There’s been a lot of negative press for the league since the championship race at Homestead-Miami Speedway, most of it centering around Andretti Autosport and their sponsors. We already know that 7-Eleven will step down as a primary sponsor of the #11 in favour of being an associate sponsor on the #7 car. We also already knew (even if it wasn’t officially announced) that the IZOD sponsorship for the #37 car was going to end. Around the twittersphere and various forums, there’s been much hand-wringing and gnashing of teeth, and to be sure, some of it is justified in Kanaan’s case. We cannot be surprised or disappointed with IZOD’s decision. Quite the opposite, really. IZOD stepped up in a big way to extend what was to be a three-race deal to a full-season ride for the young Floridian, in spite of their huge outlay as title sponsor for the IZOD IndyCar Series. While the situation with Kanaan is still highly uncertain, Ryan Hunter-Reay’s position at the team for 2011 seems a bit more solid.
no images were found“Andretti Autosport is grateful for the support provided by Phillips-Van Heusen while introducing Ryan Hunter-Reay as an instant fit within our organization.
“We notified our sponsor family late last week that Ryan’s primary sponsorship was open for 2011 and 2012, and we have already received one offer. Putting together a proper full-season IndyCar budget these days typically takes multiple sponsor partners working together with the team and its fellow sponsors. Putting the puzzle together takes time, but Ryan may well be the most in-demand driver in our sport right now and we are fortunate that he brought all the right stuff to the team, and lots of key people noticed.
“We agreed to a new contract with Ryan the evening prior to this year’s Indianapolis 500 and now it is the team’s job to pull the details together quickly in order to put that contract into effect.” — John Lopes, Sr. VP and CMO of Andretti Autosport
Note the underlined statement above. Ryan will have a ride with Andretti Autosport next season. They have a contract in place, and they have at least one sponsor willing to step up and increase their sponsorship package. This is great news as Ryan is one of the best young Americans in the series and he has the proven potential to win races for the team. Congratulations to Ryan Hunter-Reay and Andretti Autosport, and we look forward to hearing which sponsor’s offer the team eventually accepts.