The Verizon Wireless car, to be driven by Australian racer Will Power, will make its debut this weekend as Power returns to defend his 2008 victory at the popular Long Beach street race. Next month, Power and the Verizon Wireless team will compete in the 93rd running of the Indianapolis 500-mile race.
The No. 12 Team Verizon Wireless machine will be an additional entry for Penske Racing at Long Beach and at the Indy 500®, joining the No. 3 Team Penske car driven by Helio Castroneves and the No. 6 Team Penske machine with Ryan Briscoe behind the wheel.
"We want to thank our terrific partners at Verizon Wireless for their support as we add a third car to our Penske Racing stable at both Long Beach and at the Indianapolis 500," said Roger Penske. "Will Power has done a great job for us and we are pleased that he will get the opportunity to continue with our organization at two of the most important races of the season, driving the No. 12 Team Verizon Wireless car."
Power joined Penske Racing in January and drove the No. 3 Team Penske car throughout pre-season testing, leading the IndyCar Series open test at the Barber Motorsports Park road course in March. The 28-year-old native of Toowoomba, Australia continued to fill in for Castroneves in the 2009 season-opening race, earning a sixth-place finish for Team Penske at the St. Petersburg street circuit.
"I am very excited about the opportunity to drive the No.12 Verizon Wireless car for Penske Racing," said Power. "I love racing on the streets of Long Beach and it will be great to go for two wins in a row this weekend. Looking ahead to Indianapolis, what driver wouldn't be thrilled to race in the Indy 500 for Penske Racing? It's going to be an incredible experience and I am proud to represent Verizon Wireless."
Adding significance to a landmark year that brings the centennial celebration at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Penske Racing will compete with three cars in the Memorial Day weekend classic for the first time since 1994. Al Unser Jr. won from the pole that season with teammates Emerson Fittipaldi and Paul Tracy also competing for the Penske team.
Sponsoring the No. 12 Penske Racing entry in the IndyCar Series is a natural extension for Verizon Wireless and its Verizon Championship Racing platform. America's largest and most reliable wireless network has become one of the most diverse and wide-reaching brands in motorsports serving as the primary sponsor for the No. 12 Penske Racing entries in the NASCAR Cup and Nationwide Series as well as the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series. Verizon Wireless is also an associate sponsor on both the No. 3 and No. 6 Team Penske Indy cars this season.
Verizon Championship Racing is the designation for all race programs supported by Verizon Wireless. Verizon Championship Racing will deliver exciting activation elements in many markets this year across various racing disciplines, unique fan experiences, and the latest in racing news and action available only on VCAST. V CAST Video subscribers will have access to behind-the-scenes exclusive interviews with drivers, recaps of races, highlights, games, news and other racing information. Information about show car and driver appearances, the smart® fortwo fleet in Verizon racing colors, concerts and other elements can be discovered at www.VerizonChampionshipRacing.com.