Now, according to CNBC's Darren Rovell (via twitter), Mobil1 is ending their 19-year relationship with Penske after the 2010 season.
As you can see from the photo, Mobil1 occupies a fairly high-profile position (though not the highest-priced placement) on the Penske Indycar, but in all actuality, it stands to reason that most of ExxonMobil's sponsorship dollars were spent on the NASCAR side of Penske Racing. In fact, Mobil1 is the primary sponsor of two-time Indy Racing League and 2006 Indianapolis 500 champion Sam Hornish, Jr.
One wonders how that will affect Sam's program moving into 2011, and if he cannot find enough funding to return to NASCAR (that acronym again!), does the IZOD IndyCar Series become a possibility? It's a long shot, given Penske's willingness to run cars with his name stamped on the sides, but when one considers Hornish's four-year run in the fender series, maybe a return is not out of the question.
Just a random thought for the day.
UPDATE: The Indiana Business Journal says ExxonMobil is leaving Team Penske because Shell is coming on board. Per the release posted at PenskeRacing.com, Kurt Busch moves from the No. 2 to the No. 22 (with Shell sponsorship), with Brad Keselowski moving from the No. 12 to the No. 2 (Miller Lite). So where does that leave Hornish, I ask you? Still without primary sponsorship, it would appear.
According to the release, Shell will have: associate sponsorships promoting Shell V-Power with IZOD IndyCar Series drivers Helio Castroneves, Will Power and Ryan Briscoe.
As part of the alliance, Pennzoil will become the "Official Motor Oil" of Penske Racing in 2011 which includes ... the IZOD IndyCar Series. For Pennzoil, returning to Penske is a homecoming of sorts as Pennzoil first aligned with Penske as part of its IndyCar teams in 1983 and won the 1984 and 1988 Indianapolis 500 Mile Races with driver Rick Mears.Now if Penske can go retro for a few races and bring back the yellow livery of Rick Mears, that would be awesome.