Sebastien Bourdais, AJ Foyt Racing add ROKiT sponsorship

Foyt Bourdais ROKiT
AJ Foyt Racing
0 Comments

Sebastien Bourdais, AJ Foyt Racing and the ROKiT Group, a media company engaged in multiple aspects of content production and distribution, will join forces in the No. 14 Chevrolet in 2021.

“When I was 17 years old and working for Goodyear Tires racing division, I was aware of AJ Foyt and what an incredibly talented driver he was, so I am hugely excited to have partnered with the legendary AJ Foyt Racing team for the 2021 IndyCar Series,” said Jonathan Kendrick, ROKiT’s co-founder in a release. “I’m looking forward to cheering-on the fabulous looking No.14 Chevrolet as it roars around the circuits this year. All our ROKiT companies will be actively involved in this partnership and we wish Larry, Sebastien and all the team at Foyt Racing the very best of luck.”

The sponsorship has been seven years in the making since the two companies first began discussing opportunities to work together.

In addition to content creation and distribution, ROKiT also functions as a business incubator with companies involved in technology and services including mobile phones, Wi Fi deployment, beverages and 3D content production.

In addition to the car’s branding through primary sponsorship, multiple aspects of the ROKiT brand will be deployed on the No. 14 and at AJ Foyt Racing through a variety of activation opportunities.

INDY 500 SPECIAL: Charlie Kimball returns to AJ Foyt racing at the Brickyard

Larry Foyt anticipates the new partnership will give his team and the IndyCar series additional exposure to a younger audience.

“I met (Jonathan Kendrick) several years ago and we have stayed in touch,” said Larry Foyt, team president of AJ Foyt Racing. “He is a true racing enthusiast and it has been great to see him use many forms of motorsport in his growth strategy for ROKiT.

“We had expressed interest in working together when the time was right, and I must say it feels like everything came into alignment perfectly for this opportunity. I think this partnership will reward ROKiT’s partners and consumers with some exciting programs that take advantage of the great access our team can provide.

“I’m enthused about our promising testing results, and this is another shot of awesome momentum heading into the season.”

The IndyCar series opens its 17-race season April 18 at Barber Motorsports Park.

Justin Grant prevails over Kyle Larson in the Turkey Night Grand Prix

Grant Larson Turkey Night
USACRacing.com / DB3 Inc.
0 Comments

On the heels of his Hangtown 100 victory, Justin Grant worked his way from 13th in the Turkey Night Grand Prix to beat three-time event winner Kyle Larson by 1.367 seconds. The 81st annual event was run at Ventura (Calif.) Raceway for the sixth time.

“My dad used to take me to Irwindale Speedway, and we’d watch Turkey Night there every year,” Grant said in a series press release. “This is one of the races I fell in love with. I didn’t think I’d ever get a chance to run in it, never thought I’d make a show and certainly never thought I’d be able to win one.”

With its genesis in 1934 at Gilmore Stadium, a quarter-mile dirt track in Los Angeles, the race is steeped in history with winners that include AJ Foyt, Parnelli Jones, Gary Bettenhausen and Johnnie Parsons. Tony Stewart won it in 2000. Kyle Larson won his first of three Turkey Night Grands Prix in 2012. Christopher Bell earned his first of three in 2014, so Grant’s enthusiasm was well deserved.

So was the skepticism that he would win. He failed to crack the top five in three previous attempts, although he came close last year with a sixth-place result. When he lined up for the feature 13th in the crowded 28-car field, winning seemed like a longshot.

Grant watched as serious challengers fell by the wayside. Mitchel Moles flipped on Lap 10 of the feature. Michael “Buddy” Kofoid took a tumble on Lap 68 and World of Outlaws Sprint car driver Carson Macedo flipped on Lap 79. Grant saw the carnage ahead of him and held a steady wheel as he passed Tanner Thorson for the lead with 15 laps remaining and stayed out of trouble for the remainder of the event.

“It’s a dream come true to win the Turkey Night Grand Prix,” Grant said.


Kyle Larson follows Justin Grant to the front on Turkey Night

The 2012, 2016 and 2019 winner, Larson was not scheduled to run the event. His wife Katelyn is expecting their third child shortly, but after a couple of glasses of wine with Thanksgiving dinner and while watching some replays of the event, Larson texted car owner Chad Boat to see if he had a spare car lying around. He did.

“We weren’t great but just hung around and it seemed like anybody who got to the lead crashed and collected some people,” Larson said. “We made some passes throughout; in the mid-portion, we weren’t very good but then we got better at the end.

“I just ran really, really hard there, and knew I was running out of time, so I had to go. I made some pretty crazy and dumb moves, but I got to second and was hoping we could get a caution to get racing with Justin there. He was sliding himself at both ends and thought that maybe we could get a run and just out-angle him into [Turn] 1 and get clear off [Turn] 2 if we got a caution, but it just didn’t work out.”

Larson padded one of the most impressive stats in the history of this race, however. In 10 starts, he’s won three times, finished second four times, was third once and fourth twice.

Bryant Wiedeman took the final spot on the podium.

As Grant and Larson began to pick their way through the field, Kofoid took the lead early from the outside of the front row and led the first 44 laps of the race before handing it over to Cannon McIntosh, who bicycled on Lap 71 before landing on all fours. While Macedo and Thorson tussled for the lead with McIntosh, Grant closed in.

Thorson finished 19th with McIntosh 20th. Macedo recovered from his incident to finish ninth. Kofoid’s hard tumble relegated him to 23rd.

Jake Andreotti in fourth and Kevin Thomas, Jr. rounded out the top five.

1. Justin Grant (started 13)
2. Kyle Larson (22)
3. Bryant Wiedeman (4)
4. Jake Andreotti (9)
5. Kevin Thomas Jr. (1)
6. Logan Seavey (8)
7. Alex Bright (27)
8. Emerson Axsom (24)
9. Carson Macedo (7)
10. Jason McDougal (18)
11. Jake Swanson (16)
12. Chase Johnson (6)
13. Jacob Denney (26)
14. Ryan Timms (23)
15. Chance Crum (28)
16. Brenham Crouch (17)
17. Jonathan Beason (19)
18. Cade Lewis (14)
19. Tanner Thorson (11)
20. Cannon McIntosh (3)
21. Thomas Meseraull (15)
22. Tyler Courtney (21)
23. Buddy Kofoid (2)
24. Brody Fuson (5)
25. Mitchel Moles (20)
26. Daniel Whitley (10)
27. Kaylee Bryson (12)
28. Spencer Bayston (25)