Thursday, 23 May 2013


Honda's T.E. McHale, Johnny Rutherford, USAC's Kevin Miller, Bobby Unser and Honda's Steve Ericksen pose after today's announcement at IMS. Honda's T.E. McHale, Johnny Rutherford, USAC's Kevin Miller, Bobby Unser and Honda's Steve Ericksen pose after today's announcement at IMS. Photo by Jim Haines



Honda New Title Sponsor of USAC’s 3 Midget Championships

The United States Auto Club and American Honda Motor Company have announced a major sponsorship program to commence this year beginning a multi-year agreement which includes title sponsorships and engine development programs.

Honda will become title sponsor for USAC’s National Midget, Ignite Midgets and .25 Midget racing series. A racing version of the Honda K24 engine, distributed by Honda Performance Development (HPD), will become the new spec engine for the Honda Ignite Midget Series.

USAC National Midget Series events currently include cars utilizing Honda K- and F-series engines supplied by HPD and .25 Midget competitors have found the Honda GX-series engines to be popular choices.

Honda will become the official vehicle of USAC, as well as the Official Side-by-Side and All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV) supplier; Official Generator and Official Pit Bike for USAC. Honda will also become the presenting sponsor of all USAC National race broadcasts via live streaming through USAC Racing.TV, Ustream and

“USAC is extremely pleased to announce this new affiliation with Honda,” says USAC CEO/President Kevin Miller. “We feel their involvement in USAC’s racing programs will be a perfect fit, not only for them, but for our participants as well with Honda’s national marketing footprint.  Honda brings an expanded level of excitement to the Midget racing community and we are excited to announce this partnership today.

“Historically, USAC has occupied a leadership role in oval-track racing and grass roots motorsports nationwide,” says Mike Accavitti, Senior Vice President, Automotive Operations for American Honda. “We’re pleased to be able to greatly expand our role in USAC competition, while taking the next significant step in advancing HPD’s grassroots motorsports initiative. We look forward to a long and successful association.”

The 2013 Honda USAC National Midget series will continue with the May 25 “Night Before the 500” Classic at Lucas Oil Raceway in Indianapolis and incorporate events across America, culminating in the annual “Turkey Night Grand Prix” at Perris, Calif. in November. The Honda Ignite Midget Series includes events determining championships in Washington, Oregon, Western, Midget and Eastern disciplines. And the Honda .25 Midget Series offers youth the largest organized circle track National Championship for young racers starting at age five.

Quote from today’s press conference at IMS:

T.E. McHale, American Honda: Some years ago, Tetsuo Iwamura, President and Chief Executive Officer of Honda, posed a rhetorical question: “Why do we wish to participate in the Indianapolis 500, the greatest motorsports race in the world?” Mr. Iwamura asked. “Because we want to be a big supporter of American motorsports.” Honda launched its participation in American open-wheel racing in 1994 and that participation has gone on, uninterrupted, for nearly 20 years since. Today’s announcement extends that commitment, and it is appropriate that we make it at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, home to what Mr. Iwamura termed “The Greatest Motorsports Race in the World.” American Honda’s partnership with the United States Auto Club expands its grassroots motorsports initiative – launched in 2009 and spearheaded by Honda Performance Development, the racing arm of American Honda Motor Company – by broadening participation in the oval-racing market. This agreement builds on a decade of support we have offered quarter-midget racing participants, and expands Honda product support to those who wish to move up the ladder into the Ignite Series and National Midget competition. This is not about Honda winning USAC Manufacturers championships. This is about working with USAC to identify opportunities which will allow competitors to advance along the path toward reaching their racing aspirations. This is the first of several announcements related to the American Honda/USAC partnership, the primary objective of which will be to place a USAC driving champion in an Indy car for the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500 in 2016. This is a big first step, and we look forward to working with our new partners in taking the next.