The Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet of Rinus VeeKay will be sponsored by Bitcoin for the 105th Indy 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on May 30, 2021 (11 a.m. ET, NBC).
“I could not be more excited that this project is becoming a reality,” car owner Ed Carpenter said in a release. “To bring my personal interest and immersion in Bitcoin to our industry is historic. Just as Bitcoin is revolutionizing our financial system, I see it as an opportunity to transform how we operate within our own motorsport industry.”
The sponsorship with Bitcoin will allow the car to be crowdfunded.
ECR is partnering with Strike to fundraise on behalf of the Bitcoin community. Strike will handle payments and donations for the effort. A unique QR code enables the world’s first peer-to-car contribution model allowing anyone in the world to donate.
The first decentralized sponsorship in the history of racing is a collaboration between @ln_strike and our team, led by three-time #Indy500 pole winner and #Bitcoin HODLer, @edcarpenter20.
Ed & @JackMallers discuss the new partnership: https://t.co/9zznJsRipi pic.twitter.com/S5EvOTXI5X
— Ed Carpenter Racing (@ECRIndy) May 12, 2021
“Ed’s message is simple; he doesn’t want to race for potato chips or soft drinks at the Indy 500,” said Jack Mallers, founder of Strike. “This year, Ed is racing for human freedom, financial literacy, financial inclusivity, and is using the platform he’s earned throughout his career to promote the most powerful message possible in pushing humanity forward. We’re tremendously proud to support his efforts.”
In his second season racing for ECR, VeeKay has three top-fives and eight top-10s in 18 starts. Three of those top-10s came in the first four races of 2021 with his best effort of sixth earned in the season-opener at Barber Motorsports Park.
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VeeKay finished 20th in last year’s Indy 500, one lap off the pace.
VeeKay’s sponsor for the first five races of the season, Sonax will move over to the No. 20 car that owner/driver Carpenter will wheel. Conor Daly in the No. 47 will complete the team’s three-car entry.
An ECR Chevrolet has qualified on one of the first three rows every year since 2013, with at least one car starting from the front row for six of those years.
As part of the agreement, ECR will also be the first IndyCar team to integrate Bitcoin as a payment option for all of its employees, allowing for a more fully activated relationship.
In addition to the No. 21’s black and orange scheme, Bitcoin will be present on ECR’s other Indianapolis 500 entries.