IRL: Indy500: Witherill, Gregoire sponsors

Radio Shack backs Witherill at Indy: Radio Shack will sponsor the No. 16 G Force/Oldsmobile/Firestone driven by rookie Cory Witherill in the Indianapolis 500 this Sunday. Witherill will start 31st. He qualified for the field late during Bump ...

Radio Shack backs Witherill at Indy: Radio Shack will sponsor the No. 16 G Force/Oldsmobile/Firestone driven by rookie Cory Witherill in the Indianapolis 500 this Sunday. Witherill will start 31st. He qualified for the field late during Bump Day qualifications on May 20.

"I'm thankful to Radio Shack for coming on board on the eve of the race and for believing in me," Witherill said. "I knew we were talking to them and that they were interested. This is the best news I got all week - next to qualifying, of course."

Witherill, a Navajo, is the only full-blooded Native American competing in major North American motorsports.

"We've very excited about this new relationship," said Steve Kaminski, director of sports and events marketing for Radio Shack. "We're behind Cory 100 percent."

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Delco Remy to sponsor Gregoire at Indy: Delco Remy will serve as the primary sponsor in the 85th Indianapolis 500 of the No. 36 Heritage Motorsports G Force/Oldsmobile/Firestone driven by Stephan Gregoire. The sponsorship continues a 50-year heritage of Delco Remy and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

"We are very excited to work with an organization that has such a loyal history with the Indianapolis 500 and the Speedway," said Jim Rathmann Jr., co-owner of Heritage Motorsports. "This partnership is a natural fit because of the history of these organizations at Indy." Gregoire will start 29th in the race Sunday.

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Foyt's influence runs deep: Nine of the 33 starters in this year's Indianapolis 500 have driven for four-time Indy winner A.J. Foyt at one point during their careers.

Those drivers have combined to make 106 starts in Foyt-owned cars. The drivers: Billy Boat (24 starts), Eddie Cheever Jr. (22), Robby Gordon (15), Davey Hamilton (13), Eliseo Salazar (12), Jeff Ward (9), Scott Sharp (8), Greg Ray (2), Robbie Buhl (1).

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Series Automotive , IndyCar
Drivers Robby Gordon , Greg Ray , Eddie Cheever , Robbie Buhl , Eliseo Salazar , Stephan Gregoire , Jeff Ward , Davey Hamilton , Scott Sharp , Billy Boat , Cory Witherill , A.J. Foyt