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Hitachi, Team Penske extend partnership through 2020

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Global technology, electronics and automotive company Hitachi will once again return as a primary sponsor of the No. 2 Team Penske Dallara-Chevrolet driven by Josef Newgarden next season, the team announced in a press release Sunday.

Under the new agreement, Hitachi will serve as Newgarden’s primary sponsor in eight races next season, and will once again be an associate sponsor on all of Team Penske’s cars competing in the NTT IndyCar Series.

Hitachi, whose colors adorned Newgarden’s No. 2 machine when he won his second IndyCar Series championship at Weathertech Raceway Laguna Seca Sunday, was the primary sponsor in three of his four victories in this season..@

The company has been a Team Penske partner since 2011, when the company sponsored both Helio Castroneves and Ryan Briscoe at the final IndyCar race at Twin Ring Motegi in Japan.

Briscoe would deliver the company their first race victory the following season at Sonoma Raceway. Since then, Hitachi has won six more races and eight pole positions as a primary sponsor.

“We are proud to continue our partnership with Hitachi and build on the success we have enjoyed together over the last eight seasons,” Team Owner Roger Penske said in the press release. “Hitachi has been such an important partner for our IndyCar program and we also utilize their technology and services across many of our Penske Corporation businesses away from the track.”

Below are the following races in which Hitachi will serve as Newgarden’s Primary sponsor next season:

Date   Race

3/15    Streets of St. Petersburg – St. Petersburg, FL (NBCSN)

4/19    Streets of Long Beach – Long Beach, CA (NBCSN)

5/30    The Raceway at Belle Isle Park (Race 1) – Detroit, MI (NBC)

5/31    The Raceway at Belle Isle Park (Race 2) – Detroit, MI (NBC)

7/12    Streets of Toronto – Toronto, Ontario, Canada (NBCSN)

7/18    Iowa Speedway – Newton, IA (NBCSN)

9/6      Portland International Raceway – Portland, OR (NBC)

9/20    WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca – Monterey, CA (NBC)

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Australia SuperCar Champion gets IndyCar Test at Team Penske

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Scott McLaughlin’s latest reward for winning the 2019 Virgin Australia SuperCar championship is an INDYCAR test at Team Penske.

“Scott has been incredibly successful for DJR Team Penske over the last three seasons and he has become a true champion of our sport,” said team owner Roger Penske, who will become the owner of INDYCAR, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the Indianapolis 500 in early January. “He certainly embraces new challenges and we think this is a great opportunity to utilize the IndyCar Series rookie testing program so Scott can experience what it is like to get behind the wheel of one of our Indy cars.”

McLaughlin, who has scored back-to-back Virgin Australia Supercars Champion for DJR Team Penske (DJRTP), will participate in an INDYCAR Rookie Evaluation test at Sebring International Raceway in Sebring, Fla. on Monday, January 13.

“I am always open to new challenges and I’m thankful to Team Penske for providing this opportunity to test an Indy car,” said McLaughlin, who established a new Supercars single season record with 18 victories this past season. “We had an amazing year in 2019 and I’m looking forward to defending our Supercars championship next season. I’m also excited to grow as a driver and being with Team Penske creates cool opportunities to try something new. Although I have spent a few hours in a simulator earlier this year, it’s going to be a blast to see what one really feels like at a place like Sebring.”

McLaughlin joined DJR Team Penske in 2017 as one of the brightest stars in Supercars. He has produced 35 victories and 44 pole positions over the last three seasons while helping DJRTP claim team championships in 2017 and 2019, the driver’s title each of the last two seasons and the legendary Bathurst 1000 race in October, along with co-driver Alex Premat.

McLaughlin will defend his Supercars title for DJRTP in 2020 in the No. 17 Shell V-Power Ford Mustang.  He will build on his already successful racing career by driving a full-sized open-wheel car for the first time.

Team Penske enjoyed another successful IndyCar Series season in 2019. The team earned its record 18th Indianapolis 500 victory as Simon Pagenaud captured the checkered flag in May, while Josef Newgarden won his second series title in three years and the team’s 16th INDYCAR Championship. Team Penske will once again compete with three full-season entries in 2020, featuring series champion drivers Newgarden, Pagenaud and Will Power.

Team Penske is one of the most successful teams in the history of professional sports. Cars owned and prepared by Team Penske have produced more than 540 major race wins, over 620 pole positions and 37 Championships across open-wheel, stock car and sports car racing competition. Over the course of its 53-year history, the team has also earned 18 Indianapolis 500 victories, two Daytona 500 Championships, a Formula 1 win, overall victories in the 24 Hours of Daytona and the 12 Hours of Sebring along with a win in Australia’s legendary Bathurst 1000 race. Team Penske currently competes in the IndyCar Series, the NASCAR Cup Series, the NASCAR Xfinity Series and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. The team also races in the Virgin Australia SuperCars Championship, in a partnership with Dick Johnson Racing, as DJR Team Penske.

Follow Bruce Martin on Twitter at @BruceMartin_500