Marco Andretti, Gleaners Food Bank team up for Indy 500

Andretti Gleaners Indy 500
Andy Lyons/Getty Images
0 Comments

Marco Andretti will have primary sponsorship from Gleaners Food Bank of Indiana for the 105th running of the Indy 500.

The campaign, anchored by the hashtag #NoOneRunsOnEmpty, was launched last year as Gleaners Food Bank sponsored Colton Herta in all three races held at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Herta gave the sponsor a perfect record of top-10 finishes, including an eighth in the Indy 500.

With the sponsorship, Gleaners hopes to raise awareness of food insecurity in the state of Indiana during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Last year’s campaign plateaued at more than double the families served before the outbreak. COVID-19 has left a larger number of families in need of assistance, and more than 40 percent of them are currently being served by Gleaners Food Bank of Indiana.

“The No One Runs on Empty awareness campaign launched last July with key goals of raising awareness of the impact of food insecurity on the lives of our neighbors, and spurring action in the form of advocacy, volunteerism, or donations,” said John Elliott, CEO, Gleaners Food Bank of Indiana in a release. “By any measure, that effort was a success.

“We also hoped for continued development of our partnership with Andretti Autosport, and the addition of new mission partners who were drawn to our mission and to those we serve. The Andretti family became part of the Gleaners team in every way and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway stepped forward in a big way, allowing us to host mobile pantries on site, and engaging with Gleaners as an official charitable partner.

“And today, we welcome a new mission partner – Group1001 – who heard our message in 2020 and wanted to be a part of it in 2021. No one runs on empty – certainly not Marco – but even more critically, the nearly one million Hoosiers who may face food insecurity at this very moment.”

Group1001 is a division of Gainbridge, the presenting sponsor of the Indy 500.

“It’s been an honor to team up with organizations like Gleaners Food Bank of Indiana and Group1001 to help drive out hunger in our hometown,” stated Michael Andretti, CEO of Andretti Autosport. “It’s been a tough year for a lot of people and the work that Gleaners is doing during this pandemic has been impressive to say the least. We’re proud to be able to provide a platform for them to not only raise awareness but also elevate their mission through our IndyCar program.”

Marco Andretti sat on the pole for last year’s Indy 500 before finishing 13th. This year, Andretti will run only a part time schedule and the Indy 500 will be his first race of the season,

“I’m ready to get back on track at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway this May and I’m very excited that I get to do that while representing such a great organization like Gleaners Food Bank of Indiana and Group1001 to help make sure No One Runs On Empty,” said Marco Andretti. “I have put all of my focus into winning the Indianapolis 500 this year and I feel that the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is where I bring the most to the table as a driver. I have come so close to winning over the years and after winning the pole last year, I’m more determined than ever to get an Indianapolis 500 win.”

The announcement comes during a month in which Indianapolis Motor Speedway has teamed with the University of Indiana Health System to deliver up to 100,000 vaccinations in a drive through of the famed tracks garages and alongside pit road.

In addition to the entries already announced, Indy Star’s Nathan Brown is reporting that Michael Andretti hopes to field a sixth entry for the 105th Indy 500.

Three-time W Series champ Jamie Chadwick joining Andretti in Indy NXT Series for 2023

2 Comments

Jamie Chadwick, the three-time W Series champion, will drive for Andretti Autosport in the Indy NXT Series next season.

Chadwick will make her debut in an American racing series in March, driving the No. 28 for Andretti Autosport with sponsorship from DHL. The 24-year-old will become the first female driver in 13 years to compete full time in the Indy NXT championship.

Chadwick joined the female free-to-enter W Series in its inaugural 2019 season, winning two races and the first of three consecutive championships. She has been a reserve driver for the Williams Formula One team and will continue in that role in 2023. She also has driven in the Extreme E Series.

Despite her success, Chadwick hasn’t landed a bigger ride in F3 or F2, and her break didn’t come until Michael Andretti contacted her and offered a test in an Indy NXT car.

The final three races of this year’s W Series schedule were canceled when funding fell through, but Chadwick still believes the all-female series was the right path for her.

“W Series has always been and will continue to be an opportunity to be racing for every female driver, so for my side, I looked at it while perhaps I would have liked to step up maybe earlier, at the same time being able to have that chance to race, get that experience, have that development, seat time… I was constantly learning,” Chadwick told The Associated Press.

“In that sense, I wasn’t frustrated at all. But on the flip side of it, now I’ve had that experience testing in the United States in Indy NXT and this is something I’m really excited about.”

Chadwick also is expected to have an enhanced role as a development driver next season with Williams, which chose American driver Logan Sargeant to fill its open seat on next year’s F1 grid.

“Andretti Autosport is proud to be supporting Jamie alongside DHL,” said Michael Andretti. “Jamie’s successful career speaks for itself, but Indy NXT gives Jamie the opportunity to continue her development in a new type of racing.

“We’ve turned out five Indy NXT champions over the years and look forward to continuing our role in developing new talent.”

Indy NXT is the new name of the rebranded Indy Lights Series, the final step on the ladder system before IndyCar.

Andretti will field two drivers next season in IndyCar that were developed in Indy NXT: Kyle Kirkwood, the 2021 champion, will return to Andretti after one season in IndyCar driving for A.J. Foyt Racing, and Devlin DeFrancesco is back for a second season.

Chadwick will be teammates in Indy NXT with Hunter McElrea and Louis Foster. She becomes Andretti’s second full-time female driver alongside Catie Munnings, who competes for Andretti United in the Extreme E Series.