July 6, 2023

Purdue University partners with SRX Series to showcase new urban campus in Indianapolis

Purdue University in Indianapolis teaming with SRX and Indy legends Helio Castroneves and Tony Kanaan for the 2023 season on ESPN


INDIANAPOLIS – Named one of the World’s Most Innovative organizations by Fast Company and a national leader in creating tomorrow’s STEM leaders in disciplines such as AI and motorsports engineering, Purdue University is announcing a full-season partnership with the Superstar Racing Experience (SRX) to introduce its new urban campus in Indianapolis.

Coming off the approval to dissolve IUPUI and launch Purdue University in Indianapolis in 2024, with multiple locations throughout the city and degrees from Purdue University West Lafayette, the iconic Boilermaker gold and black will adorn the race car shared by Helio Castroneves and Tony Kanaan, racing legends and fan favorites throughout the state of Indiana and beyond.

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Purdue has helped launch racing careers for many of its students and graduates with its unique motorsports engineering program. Created in 2008, it is the only accredited undergraduate program in the U.S. and one of three in the world that awards degrees with a concentration in motorsports. Purdue’s motorsports history also extends across its West Lafayette campus, where College of Engineering graduates Matt Kuebel and Mike Koenigs became Indianapolis 500 champions this past May as race engineers for Josef Newgarden and Team Penske, while fellow alumna and Chip Ganassi Racing engineer Angela Ashmore made history as the first female crew member to win the 500 in 2022 with Marcus Ericsson.

Castroneves and Kanaan are no strangers to Indianapolis as both IndyCar legends rank among the top five leaders in most laps completed in the Indianapolis 500’s 107-year history. Each has found glory at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, with Castroneves winning “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing” a record-tying four times (2001, 2002, 2009, 2021) and Kanaan capturing an elusive Indianapolis 500 crown during his memorable win in 2013.

Castroneves outdueled Kanaan in last year’s SRX season-opener to capture the win at Five Flags Speedway, and each are entering their third year of competition. Close friends and fierce competitors, Castroneves and Kanaan are both eager to find victory lane in 2023, this time in the gold and black Purdue University in Indianapolis machine.

“I am very excited to be back at SRX and having Purdue University in Indianapolis on the car and sharing it with my brother T.K. is just perfect,” Castroneves said.

“This is my third year in SRX, and I couldn’t be more excited to share the car with my brother Helio and now being sponsored by Purdue University in Indianapolis,” Kanaan said. “As an Indy resident, it’s a big deal. Purdue has long been a part of the Indianapolis 500, so I’m looking forward to carrying their livery during the SRX season.”

The Superstar Racing Experience is a series consisting of legendary drivers racing identically prepared race cars, leaving driver skill as the lone variant. In its first two seasons, SRX has solidified its position as American television's second-most-watched motorsports property. Thanks to a multiyear broadcast partnership with ESPN announced last December, every SRX race will air live on ESPN at 9 p.m. ET on Thursday nights. Starting July 13 the series will make stops at dirt and paved racetracks across six different states every Thursday night through Aug. 17. In 2022 the SRX field featured a total of five Indianapolis 500 winners, five NASCAR Cup Series Championship winners, four Daytona 500 winners, four NASCAR Hall of Fame drivers and three IndyCar Series Championship winners. Tony Stewart collected the inaugural SRX Championship in 2021, while longtime IndyCar stalwart Marco Andretti claimed the title in 2022.  

SRX president Don Hawk is excited to bring a new sponsor into the series and looks forward to the partnership with Purdue University in Indianapolis.

“Having Helio and Tony share the same car for the entire season with a new sponsor in Purdue University in Indianapolis is a huge win for Purdue, SRX, its fans and ESPN,” Hawk said. “This team of Helio, T.K. and Purdue will be a threat to win every week in SRX. Welcome to Purdue and welcome back Helio and T.K.”

Purdue University has achieved excellence at scale, with agriculture, graduate engineering and invention counts all among the top four in the United States, and, across major American research universities, as No. 1 in undergrad STEM enrollment. Now, with ambitious plans for its new Indianapolis campus, Purdue University in Indianapolis will create new knowledge and establish a strong pipeline of Boilermaker talent to the capital city and beyond.

Purdue’s deep ties to motorsports and commitment to expanding the university’s academic and research excellence with the launch of Purdue University in Indianapolis makes the SRX partnership with Indy icons Kanaan and Castroneves a natural fit.

“Purdue University is about the persistent pursuit of innovation, and our new urban campus in Indianapolis is one of our next great examples,” said R. Ethan Braden, executive vice president and chief marketing and communications officer for Purdue University and Purdue Global. “We are thrilled to introduce Purdue University in Indianapolis to millions of viewers on ESPN by partnering with the SRX Series. And we couldn’t team up with better symbols of excellence and determination than Helio Castroneves and Tony Kanaan. Boilermakers worldwide will be cheering them on as they lead Purdue University’s charge on some of America’s most iconic racetracks and into Indianapolis.”

About Purdue University

Purdue University is a public research institution with Excellence at Scale. Ranked among top 10 public universities (Times Higher Education/Wall Street Journal and QS), with two colleges in the top 4 in the United States (U.S. News & World Report), Purdue discovers and disseminates knowledge with a quality and at a scale second to none. More than 105,000 students study at Purdue across modalities and locations, with 50,000 in person on the West Lafayette campus. Committed to affordability and accessibility, Purdue’s main campus has frozen tuition 12 years in a row. See how Purdue never stops in the persistent pursuit of the next giant leap, including its first comprehensive urban campus in Indianapolis, the new Mitchell E. Daniels, Jr. School of Business, and Purdue Innovates, at https://stories.purdue.edu

For more information on Purdue University at Indianapolis, visit webpage

About SRX

Superstar Racing Experience (SRX) was created by Sandy Montag and The Montag Group, investor and former NASCAR COO George Pyne, NASCAR Hall of Famer and legendary driver Tony Stewart, and NASCAR Hall of Fame crew chief and owner Ray Evernham. Over the first two seasons of SRX, the six-race series has featured drivers from various racing backgrounds with an emphasis on champion-level drivers. SRX has seen some of the sport’s biggest names compete, including Tony Stewart, Bill Elliott, Chase Elliott, Tony Kanaan, Paul Tracy, Bobby Labonte, Willy T. Ribbs, Hailie Deegan, Ryan Blaney, Ryan Newman, Greg Biffle, Marco Andretti, Matt Kenseth, Michael Waltrip, Josef Newgarden, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Helio Castroneves and many more.

For more information on SRX and the entire 2023 race schedule, visit webpage.

Writer/Media contact: Derek Schultz, dcschultz@purdue.edu

Source: Doug Barnette (dbarnette@pmifirm.com)

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