Fuzzy’s Ultra Premium Vodka will be the major sponsor of the three IZOD IndyCar Series races during the 2013 season that constitute the "Fuzzy's Triple Crown."
A driver who sweeps the races at the 2.5-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway (May 26), 2.5-mile Pocono Raceway (July 7) and 2-mile Auto Club Speedway (Oct. 19) ovals will be awarded $1 million. A driver who wins two of the three races will be awarded a $250,000 bonus.
“Adding the Fuzzy’s Ultra Premium Vodka name to the Triple Crown further highlights an exciting and historic Indy car racing tradition that returns to the sport in 2013 after more than two decades,” INDYCAR CEO Jeff Belskus said. “This is a further statement about the potential that Fuzzy’s sees in our sport and the $1 million award makes the ’Fuzzy’s Triple Crown’ another must-win prize, alongside the IZOD IndyCar Series championship and the Indianapolis 500, for an IZOD IndyCar Series driver.”
The Fuzzy's Triple Crown renews tradition of the popular series at Indianapolis, Pocono and Ontario (Calif.) from 1971-1980 and from 1981-1989 at Indianapolis, Pocono and Michigan. Only Al Unser has won all three races in a single season -- when the four-time Indianapolis 500 winner drove to victory in the Jim Hall-owned First National City Travelers Checks-sponsored car in 1978.
“To operate well all day and win one race in the Triple Crown is an achievement for a driver and a team,” Unser said. “To win a race of that distance you have to almost be perfect to beat the competition. To win all three, the circumstances for the team, crew and driver are almost impossible to achieve. But fortunately we did it and we’re in the record books and why people still ask me about the 1978 season today.
“I am happy to see the Triple Crown back. The Triple Crown is part of Indy car heritage, it's good for the fans, it's good for the teams, and good for the sponsors and it sure gives the drivers some long races to show off their skills.”
A.J. Foyt (twice), Johnny Rutherford and Gordon Johncock won two of the three Triple Crown races in the same year. In Triple Crown races from 1971 to 1989, Unser and Foyt won seven races with Bobby Unser and Rick Mears taking six victories.
Fuzzy’s Ultra Premium Vodka also is the primary sponsor of the No. 20 Ed Carpenter Racing car, which won the 2012 season finale at Auto Club Speedway with the team owner behind the wheel. It also is the presenting sponsor of the INDYCAR Championship Celebration on Dec. 6.
“Imagine winning at Augusta, Oakmont and Pebble Beach in the same year,” said Fuzzy Zoeller, namesake of Fuzzy’s Ultra Premium Vodka and two-time major winner on the PGA Tour. “Now imagine doing it at 220 mph. Fuzzy’s Ultra Premium Vodka is honored to present the return of the Triple Crown for 2013.
“We’ve increased our involvement with INDYCAR every year and now we are really going to hit it long. It’s a return to tradition with the Triple Crown. It’s an opportunity for a driver to join Al Unser in accomplishing this amazing feat of winning three big oval races in the same season. And you thought making a 6-foot putt for birdie was tough.”