SPEEDWAY, Ind. – Lucas Oil will be the primary sponsor for rookie competitor Tristan Vautier during the 97th Indianapolis 500 on May 26.
It will be Lucas Oil’s second Indy 500 in partnership with Sam Schmidt, who co-owns Vautier’s car with Ric Peterson. Lucas Oil backed Schmidt’s entry in 2004 with driver Richie Hearn and in all subsequent seasons has been a primary sponsor of one entry from Schmidt’s championship winning Firestone Indy Lights team.
“It’s been 10 years since we first went IndyCar racing with Sam Schmidt,” Lucas Oil founder Forrest Lucas said. “Sam called me one day and said they needed more cars to fill the 500 field that year. It was a big deal because we are both Hoosiers and that meant a lot to everybody. We threw together race parts from here and there including the chassis and engine and went racing with Richie Hearn at the wheel. The following year we moved to Indy Lights.
“This year we have a brand new car and a very good driver, Tristan Vautier, the 2012 Indy Lights champion. I appreciate all that Sam (Schmidt) has done to help young drivers advance their careers, and I’m glad that we’ve been part of that. We sponsored Tristan (Vautier’s) car in the Grand Prix of Long Beach earlier this year and I can’t wait to see how this young, talented driver fares in the biggest race in the world.”