Chris Owens/IndyCar

James Hinchcliffe secures sponsorship for month of May

Leave a comment

After landing a new sponsor, James Hinchcliffe has now secured enough funding to run both races at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway this season.

Genesys, a customer service technology company with a major presence in the Indianapolis area, has signed on as a primary sponsor of Hinchcliffe for the month of May.

The new partnership comes three months after Hinchcliffe lost his seat at Arrow McLaren SP, and the six-time race winner faced an uphill battle to find a full-time ride for 2020.

Though he is not likely to compete on a full-time basis this year, the new partnership will allow Hinchcliffe to compete in, at a minimum, the 104th running of the Indianapolis 500 on May 24. Information regarding which team the 33-year-old Canadian will drive for will be released at a later date.

“Hinchcliffe brings an incredible level of skill and charisma to IndyCar, not to mention his genuine empathy for other teams and drivers,” said Genesys CEO Tony Bates. “These very attributes are critical for organizations as they establish trust and loyalty with their most important asset: their customers. And, that’s what makes Hinchcliffe the perfect person to represent our company.

“We are thrilled to align ourselves with this talented driver and a sport that gives hundreds of thousands of people an experience like no other each and every May.”

The partnership marks the first venture into IndyCar racing for Genesys.

“This sponsorship gives Genesys an opportunity to further immerse ourselves in this wonderful community that’s home to our largest employee base in the world,” Bates said. “Auto racing is a shining example of the amazing results that can be achieved when man and machine work together.”

Follow Michael Eubanks on Twitter

Donny Schatz edges Kyle Larson for Outlaws victory at Lake Ozark

Trent Gower/World of Outlaws
Leave a comment

Donny Schatz made a last-lap pass on Kyle Larson, snatching a World of Outlaws victory Saturday night at Lake Ozark Speedway.

Larson started on the pole, led 30 of 35 laps and was in control until a caution set up a two-lap shootout to the finish before a limited crowd in Eldon, Missouri.

Schatz and Larson traded the lead twice over the final two laps, but the 10-time champion emerged with his first victory since the NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series returned in mid-May from a two-month layoff because of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

‘THEY’VE STUCK BEHIND ME’: Kyle Larson comments on future, Outlaws plans

“Man, I don’t know what to say, but Kyle’s a damn good racer,” Schatz, who led five laps, told DirtVision after his 296th Outlaws win. “I kind of had to go where he didn’t. We got that green-white-checkered, and I decided I was going to send it. He decided the same thing.

Donny Schatz celebrates at Lake Ozark Speedway after his second Outlaws Sprint Car victory of the season (Trent Gower).

“I’m glad to get the win. It feels like it’s been forever. I’ve been out here 24 years, and every night is a learning experience still.”

Larson finished second in his fifth start since he began racing with the Outlaws after being suspended from NASCAR.

“Obviously, it would have been nice to get the win,” Larson said on DirtVision. “I figured Donny would rip the middle. The restarts before, he’d almost clear me in (turns) 3 and 4. I should have known to protect and block his momentum. I felt I exited 2 OK. We don’t have spotters or rearview mirrors so you can’t see how close he is or really hear it when the pace is so slow.

“I just didn’t do a good enough job to run a smarter final couple of laps.”

Brad Sweet, Larson’s brother in law, finished third, with Shane Stewart and David Gravel rounding out the top five.

Larson rebounded from a 10th in Friday’s feature at Lake Ozark Speedway, continuing his streak of top-10 finishes in all five of his starts since the Outlaws’ return.

“We got our car a lot better from last night, so that was a plus,” said Larson, who finished second and first in back-to-back nights last week at Federated Auto Parts Raceway at Pevely, Missouri. “These guys are really tough. To be on the podium with Donny and Brad, they’ve won lots of big races and championships, it’s nice. I just didn’t do what I needed to do that last restart.”

Larson nearly had a flawless night Saturday, turning a 11.426-second lap to capture his second pole position this season and won the pole dash to start first in the feature.

Larson, who was fired by Chip Ganassi Racing from his NASCAR Cup Series ride last month for using a racial slur in an iRacing event, said last week that he plans to run several more NOS Energy Sprint Car Series races this year.

Larson remains indefinitely suspended by NASCAR but was approved to race by the Outlaws after completing sensitivity training.