The historic 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500 on May 29 added more history today with the race's first presenting sponsor, PennGrade Motor Oil.
A brand of Lebanon, Indiana-based D-A Lubricant Company, PennGrade Motor Oil will serve as presenting sponsor through a multi-year deal running through 2018.
"This historic announcement is welcome news for the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and generates even more momentum for the entire Verizon IndyCar Series," Hulman & Company CEO Mark Miles said. "PennGrade Motor Oil, with its deep understanding of the heritage and tradition that fuels the Indy 500, is the perfect presenting sponsor for the world's greatest race."
"We're thrilled that PennGrade Motor Oil is joining us, not only for the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500 but for more Indy 500s going forward," Indianapolis Motor Speedway president Doug Boles said. "My grandmother worked for D-A Lubricant so I'm well-versed in the company's history and I know our fans will appreciate the Hoosier connection as well."
D-A Lubricant sponsored entries in the "500" from 1955-58, with a high finish of sixth in 1956 with driver Bob Sweikert. D-A-sponsored cars also ran in the USAC Championship series during that time, winning once in 1957 and four times in 1958. Last year, the company was a major associate sponsor of Graham Rahal's Dallara-Honda in the Verizon IndyCar Series and will continue on as a team sponsor in the future.
The company recently acquired Brad Penn, a manufacturer of a product called PennGrade 1, well-known to grassroots racers and muscle-car enthusiasts for its effectiveness in high-performance engines. As part of the acquisition, D-A Lubricant is launching a new consumer brand called PennGrade Motor Oil, which is available online now and will eventually be launched as a full-scale consumer retail product.
"I can't think of a more powerful vehicle to help us launch our brand PennGrade Motor Oil than the Indianapolis 500," D-A Lubricant Company President Gisela Miller said. "The eyes of the world will be on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway this May as they are every year, and I couldn't be more excited to have our company sharing that spotlight."
"There's no better way for us to debut PennGrade Motor Oil than by partnering with the world's largest single-day sporting event," D-A Lubricant Company Chairman and CEO Mike Protogere said. "The Indianapolis 500 has stood for automotive innovation since 1911 and we're thrilled to add an exciting new chapter to that heritage with our product."
The 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil will be a once-in-a-generation celebration of speed, progress and the pursuit of glory. Helio Castroneves will try for his fourth Indy 500 title, a hallowed record shared by A.J. Foyt, Al Unser and Rick Mears. Defending champion Juan Pablo Montoya chases a third win, while past champions Ryan Hunter-Reay, Scott Dixon and Tony Kanaan will seek to further cement their status among "500" greats. Competing against these racing icons is a new generation of exciting drivers including Graham Rahal, Josef Newgarden and Gabby Chaves.
The Indy 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil is the world's largest single-day sporting event and is syndicated globally in 147 countries. The 99th Running generated more than 2.8 billion social media impressions. TV ratings for last year's race - and the entire Verizon IndyCar Series - experienced significant year to year growth. For more information on the race and series, go to www.ims.com and www.indycar.com.