IBJNews

Andretti Autosport may expand into NASCAR

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

One of the biggest names in open-wheel racing is considering launching a NASCAR team.

Sources close to Indianapolis-based Andretti Autosport say officials for the IndyCar Series team are talking to Dodge executives about putting a team in NASCAR next year.

An announcement, sources said, could come as early as the weekend of June 15 at the NASCAR event at Michigan International Speedway.

“I’ve heard this from enough people in the industry to know where there’s smoke there’s fire,” said Zak Brown, a Zionsville-based motorsports marketing consultant who represents some of the biggest sponsors in NASCAR and Formula One. “I think Andretti and Dodge have a serious interest in pursuing this.”

Andretti Autosport has three full-time cars in the IndyCar Series and is owned by former IndyCar driver Michael Andretti, son of 1967 Daytona 500 winner and open-wheel legend Mario Andretti.

Andretti officials preparing for the Indianapolis 500 this week have downplayed the possibility of joining NASCAR, but have not denied it.

“We don't have any comments or details on the NASCAR rumors. I can assure you we’re 100-percent focused on winning the Indy 500 with Chevrolet this weekend,” said Jade Gurss, Andretti Autosport director of corporate communications, on Wednesday morning.

But earlier this month, when asked about NASCAR, Gurss told reporters “Andretti Autosport is a business designed to always be open to new opportunities as a race team and as a sports marketing company.”

Sources close to the Andretti team don't think the leap to NASCAR would lead to a downsizing or otherwise affect its IndyCar Series team.

Dodge has confirmed that it is looking for a Sprint Cup team for 2013. A Dodge spokesman told IBJ this week that the auto manufacturer is still in the process of evaluating opportunities for next season and could not comment.

Dodge was sent searching for a NASCAR partner earlier this year when another IndyCar Series team, Team Penske, which also has a NASCAR team, announced it would be dropping Dodge after this season for Ford. Penske wanted a five-year deal and Dodge officials wanted a shorter commitment.

Target Chip Ganassi Racing is the other IndyCar Series team with a major presence in NASCAR.

Ganassi and Penske have had mixed results in NASCAR, and neither has managed to duplicate the success they’ve had in the IndyCar Series.

“It’s a difficult transition to NASCAR and some of the biggest and best teams in IndyCar and Formula One have found that out,” Brown said. “One thing Andretti has to realize is that making the transition to NASCAR will take time.”

But Brown doesn’t think Andretti will have much difficulty luring sponsors and raising money for a NASCAR initiative. It costs $17 million to $20 million annually to run a single car in NASCAR.

“Andretti Autosport is very good at marketing and sponsorship sales, and the Andretti name is very well known,” Brown said. “So I don’t think sponsorship money will be their biggest challenge.”

 

ADVERTISEMENT

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
 
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. From the story: "The city of Indianapolis also will consider tax incentives and funding for infrastructure required for the project, according to IEDC." Why would the City need to consider additional tax incentives when Lowe's has already bought the land and reached an agreement with IEDC to bring the jobs? What that tells me is that the City has already pledged the incentives, unofficially, and they just haven't had time to push it through the MDC yet. Either way, subsidizing $10/hour jobs is going to do nothing toward furthering the Mayor's stated goal of attracting middle and upper-middle class residents to Marion County.

  2. Ron Spencer and the entire staff of Theater on the Square embraced IndyFringe when it came to Mass Ave in 2005. TOTS was not only a venue but Ron and his friends created, presented and appeared in shows which embraced the 'spirit of the fringe'. He's weathered all the storms and kept smiling ... bon voyage and thank you.

  3. Not sure how many sushi restaurants are enough, but there are three that I know of in various parts of downtown proper and all are pretty good.

  4. First off, it's "moron," not "moran." 2nd, YOU don't get to vote on someone else's rights and freedoms that are guaranteed by the US Constitution. That's why this is not a state's rights issue...putting something like this to vote by, well, people like you who are quite clearly intellectually challenged isn't necessary since the 14th amendment has already decided the issue. Which is why Indiana's effort is a wasted one and a waste of money...and will be overturned just like this has in every other state.

  5. Rick, how does granting theright to marry to people choosing to marry same-sex partners harm the lives of those who choose not to? I cannot for the life of me see any harm to people who choose not to marry someone of the same sex. We understand your choice to take the parts of the bible literally in your life. That is fine but why force your religious beliefs on others? I'm hoping the judges do the right thing and declare the ban unconstitutional so all citizens of Wisconsin and Indiana have the same marriage rights and that those who chose someone of the same sex do not have less rights than others.

ADVERTISEMENT