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Roger Penske official owner of Indianapolis Motor Speedway

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One of biggest stories in auto racing this century is now official.

Penske Corporation announced Monday morning that the acquisition of Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the NTT IndyCar Series and IMS Productions has been completed.

The sale to Roger Penske’s company had been announced Nov. 4 but took about two months to finalize.

“We are looking forward to carrying on the tradition of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and IndyCar racing,” Penske said in a statement. “We have been diligently working with the teams at IMS, INDYCAR and IMS Productions over the last two months to ensure a smooth and productive transition and we are ready to hit the ground running.

“Now, it is time to get to work as we continue the growth of the Speedway and we build on the momentum of the NTT IndyCar Series.”

Penske now the fourth owner of famed track

INDYCAR CEO Mark Miles had told NBCSports.com in late December that Jan. 6 was the target date for making it official with Penske, who has toured the IMS property often over the last several weeks and already has begun directing many cleanup and improvement initiatives.

“People call it ‘Penske Perfect,’” Miles said. “This is a massive place, and it’s a venerable place. It’s hard to keep it up to that standard, and we haven’t. But it’s also habits. The way you look at your desk or a storage room or a closet. The day of the announcement, Roger walked around and looked in great detail at everything. I began to see the place differently within an hour. I saw it through Roger’s eyes.

“In a way, it was embarrassing. Under the excuse of budgets and tight money, we had not really been as attentive as we should be taking pride in the place.”

Penske is the fourth owner of the world’s most famous racetrack, where his cars have 18 victories in the famed Indianapolis 500. He has purchased IMS from Hulman and Co., which has owned and managed the track since 1945.

NASCAR will return to Indianapolis Motor Speedway with the 27th annual running of the Brickyard 400 on July 5, which will mark the debut of the race on July 4 weekend.

NHRA: Alexis DeJoria reveals sponsorship for return to Funny Car

Photo courtesy ROKiT/Alexis DeJoria Racing
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Returning to NHRA Funny Car competition after a two-year hiatus, Alexis DeJoria has announced her new team will be sponsored by ABK Beer and ROKiT Phones for the full 24-race 2020 NHRA national event season.

ABK Beer is a 700-year-old Bavarian beer brand, while ROKiT further expands its reach in motorsports, also sponsoring the ROKiT Williams Racing Formula 1 team and the ROKiT Venturi Racing Formula E team.

Both brands have signed multi-year deals to sponsor DeJoria and her 11,000-horsepower Toyota Camry Funny Car. Also, in a unique twist, ROKiT smartphones will engage fans of DeJoria and NHRA with “innovative 3D content,” according to a media release.

“Joining Del Worsham’s newly-formed DC Motorsports team was just the first step in reigniting my quest at being the first female Funny Car world champion, and I’m thrilled that ROKiT is coming along for the ride,” DeJoria said in the media release. “I can’t wait to get back on the track and am energized and excited about all the things we have in store for the amazing NHRA fans.”

DeJoria will join a number of Top Fuel and Funny Car teams in Las Vegas for the annual preseason test-and-tune – otherwise known as “spring training” – on February 1 and 2.

This is the first time the test session will be held at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. It has previously been held for at least the last two decades at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park in suburban Phoenix.

The 24-race NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season opens the following weekend — February 6-9 — with the Lucas Oil NHRA Winternationals at Auto Club Raceway in Pomona, California.

DeJoria, who is married to reality TV star Jesse James, is particularly looking forward to returning to Pomona. It was there where she made drag racing history, becoming the first female to clock a sub-four second run (3.997 seconds) in the 2014 season opener.

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