By Adam Tate, Associate Editor
Rainguard Water Sealers will be the official sponsor for the upcoming Verizon IndyCar Series event at Texas Motor Speedway, which will now be known as the Rainguard Water Sealers 600.
The water sealant and coating company has signed a three year contract with TMS President Eddie Gossage to sponsor the early June night race that has been a staple of the Verizon IndyCar Series schedule since 1997, which has made it the second longest continued event in modern day IndyCar behind only the Indy 500.
“We’re extremely pleased to have Texas Motor Speedway and ‘America’s Original Nighttime IndyCar Race’ serve as the initial sponsorship venture into motorsports and sports in general for Rainguard Water Sealers. We look forward to providing Rainguard with an exceptional first experience as an entitlement sponsor and help the company attain their goals through this sponsorship agreement,” said Gossage.
Rainguard President Claude Florent was equally enthusiastic about the venture, “I’ve always believed that Indy racing is a great way to move a company’s brand to the next level. That, coupled with the incredible venue at Texas Motor Speedway, made the decision easy. We are committed to solidifying Rainguard as a respected national brand of home-improvement sealers and creating effective and safe solutions for every homeowner throughout the nation. There is no better way than partnering with Indy and Texas Motor Speedway.”
The race which literally helped establish and continue the existence of the early IRL has suffered in recent years, but remains one of the most important races on the calendar. In terms of prestige it is bested only by Long Beach and Indianapolis.
Speaking during the rain soaked AAA Texas 500 last month, Gossage told the assembled media that the track would be repaved sooner, rather than later. Though it was a somewhat vague statement, Gossage is likely already working with his boss Bruton Smith of Speedway Motorsports Inc. to make a $5 million repave happen as soon as possible. The track surface is 15 years old at this point and while the NASCAR drivers enjoy it, it makes for poor drainage, poor racing, and most importantly for the Rainguard Water Sealers 600; the IndyCar drivers don’t like it. Pit lane in particular is very bumpy according to IndyCar veteran Helio Castroneves.
In this sense it perhaps ironic that Rainguard is the new sponsor, it will surely help boost the profile of the IndyCar race, but for the long term viability of IndyCar, NASCAR or any racing at Texas Motor Speedway, a repave will do far more than a sponsorship deal to ensure continued success.