PENNZOIL JOINS PATRICK/FIRESTONE INDY RACING EFFORT
Courtesy Pennzoil and Deke Houlgate Enterprises
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind., (May 24, 1995) - SpeedNet - The comeback of Patrick Racing in Indy car racing has been given a boost by Pennzoil, which has joined the team as a major associate sponsor though the 1997 season.
The Firestone-backed car driven by Scott Pruett will bear Pennzoil identification as early as Sunday's Indianapolis 500. Pruett leads the PPG IndyCar World Series point standings after four races, and he is qualified to start eighth in the 79th 500-mile classic.
Thus, three organizations with proud Indy car histories are combining their efforts.
Car owner Pat Patrick of Jackson, Mich., has fielded teams that have won three Indy 500s (1973-82-89) and two season championships (1976-89). Firestone, which has rejoined the competition after a 21-year-layoff, was the dominant tire company at Indianapolis Motor Speedway from 1911 to 1974 with 48 wins and 44 pole positions.
Pennzoil adds its heritage of five Indy 500 victories (1989-84-85-87-88) and three Indy car season championships (1980-85-87) to the Patrick Racing effort.
"We are pleased to reach this agreement with Pennzoil," said team owner Patrick. "Pennzoil has been a major player in this sport for a long time. Its support will provide a significant boost to our team. With Pennzoil coming on board, we feel we have solidified our position as a leading contender for the series championship, this year and in the future."
This move gives Pennzoil another strong bid for victory in this week's race, the world's largest single-day sporting event, and in the championship point derby. Pennzoil is the major backer of Jim Hall's Pennzoil Special, driven by sensational rookie Gil de Ferran. De Ferran will start on the seventh row for this year's Indy 500.
"This is a very good move for our company, joining forces with the point leader in the PPG Indy Car World Series," declared William E. Welcher, group vice-president, Pennzoil Products Company. "We have joined a successful partnership, with all of the principals -- Patrick, Firestone and Pennzoil -- bringing a heritage of success to the party. What Patrick Racing and Firestone have done in such a short time this year is remarkable, and we are proud to add whatever we can to their future success."
U.E. (Pat) Patrick, CEO of Patrick Petroleum, has spent 23 years in the sport. He left a significant mark on Indy car racing in 1978 when he and Roger Penske led other car owners in the formation of Championship Auto Racing Teams. CART, now known as IndyCar, took over sanctioning of all Indy car races except for the Indianapolis 500.
In 1986 he made a bold and historic move when he formed the American Racing Series, now known as Indy Lights, which has provided a successful development race circuit to develop new talent for Indy car racing among drivers, mechanics, engineers, designers and car owners.
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..Robert Heathcote.......................AUTOSPORTS BBS..310-641-9627.. ..Email: HeathcoteR@aol.com...................Email: SpeedNet@aol.com.. .................. SpeedNet: Motorsports at the speed of thought!................