Today's IZOD IndyCar Series and Firestone Indy Lights headlines: 1. Auto Club (AAA) to sponsor Castroneves at Long Beach, Texas 2. Karam nominated for EMPA Award 1. Auto Club (AAA) to sponsor Castroneves at Long Beach, Texas: The Automobile...
Today's IZOD IndyCar Series and Firestone Indy Lights headlines:
1. Auto Club (AAA) to sponsor Castroneves at Long Beach, Texas
2. Karam nominated for EMPA Award
1. Auto Club (AAA) to sponsor Castroneves at Long Beach, Texas: The Automobile Club of Southern California (AAA) will expand its partnership with Penske Racing in 2011 with a sponsorship of three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Helio Castroneves in the IZOD IndyCar Series.
Castroneves will compete in the No. 3 Auto Club of Southern California Team Penske IndyCar at the Grand Prix of Long Beach on April 17 and the No. 3 AAA Team Penske machine at the doubleheader event at Texas Motor Speedway on June 17.
"We are excited to broaden our racing affiliation with the Penske organization," said Thomas V. McKernan, Auto Club CEO. "The extension of our agreement is just one part of our ongoing relationship with Penske which includes a truck rental member discount program and Penske auto dealerships in our vehicle purchasing program. Since starting with Penske Racing in 2008, we've experienced good results through our activation programs. Expanding our relationship with the Penske Racing organization to include its outstanding IndyCar team allows us to reach a distinct, diverse fan demographic, and we expect great results there, too."
The Auto Club's sponsorship of the Team Penske IZOD IndyCar Series program marks another milestone in the Club's long racing heritage. The Auto Club was one of the first organizations to sanction open-wheel automobile races in Southern California over a century ago, and AAA was the first organization to sanction the Indianapolis 500.
"We are pleased to extend our agreement with the Auto Club and build on our relationship," said Roger Penske. "The Auto Club and AAA have been longtime partners with Penske Truck Rental and they have been a terrific sponsor on our NASCAR teams. We look forward to adding to the relationship beginning next season with the No. 22 team and in the IZOD IndyCar Series."
The enhanced agreement with Penske Racing allows the Auto Club and its affiliated clubs to not only better serve its members, but will also provide an effective, highly-visible additional platform to promote its insurance products. The Auto Club's sponsorship has also included member and employee benefits and discounts and community outreach.
"I am really excited to have the opportunity to drive the AAA car and represent the Auto Club," said Castroneves. "We've won at both Long Beach and Texas in the past so hopefully we can welcome AAA to the team and the series with some victories in 2011."
2. Karam nominated for EMPA Award: 2010 Cooper Tires presents the USF2000 National Championship powered by Mazda champion Sage Karam has been nominated for the John Blewett lll Young Guns Award by the Eastern Motorsport Press Association.
The award is given to a driver who has shown the promise of being a superstar in the making. Its namesake belongs to John Blewett lll, a successful modified racing driver who died following a racing accident in 2007. "I am honored that a respected organization like EMPA has recognized the success of my past seaso," Karam said. "I hope the Young Gun Award nomination draws more attention to open-wheel racing, INDYCAR and Andretti Autosport. It's an exciting time to be involved in INDYCAR and the ladder system."
The award will be presented during the EMPA's convention Jan. 9-11, 2011 in Valley Forge, Pa. Past winners of the award include Lucas Wolfe, Bob Santos lll, Cody Darrah and Ryan Truex.
"For Sage to be nominated for this award is quite an honor and he is very deserving," said J-F Thormann, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Andretti Autosport. "We're very proud of what he accomplished in his first year with us and we can't wait to see what is capable of doing in 2011 and beyond."
Karam, a 15-year old native of Nazareth, Pa., won the 2010 USF2000 driver championship with Andretti Autosport, scoring nine victories in 12 starts during the season. He also helped Andretti Autosport clinch the USF2000 team title, its first championship since re-branding in 2009. He will move to the Star Mazda presented by Goodyear in 2011 with Andretti Autosport.