Former F1 and Indy 500 Champ Strives for Triumphant Return to the Brickyard
INDIANAPOLIS (BUSINESS WIRE), April 23, 2014 - Dollar General, the largest small-box discount retailer in the United States, will serve as primary sponsor for the Schmidt Peterson Motorsports entry driven by 1995 Indianapolis 500 winner Jacques Villeneuve in the 98th running of “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing” on Sunday, May 25.
This will mark Villeneuve’s third start in the prestigious race. He’s returning to the Indy 500 after a 19-year absence. His record at the world’s largest single-day sporting event includes a second-place finish and Rookie of the Year honors in 1994 and victory in 1995 before moving to Formula One, where he won the 1997 World Championship.
Quebec native Villeneuve went on to become one of only two drivers to compete in the Indianapolis 500, United States Grand Prix Formula One race and Brickyard 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
“I have so many wonderful memories of racing at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway throughout my career, including my last appearance at the track in the Brickyard 400 when I also was sponsored by Dollar General,” Villeneuve said. “It’s been 19 years since I ran this race, but returning with a team like Schmidt Peterson Motorsports and a household-name sponsor like Dollar General is going to give me a fantastic opportunity to perform at a high level.”
“We are excited to have our Dollar General brand on a car in this year’s running of the Indianapolis 500, which is a great spectacle and one of the premiere events in all of sports,” said Rick Dreiling, Dollar General’s chairman and CEO. “This will give our brand tremendous exposure, especially if our car runs in the front of the pack and we like our chances, with a respected team like Schmidt Peterson Motorsports and Jacques Villeneuve, a proven winner, behind the wheel.”
Dollar General, headquartered in Goodlettsville, Tenn., operates more than 11,215 stores in 40 U.S. states.
SPM team owner Sam Schmidt thinks Dollar General is a perfect fit for Villeneuve’s return to the “500.” Schmidt’s team won the coveted Indianapolis 500 pole in 2011 but still seeks its first victory in the Memorial Day Weekend classic.
“Our team sets out to win every race we’re in, but the Indianapolis 500 is the crown jewel we put at the top of our list each season,” Schmidt said. “I’m happy to welcome Dollar General to our team as we continue to grow in the Verizon IndyCar Series. They’ve worked with Jacques before, and we can’t wait to see what this world-class driver can do when he gets back in an Indy car.”
Practice for the 98th running of the Indianapolis 500 begins Sunday, May 11, with pole qualifying Sunday, May 18. For more information on Dollar General, visit DollarGeneral.com. Stay up to date with the latest Schmidt Peterson Motorsports team updates on Twitter at @SPMIndyCar.
About Dollar General
Dollar General Corporation has been delivering value to shoppers for 75 years. Dollar General helps shoppers Save time. Save money. Every day!® by offering products that are frequently used and replenished, such as food, snacks, health and beauty aids, cleaning supplies, basic apparel, house wares and seasonal items at low everyday prices in convenient neighborhood locations. With more than 11,215 stores in 40 states, Dollar General has more retail locations than any retailer in America. In addition to high quality private brands, Dollar General sells products from America’s most-trusted manufacturers such as Clorox, Energizer, Procter & Gamble, Hanes, Coca-Cola, Mars, Unilever, Nestle, Kimberly-Clark, Kellogg’s, General Mills, and Pepsico.
About Schmidt Peterson Motorsports
Schmidt Peterson Motorsports (SPM) was established in 2001 and is owned by former IndyCar driver Sam Schmidt and businessman Ric Peterson. Schmidt was paralyzed (quad) in 2000 after an accident during testing at Walt Disney World Speedway in Orlando, Fla. SPM fields cars in the Verizon IndyCar Series, including the Indianapolis 500, and Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires. SPM is the most successful team in Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires history with seven championships. In addition, SPM has qualified 14 cars in the Indianapolis 500 since 2001 and, in 2011, won the coveted Indy 500 pole.