Dollar General 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 when he returns 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.”
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.