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This rumor is upgraded to 'fact' today. Andretti Autosport announced today that it is in negotiations with multiple companies to assume the 2011 primary sponsorship of the IZOD IndyCar Series entry driven by Ryan Hunter-Reay.
IZOD served as primary sponsor with the team in 2010 and notified the team last week that it will not renew beyond its initial one-season contract. Recent media inquiries led to this clarification of Hunter-Reay's status with the team.
Fueled by a popular win at the Long Beach Grand Prix and runner-up finish in the season-opening race in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Hunter-Reay's breakthrough season grew from a scheduled three events to fulltime status when Andretti Autosport's sponsors rallied behind Hunter-Reay. His full-season effort resulted in three podiums, six top-five and 12 top-10 finishes.
Details of the ongoing negotiations will not be disclosed until the team's full sponsor lineup is announced at a later date.
JOHN LOPES, SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT AND CHIEF MARKETING OFFICER, ANDRETTI AUTOSPORT:
"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."
10/05/10 Question: Is Izod returning to Andretti Autosport? If not, that means two top-tier drivers are on the market. Any thought about where they end up. And what about Apex Brazil being a replacement sponsor for Tony Kanaan?
Answer: I’ve been told Izod isn’t returning to Andretti’s team, but there has been no confirmation of that. I’m also told the team has enough money to field that car, but we’ll have to wait to see. Pretty interesting situation brewing there if they should lose both cars. Danica’s deal is for one more year. Could be looking at a massive reduction of that once-great organization. Indy Star
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