday’s 103rd Indianapolis 500 (11 am ET on NBC).
Indianapolis-based 250ok, an email intelligence platform, was impressed with the dramatic story of Juncos and driver Kyle Kaiser bumping its way into the field as the last car in the “Last Row Shootout.” The company will be the primary sponsor for Kyle Kaiser’s No. 32 Chevrolet entry in the Indy 500.
“We are thrilled to announce a highly innovative company like 250ok has joined our effort and will be our primary sponsor for the No. 32 Juncos Racing Indy 500 entry,” Juncos said. “When Greg (Kraios, CEO of 250ok) offered to support us, and we were connected over our personal journeys, we knew this sponsorship was meant to be. We both share the same values, commitments and goals, and I look forward to building our relationship with the 250ok team.”
Kraios, who grew up in Speedway, Indiana, is a lifelong race fan. He identified with Juncos’ story of working up from humble beginnings in Argentina to becoming an owner of an NTT IndyCar Series team.
Kraios experienced a similar journey, growing up in a working-class Indiana neighborhood, ultimately working at ExactTarget (now Salesforce) before founding his own technology company.
“After hearing Ricardo’s story, and knowing they were in need of a sponsor, I jumped at the opportunity,” Kraios said. “From our similar upbringings, supporting his hardworking and odds-defying team felt like a personal calling.”
There have been five different winners in the last five weeks of the NTT IndyCar season and driver that kicked off that streak in Elkhart Lake is in desperate need of a victory to help close the points gap to the leader. After being involved in the Lap 1 accident at Pocono Raceway last week, Alexander Rossi sits 35 points behind Josef Newgarden. Rossi’s two victories this season have come on road courses.
This week’s Bommarito Auto Group 500 the World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway is the third race on this track since IndyCar first revisited it in 2017. Newgarden took the checkers in 2017; Will Power grabbed the glory last year. Gateway also hosted races from 2001-2003.
Here are some of the storylines to watch this Sunday:
- For most of the drivers in the field, this will mark only their third time to race at Gateway, but two drivers were around in 2003 when IndyCar visited this track previously. Scott Dixon finished 15th in that race. He found the handle when Indy returned in 2017 to finish second and then third last year. Tony Kanaan was second in 2003; unfortunately he went the other direction and has not scored a top-10 at Gateway since.
- If one is looking for perfection on this track type, Simon Pagenaud is the only driver to sweep the top 10 on ovals in the past two years. In his last 10 starts on them, he has garnered an average finish of 5.2; his last five attempts have been sixth or better including a win in this year’s Indy 500. Pagenaud finished third at Gateway in 2017 and was fourth last year.
- The top two drivers in the points standings should also challenge for a top-five this week. Rossi was perfect alongside Pagenaud on ovals until his accident last week at Pocono with a sweep of the top 10 and seven top-fives in his last nine races. Newgarden also has nine top-10s and a worst of 13th on ovals in the past two years.
- Don’t count Dixon out of the points battle yet. While he currently sits 52 points out of first, Dixon is the hottest driver on the circuit with a current streak of five top-fives to his credit including his victory at Mid-Ohio two weeks ago. His oval record is a little spottier with two runner-up finishes and two 17th-place finishes in the last four races.
- Last week’s first-lap carnage ended Rossi’s top-10 streak at seven, but one other driver was able to sneak through and extend his. Graham Rahal will vie for his ninth consecutive top-10 this week, but that success is questionable in light of his Gateway record. Rahal finished 12th in 2017 and was barely able to crack the top 10 in 10th last year.
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