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IRVING, Texas — 7-Eleven Inc. is revving up racing sponsorships this upcoming season.
The Irving-based convenience store retailer will partner with Jim Dunn Racing and associate sponsor Oberto Beef Jerky for the 2017 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season.
As part of the promotion, 7-Eleven's primary green and orange colors will be showcased at more than half of the 24 NHRA national events. Featured races will be in markets where 7-Eleven stores are accessible to race fans.
Associate sponsor Oberto Beef Jerky will be featuring its new Trail Mix and Original Beef Jerky in 7-Eleven stores across the United States throughout the promotion.
In another sponsorship, 7-Eleven will join Chip Ganassi Racing to return as veteran sponsor of IndyCar Series driver Tony Kanaan. The c-store retailer will serve as an associate sponsor for Kanaan's No. 10 Indy car in four races in the 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series, whereby the c-store retailer's logo will appear on Kanaan's racing suit throughout the season.
"It’s an unbelievable feeling to be back in the 7‑Eleven family," Kanaan said. "7‑Eleven was my home for most of my career in IndyCar and they were with me for 14 out of my 17 wins. It's definitely special to have them with me to celebrate my 20th IndyCar season and I'm looking forward to getting them to victory circle again like we did many times in the past."
7-Eleven was Kanaan's primary sponsor in 2003 and continued throughout the 2010 season. In 2014, he won "Most Popular Driver."
"Tony has proven himself to be an enthusiastic brand ambassador, both for the sport of racing and for 7 Eleven," said 7-Eleven President and CEO Joe DePinto. "Whenever he and the show car made a store appearance, crowds of customers would turn out to meet him. Tony would stay and sign photographs and talk to 7 Eleven customers for hours. He is a winner in everything he does."
Kanaan’s first appearance for 7‑Eleven this season took place Feb. 1-2 at the 7-Eleven Experience in Las Vegas at an annual conference for the company's franchisees.
"We’re really excited to have 7‑Eleven joining the team for the 2017 season and it's great to see them back in the sport. They have such a strong history with Tony and we're just glad that we can be a part of bringing that relationship back into racing," said Chip Ganassi Racing President Steve Lauletta. "It's a huge milestone for Tony to be celebrating his 20th season in IndyCar and I think 7‑Eleven is a perfect partner to come on board and be a part of the celebration."
According to Kanann, "The 7‑Eleven car was a staple in the Verizon IndyCar Series for years and most of my fans still come to me and talk about how great of a run we had together. It’s natural for me to be excited that we are reuniting forces now at Chip Ganassi Racing."
7-Eleven Inc. operates, franchises and licenses more than 10,700 convenience stores in North America.