By: Tanner Watkins
November 27, 2018 | 11:26 AM
While the writing was on the wall, fans will still be surprised to hear that fueling giant Sunoco is out and the Midwestern-based fuel chain Speedway is in as the official fuel of INDYCAR and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The news was confirmed this morning by the sanctioning body.
Over the course of 2017, Sunoco began downsizing its operation by selling off the majority of its convenience stores to focus its efforts on basic fuel sales to other convenience stores around the country. While Sunoco remains the official fuel of NASCAR and the NHRA, it is expected that those deals will not be renewed after they expire.
Speedway is a brand owned by the recognizable Marathon Petroleum Corporation. Stores featuring the Speedway name are most commonly found in the midwest, and the new INDYCAR partner will supply fuel to all IndyCar Series teams as well as Hulman & Company employees. The deal also lists Speedway as the Official Convenience Store of INDYCAR.
“Speedway has a large national footprint along with the desire to establish a partnership with the IndyCar Series and its many events reaching millions of consumers,” said Mark Miles, CEO of Hulman & Company.
“Speedway also has a broad reach within the region, ensuring a shared interest in leveraging the Indianapolis 500 as a central element of its retail promotion during the month of May. We believe this will be a beneficial relationship for Speedway, INDYCAR and all of our race promoters.”
While the fueling promotion will certainly play a large part in Speedway’s advertising efforts, the brand will also receive signage space at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway as well as broadcast presence during IndyCar Series events broadcast on NBC Sports.
“We are excited about this partnership with INDYCAR and Indianapolis Motor Speedway,” said Tony Kenney, president of Speedway. “The Indianapolis 500 itself is one of the premier events in the world of motorsports, and Speedway has a strong brand presence in the INDYCAR race markets, so our relationship will be very complementary. The IndyCar Series is a great way to showcase Speedway’s brand and quality fuel offerings, including the fuel that will power the race cars at each event.”
So wrap your head around this: in May 2019, the IndyCar Series will race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway located in Speedway, Indiana, while being fueled by Speedway products. That’s not to mention there is a Speedway convenience store located a stone’s throw away from IMS near the intersection of Crawfordsville Road and West 16th Street.
With nearly 4,000 retail convenience stores spread across the United States, Speedway LLC is the nation’s second largest company-owned and -operated convenience store in America. A subsidiary of Marathon Petroleum Corporation, the Enon, Ohio-based company has locations in 35 states.
A total of 11 IndyCar Series races will be held within the Speedway footprint in 2019.
Header image by Tim Holle/INDYCAR.