Telephone Ticket Orders for U.S. 500 Begin March 4 ADDITIONAL SPONSORS CONFIRMED FOR INAUGURAL U.S. 500
HOMESTEAD, Fla. (March 1, 1996) - The announcement today of seven additional sponsors for the inaugural U.S. 500 brings the total number of corporations backing the new race to 12, event general manager Rena Shanaman said at a press conference at IndyCar's season opening Marlboro Grand Prix of Miami, presented by Toyota at Metro-Dade Homestead Motorsports Complex.
A diverse group of sponsors, including Hollywood, Honda, LCI International, Miller Brewing Company, Mobil Oil Corporation, No Fear, and Target Stores, join Indeck, Mercedes-Benz, Pennzoil, Texaco and Toyota, announced as sponsors earlier this month. Additional sponsorship commitments are expected over the next several days.
"We're obviously very thankful for and excited about the response we have received from the corporate community for the inaugural U.S. 500," Shanaman said. "Their support is yet another sign of the growing enthusiasm for this event that we see coming from racing fans and corporations alike."
"Miller Brewing Company was among the first to support Indy Car and the U.S. 500," said Brad Perrigo, sports marketing manager for the company. "We have a great deal of respect for our owner/driver Bobby Rahal and where he goes, we go. What we do in Michigan on May 26 will be our motorsports focus for Memorial Day."
"Our sponsorship of the U.S. 500 demonstrates our continued support for the PPG Series and Indy Car," said Tom Elliott, executive vice president of American Honda. "Honda has increased the number of teams that will use our engines, become the official motorcycle and power equipment supplier for the series and developed a comprehensive advertising program focused on IndyCar racing."
"We're very excited about being involved with the U.S. 500," said Catherine G. Williams, advertising and promotions manager for Mobil Oil Corporation. "Our commitment to Roger Penske and his team is as extensive and exclusive as is his dedication to CART."
The companies paid $200,000 each for the sponsorship, which includes an array of promotional rights including television. The race is being televised live at 2:00 p.m. ET on ESPN. The U. S. 500 qualifying will also be shown live on ESPN the weekend of May 11-12.
The inaugural U.S. 500, featuring IndyCar's top stars competing in state-of-the-art equipment, will include Al Unser, Jr., Bobby Rahal, Michael Andretti, Emerson Fittipaldi and others. Overall, drivers expected to compete have tallied more than 125 Indy Car victories and 100 poles. The U.S. 500 will be the sixth of 16 races in the PPG Indy Car World Series schedule. The winner of the race will take home a minimum o $1 million.
The site of this year's U.S. 500, Michigan International Speedway, has played host to more IndyCar events than any other track (26) and is the home of the fastest laps ever run in Indy Car history. Mario Andretti ran a lap of 234.275 miles per hour (mph) during qualifying for the Marlboro 500 in 1993. The fastest race in Indy Car history also was run on the MIS track with Al Unser, Jr. winning the Marlboro 500 in 1990 with an average speed of 189.727.
Tickets are available by phone at 1-800-452-0950 starting March 4; by mail by writing to: U.S. 500 Tickets, P.O. Box 500, Brooklyn, MI 49230; by fax at 517-592-8445, or via TicketMaster outlets throughout the Midwest.