Former Masters, US Open and Senior PGA Championship Winner Renews Partnership withPanther
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – (May 22, 2011) – PantherRacing rejoined an old friend and will have a familiar look in the 100th Anniversary of the Indianapolis 500, as the team announced today that Fuzzy’s Ultra Premium Vodka has partnered with the team to be the primary sponsor on former Indianapolis 500 winner Buddy Rice’s No. 44 entry. Rice, who won the 2004 Indianapolis 500 from the pole position, qualified seventh yesterday at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Panther’s second-best starting position at the historic 2.5-mile race track.
“It’s great to have Fuzzy Zoeller and Fuzzy’s Ultra Premium Vodka back home with Panther Racing,” Panther Racing Managing Partner and CEO John Barnes said. “Fuzzy is the kind of guy we like to have on our team – he’s a champion, a fierce competitor and somebody who wants to win the Indianapolis 500 just as badly as everybody on our team. Buddy Rice hasdone an unbelievable job for us this month and we’re happy to find a great partner like Fuzzy’s Ultra Premium Vodka to help get us one step closer to victory lane at the Brickyard.”
Zoeller is the winner of two MajorChampionships, as the golf legend won The Masters in his first appearance in the event in 1979. He won the 1984 U.S. Open at Winged Foot Golf Club and won the Senior PGA Championship in 2002 and is a native of Indiana.
“In racing, like golf, sometimes you play two balls,” Zoeller, winner of 12 tour victories on the PGA Tour and Champions Tour, said. “We’re looking forward to rejoining last year’s partner Panther Racing and sponsoring the No. 44 Fuzzy’s Ultra Premium Vodka driven by Buddy Rice. We had a great run last year with Panther and we look forward to another exciting Indianapolis 500 together.”
Rice is the 2004 Indianapolis 500 winner and is returning to the Indianapolis 500 this season after a two-year hiatus during which he won another of the world’s most prestigious auto races – the Rolex 24 at Daytona. In his career Rice has a total of three IZOD IndyCar Series victories and finished a career-best third in the series championship in 2004.
“I’m just really happy to have Fuzzy’s Ultra Premium Vodka on the No. 44 car for the race next weekend,” Rice said. “All the guys on the team talked about how great it was to have Fuzzy around last season and I’m looking forward to meeting him and putting the Fuzzy’s Vodka car at the front of the field in the 500. We’ve had a great month so far, and the car’s been quick out of the gate and, for me, I’m just excited to be back at Indianapolis – especially for the Centennial. This only comes around once and thanks to John Barnes, Panther Racing and Fuzzy’s Ultra Premium Vodka we’re going to have a great package for next Sunday.”
Panther Racing has finished runner-up in each of the last three Indianapolis 500s with two different drivers; Vitor Meira(2008) and Dan Wheldon (2009, 2010) and in addition to Rice is fielding rookie JR Hildebrand, who will start 12th next weekend in the No. 4 National Guard entry.
Last season, Fuzzy’s Ultra Premium Vodka wasthe primary sponsor on Ed Carpenter’s No. 20 entry with Panther and Vision Racing. The tandem started eighth and finished 17th in the Indianapolis 500, and also sponsored Carpenter at Kentucky, Chicagoland andHomestead. Carpenter captured the pole at Kentucky Speedway in Fuzzy’s Vodka colors and collected a season-best second place finish in the same event.
The 95th Running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race will be broadcast live on ABC on Sunday, May 29th at 12:00 p.m. with additional coverage provided by the IMS Radio Network, www.indycar.com, XM channel 145 and Sirius channel 211.
About Fuzzy’s Ultra Premium Vodka: Created by golf legend Fuzzy Zoeller, Fuzzy’s Ultra Premium Vodka, the Hole-In-One Vodka, is dedicated to providing exceptional vodka to enhance the enjoyment of the moment. With the breath-taking golf landscape visible through a frosted glass bottle, Fuzzy’s Ultra Premium Vodka has received the prestigious gold medal and a 94 rating from the Beverage Testing Institute, as well as a score of 90 and an Excellent, Highly Recommended rating from the Ultimate Spirits Challenge. Fuzzy’s Ultra Premium Vodka is currently available in twenty-eight states. Made in the USA for Fuzzy’s Spirits, LLC, Indianapolis, IN. Vodka 40% ALC. by volume, distilled from grain. Additional information about Fuzzy’s Ultra Premium Vodka is available at www.fuzzyvodka.com or www.fuz.com. Trust your caddie and please drink responsibly.