Shell/Pennzoil on Penske IndyCars? UPDATE #2 We rumored this way back on April 25th of this year, but today SpeedTV.com got wind of it too and are rumoring that Helio Castroneves will drive the yellow Pennzoil car in 2011.
04/25/10 As anticipated, the Shell/Pennzoil sponsorship of Penske Racing will extend to the IndyCar team as well:
Texas-based Shell Oil Co. and Michigan-based Penske Corp. on April 21 announced a multiyear agreement starting in the 2011 racing season.
Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
The new deal includes associate sponsorship of Penske’s Indy Racing League drivers Helio Castroneves, Will Power and Ryan Briscoe, and a primary sponsorship for Penske’s NASCAR driver Kurt Busch.
The deal signals an end to Penske’s 19-year relationship with ExxonMobil. Penske Racing teams have used Mobil oils exclusively since 1991.
The deal also extends to Penske’s fleet of moving trucks and auto dealerships. Beginning in 2011, the Shell and Pennzoil brands will be the “Official Fuel and Motor Oil Supplier” to the Penske organization in the United States.
Penske has earned more than 315 major race victories including a record 15 Indianapolis 500 wins and the 2008 Daytona 500, 370 pole positions and 22 national championships.
04/21/10 Do not expect Helio Castroneves and Ryan Briscoe to drive Shell-liveried cars in the Izod IndyCar Series any time soon, a Team Penske spokesman said Wednesday.
Penske's new deal with Shell--also announced on Wednesday--is based on the company's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series effort, with Kurt Busch driving the No. 22 Shell-sponsored car and Brad Keselowski moving to the No. 2 car sponsored by Miller Lite. zzzz
The announcement raised the question of a potential new-look for Penske's Indy-cars, since long-time sponsor Philip Morris and its Marlboro brand ended its relationship with the team prior to this season due to federal advertising guidelines forced on tobacco companies. That forced the team to redesign the styling of two of its three cars, which carried the famous Day-glo red and white scheme in use for 20 seasons.
Penske's Indy-car driven by Will Power features a black color-scheme and prominent Verizon Wireless branding, while Castroneves' and Briscoe's cars are now mostly black with white and red trim, with various smaller sponsors' logos visible. Castroneves' and Briscoe's cars will add Shell decals due to an associate sponsor relationship, but their basic liveries will essentially remain unchanged from those used throughout the year so far.
However, Team Penske spokesperson Merrill Cain said it is possible that Shell could take on an expanded role with the IndyCar operation in the future, perhaps in the form of a special car on occasion, or possibly for even a couple of races next season.
"We haven't gotten that far yet," Cain said. Autoweek.com