By: Tanner Watkins
October 29, 2018 | 10:04 AM
One of the longest-lasting sponsor and team relationships in the IndyCar Series has come to an end as Ed Carpenter Racing and Fuzzy’s Vodka have parted ways following a seven-year run.
“I am very appreciative and proud of the relationship between ECR and Fuzzy’s, really going back to before the team began,” says team owner Ed Carpenter. “It has been a good run and I wish them nothing but the best with their future endeavors.”
The alcoholic drink which bears the name of former PGA Tour golfer Fuzzy Zoeller has been the primary sponsor on Ed Carpenter Racing cars since the team’s inception back in 2012.
ECR and Fuzzy’s Vodka did well to actively promote and engage with the community and IndyCar fan base during their tenure. One popular occurrence fans looked forward to in recent years were the commemorative vodka bottles produced with an Indianapolis 500 theme.
On race morning at Indianapolis, Zoeller himself was often found outside the ECR garages chatting with fans and signing autographs. This is a significant loss for not only Ed Carpenter Racing, but IndyCar as a whole.
All is not lost at the moment, though. Fuzzy’s Vodka upped their ante in partnership with the Indianapolis Motor Speedway back in 2016 when they assumed branding rights for the track’s famous Turn 2 V.I.P. suites. Blanketed in that distinct Master’s green color, the building is hard to miss.
At this time the Speedway’s partnership with Fuzzy’s Vodka remains untouched, though the beverage company’s future plan in motor racing should find clarity in the coming months.
The separation with Fuzzy’s Vodka marks a clear end to Ed Carpenter Racing’s first chapter. With Fuzzy’s on the car, ECR notched 118 starts in the IndyCar Series with five wins, 18 podium finishes, three Indianapolis 500 pole awards, and 2018’s runner-up finish in the Indy 500 with Carpenter at the helm.
This month’s recently-announced partnership with Scuderia Corsa seems to carry a bit more weight moving forward as the team searches for a new primary sponsor to support its two full-time entries in the IndyCar Series.
Pairing up with Scuderia Corsa gives ECR a bit more stability in this time of transition, a welcome sight for Carpenter as he continues full steam ahead with his entries next season.
“Tony George, Stuart Reed and I started ECR together back in 2012 and we are still as committed now as we were then to winning Indy 500s and competing for IndyCar Series championships,” said Carpenter in the team’s press release. “Our plans for 2019 and beyond remain unchanged and I cannot wait to see what we accomplish together moving forward.”
In 2019, Ed Carpenter will once again be behind the wheel of the No. 20 Chevrolet at all oval events while Spencer Pigot is the full-time driver of the No. 21 machine.
Former Chip Ganassi Racing and Dale Coyne Racing driver, Ed Jones, will carry the torch for all road and street course events in the No. 20 car while driving the No. 63 ECR/Scuderia Corsa Chevrolet in May’s 103rd Indianapolis 500.
Header image courtesy of Shawn Gritzmacher/INDYCAR.