IRL: Rahal/Letterman Racing announce Indy 500 sponsor

Rahal/Letterman Racing and Centrix Financial Announce Partnership For Indianapolis 500 Financial Institution Named Primary Sponsor For Meira's Honda G-Force HILLIARD, OH/CENTENNIAL, CO . . . Rahal/Letterman Racing, with three Honda G...

Rahal/Letterman Racing and Centrix Financial Announce Partnership For Indianapolis 500
Financial Institution Named Primary Sponsor For Meira's Honda G-Force

HILLIARD, OH/CENTENNIAL, CO . . . Rahal/Letterman Racing, with three Honda G -Force cars entered for qualifications in the 88th Indianapolis 500, today announced a partnership with CENTRIX Financial as the primary sponsor for the team's No. 17 Rahal/Letterman/Team CENTRIX Honda G-Force Firestone Indy car for the May 30 racing classic.

CENTRIX Financial, a top financial services firm and leading innovator in the auto finance market, and a major sponsor of numerous motorsports programs, will have its name prominently displayed on the bright blue and white Honda-powered G-Force/Firestone machine entered by 1986 Indy 500 winner Bobby Rahal and Indianapolis native and TV icon David Letterman.

"Our goal has always been to associate our company with winners, and this team - with such an extremely skilled and committed future star driving for us - certainly fits that model," said Robert E. Sutton, Chairman and CEO of CENTRIX Financial. "Indy is the world's biggest motorsports stage, and is the perfect setting for us to take the next step in clearly defining who we are and what we stand for. This not only allows us to build knowledge of our brand with consumers, it allows us to open new opportunities for partnerships with other leading automotive companies."

"It's very exciting for our organization to join an aggressive company like CENTRIX Financial in this year's Indy 500," said Rahal. "CENTRIX Financial has been a major supporter of motor racing in the past but this new partnership marks this initial involvement in the world's biggest auto race. Bob Sutton and his people have a successful track record with its strong marketing plans for the continued growth of their company. We, at Team Rahal, believe we have an operation that can put CENTRIX in victory lane at Indy."

The No. 17 Team CENTRIX Honda G-Force entry, driven by young star Vitor Meira, will first hit the famed "Brickyard" on Sunday, May 9, when the Speedway opens for practice runs.

Meira, a personable Brazilian driver with one career IRL pole position, will be attempt to make his second Indy 500 start with the CENTRIX Honda when qualifications open on Saturday, May 15. Meira, 27, has fifteen IRL starts including most recently at the Indy Japan 300 on April 17 at Motegi, Japan in the No. 17 Honda for Team Rahal. Meira, a veteran of Formula 3000, Formula Three and Formula Ford international competition, started his first Indy 500 last year when he drove the Team Menard car from the 18th starting position (fastest Chevrolet-powered starter) to a 12th place finish. Meira recorded his first IRL pole in Texas on Sept. 15, 2002.

Ray Leto, a veteran race-winning engineer, and Greg Cates, an award-winning chief mechanic, will spearhead the Team CENTRIX operation for Meira at Indy.

Vitor Meira and the No. 17 Team CENTRIX Honda G-Force will join the Rahal/Letterman Indy 500 lineup that includes Buddy Rice in the No. 15 Argent Mortgage/Pioneer Honda G-Force and Roger Yasukawa in the No. 16 Sammy Honda. It marks the first time Team Rahal has entered three cars in the "Greatest Spectacle in Racing."

CENTRIX Financial, founded in 1990, is a capital management and financial services firm that develops and manages portfolios of special finance auto loans. With agreements with nearly 7,000 auto dealers, CENTRIX have underwritten over 100,000 loans totaling over $1.5 billion since 1998. In addition the its partnership with Team Rahal at the Indy 500, the Company is also the Official Auto Finance Company of NASCAR and sponsors the Grand Prix of Denver, the Ultimate Baja Challenge at the Baja 1000 and Team USA at the Race of Champions Nations Cup.

Team Rahal is now in its second decade as one of the leading open-wheel racing teams in North America. Based in Hilliard, Ohio, the team is co-owned by three-time CART champion and 1986 Indianapolis 500 winner Bobby Rahal and CBS LATE SHOW host David Letterman. Currently the team campaigns cars in the Indy Racing League's IndyCar Series and the Toyota Atlantic Championship. The 65-member team enjoys primary sponsorship from Pioneer Electronics, Argent Mortgage Company, Sammy and CENTRIX Financial in the IndyCar Series and Argent Mortgage Company and SPACEPAC in the Toyota Atlantic Championship.

-r/lr-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Bobby Rahal , Roger Yasukawa , Buddy Rice , Vitor Meira