IRL: Blueprint Announces Sponsor

For Immediate Release BLUEPRINT ANNOUNCES INDY SPONSORSHIP U.S. Industries and Blueprint Racing Form Year-Long Partnership Speedway, Ind., April 30, 1997 One of the most intriguing stories in recent motorsports history has...

For Immediate Release

BLUEPRINT ANNOUNCES INDY SPONSORSHIP U.S. Industries and Blueprint Racing Form Year-Long Partnership

Speedway, Ind., April 30, 1997 One of the most intriguing stories in recent motorsports history has come full circle, as Blueprint Racing driver/co-owner Jim Guthrie and owner Ed Rachanski will announce a year-long sponsorship agreement with U.S. Industries, Inc. at 1:30 EST today in the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame Museum.

The sponsorship allows Blueprint to defend its improbable win at the March Indy Racing League Phoenix 200 in the May 25 Indianapolis 500, though the team is still searching for a title sponsor for both it vehicles.

A U.S. Industries company, Jacuzzi, will serve as a primary sponsor of Guthrie's Jacuzzi/Blueprint Racing Dallara during the month of May. U.S. Industries, headquartered in Iselin, N.J., (NJSE/USI) is diversified company with manufacturing subsidiaries in three broad product areas: consumer, building and industrial. Ranking among the Fortune 500, its well- known businesses include such names as Jacuzzi, Tommy Armour Golf, Odyssey Golf, Ertl toys and collectibles, Lehigh Safety Shoes and Durango boots, all of whom will be displayed on Blueprint's Dallara/Oldsmobile Aurora vehicle in Indianapolis.

"U.S. Industries, together with several of our well-known subsidiaries, is proud to sponsor the Jacuzzi/Blueprint Racing Dallara," said David H. Clarke, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of USI. "We feel a strong sense of kinship with this sponsorship: through our companies, U.S. Industries has also become a leader in sporting and recreation, and in manufacturing quality products that push the envelope for innovation, excitement, quality and safety."

Jacuzzi, the world's first and largest whirlpool bathing manufacturer and a leader in showers, spas and pool equipment, has also made a commitment to the Indy Racing League. Jacuzzi will be presenting a $5,000 bonus and a new PINNACLE PLUS portable spa to the winner of this year's Indianapolis 500. The PINNACLE PLUS is Jacuzzi's latest spa innovation, complete with 28 strategically placed hydrotherapy jets and a state-of-the-art stereo and CD system.

"We're pleased to support the Blueprint Racing team," said Roy Jacuzzi, Chairman of Jacuzzi. "We believe the sponsorship represents an exciting opportunity for Jacuzzi, Blueprint Racing and Jim Guthrie. Our established reputation combined with the budding career of Jim makes for an ideal team."

The U.S. Industries sponsorship agreement represents a turning point for Blueprint Racing, as it has provided the financial backing for the team to purchase equipment that most other teams deem standard, such as a second engine and a back-up vehicle.

"Well, first of all, we would like to have another engine," said Guthrie, who ran the first two races of the Indy Racing League season on one Oldsmobile Aurora engine. "Unfortunately, we still haven't been able to get another one. But we were able to buy a second car for Indy, so that helps a lot.

"I can't say enough about the support from the people at U.S. Industries and Jacuzzi. It's really a nice reward for everyone's hard work. Now let's see if we can't win it for them."

Blueprint founder and owner Ed Rachanski feels the much-needed financial backing from U.S. Industries has made it possible for the team to compete at the highest level in the upcoming Indianapolis 500.

"This sponsorship will ensure that Blueprint Racing will be a team to be reckoned with in Indianapolis in May," said Rachanski. "This financial backing, together with all of the hard work of Jim, the crew, the engine builder Micky Nickos and everyone involved makes for a pretty powerful combination.

"Now we have the resources going into May that should allow us to run up front. We were not able to test at Indy in April, and we're still looking for the title sponsors for both the No. 27 and 16 Blueprint cars, but the support from U.S. Industries has been invaluable. We can't thank them enough."

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Jim Guthrie