The Verizon IndyCar series will lose their longest serving sponsor at the end of the 2016 season with the news on Wednesday that Target will leave Chip Ganassi Racing at the end of the current campaign.
It is big news, however it is far from the end of the world for the sport. The Verizon IndyCar series is the premier open wheel racing category in North America and as a result of this there is plenty of scope to entice company’s into the sport. For example, when IZOD left IndyCar at the end of 2013 however in 2014 the series had found a new title sponsor in Verizon.
At the end of the 2010 season, Tony Kanaan left Michael Andretti’s Andretti Autosport team following the departure of primary sponsor 7-Eleven.
In 2011, Andretti Autosport ran four cars with Mike Conway replacing Tony Kanaan as team mate to Ryan Hunter Reay, Marco Andretti and Danica Patrick. When Patrick left IndyCar at the end of the 2011 season her primary sponsor GoDaddy.com followed her to NASCAR but remained on at Andretti Autosport as primary sponsor for her replacement James Hinchcliffe.
During his time with Chip Ganassi Racing, Dario Franchitti had many different primary sponsors during a season such as Huggeis, and Energizer.
Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing have had a number of different primary sponsors for Graham Rahal’s No.15 Honda in 2016 with Steak N’Shake, Gehl, Mi-Jack and Rousseau Metal all acting as primary sponsor this year.
So it not unusual for different sponsors to appear of Verizon IndyCar series car during a season.
Scott Dixon’s No.9 had Clorox as primary sponsor for the Kohler Grand Prix at Road America last month.