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Driver Database News

The latest news from the world of racing


Category: IndyCar

Dan Wheldon, winner of the 2005 Indianapolis 500 and the 2005 Indy Racing League® (IRL) IndyCar Series Driver’s Championship, has reached a sponsorship agreement with Mitchell Rubber Products, Inc., a company with global affiliations, specializing in rubber compound mixing and molded rubber products for the automotive, construction and agricultural industries. Wheldon and Mitchell Rubber Products will work together over the course of the season on marketing initiatives and promotional campaigns surrounding Dan’s racing in the IRL.

“I’m excited to announce this sponsor relationship with Mitchell Rubber and I’m proud to know that they’re behind me this season,” said Wheldon. “Mitchell Rubber supports racing and those that make racing possible. I want to be associated with those who understand motorsports and those who are passionate about excelling and winning. That’s what you get with Mitchell Rubber…And that’s who I want in my corner.”

“Racing is in our blood,” said Brent Brush, Sales Manager of Mitchell Rubber Products and its affiliated company, Mitchell Global, LLC. “We were looking for a way to grow our business and mix it in with our racing passion. Many of us at Mitchell Rubber Products race, at some level and we wanted to show our support and commitment to the automotive manufacturers involved within the sport. By personally sponsoring IRL Champion Dan Wheldon, we felt that it is a great way for us to show our support.”

After capturing the Indianapolis 500 crown and the IndyCar Series Championship last season with Andretti Green Racing, Wheldon decided to join Target Chip Ganassi Racing in 2006. In the first race with his new team, Wheldon took the checkered flag at Homestead-Miami Speedway to record his tenth career IRL victory. Looking to repeat as champion at the 2006 Indianapolis 500, Wheldon dominated and led 148 laps, only to see his chances dashed by a tire puncture with 16 laps remaining. He is currently fourth in the 2006 IndyCar Series points standings. Last season, Wheldon rewrote the IRL record books, posting six race wins in 17 events and breaking the league record for most wins in a season. He also captured race wins in four of the first five races of the year for the first time in IRL history, and his ten career victories place him tied for second all-time in the IRL after only three full seasons.

The business now conducted by Mitchell Rubber Products, which specializes in rubber compound mixing and OEM production of molded rubber products for the automotive, construction and agricultural industries, has been operated by three generations of the Mitchell family, since the commencement of that business in 1939. Based in the City of Industry, in Southern California, Mitchell Rubber Products has recently expanded it’s commodity base through the formation of Mitchell Global, LLC, a sister company to Mitchell Rubber Products, whose primary focus is that of supplying “complementary commodities”, such as automotive glass, hoses, seats to their existing Mitchell Rubber Products automotive, construction and agricultural customer base. Mitchell Rubber Products’ product, customer and manufacturing base is worldwide in its scope, with affiliations and strategic relationships in the United Kingdom and the Peoples Republic of China, as well as within the United States. For more information on Mitchell Rubber Products, please visit

Target Chip Ganassi Racing driver Dan Wheldon, the 2005 Indianapolis 500 champion and the 2005 IndyCar Series champion, has been nominated in the “Best Driver” category for the 2006 ESPY Awards presented by ESPN. The nomination is Wheldon’s second consecutive in the category and comes on the heels of his record-breaking 2005 Indy Racing League season, in which he captured six victories in 17 races.

“I am excited to be nominated again for the Best Driver category at this year’s ESPY Awards,” said Wheldon. “Even though I didn’t manage to pick up the award last year, it was a great experience to be among so many talented athletes. The drivers nominated in my category are all exceptional competitors, and it is an honor to be recognized with them.”

Following his dominating 2005 IndyCar Series season, Wheldon joined Target Chip Ganassi Racing in 2006 and promptly kicked off the season with two wins for his new team. He joined Target teammate Scott Dixon and Nextel Cup driver Casey Mears to capture the Rolex 24 At Daytona, and then in his first IRL race of the year, he took the checkered flag at Homestead-Miami Speedway for the second consecutive season. Currently ranked fourth in the IndyCar Series standings, Wheldon has posted four Top-5 finishes and five Top-10 finishes in 2006. His 10 career victories in the Indy Racing League place him second on the all-time list behind Sam Hornish Jr. after only three full seasons.

Also up for the ESPY “Best Driver” award are: IRL driver Sam Hornish Jr., Nextel Cup drivers Tony Stewart and Jimmie Johnson and NHRA Top Fuel driver Melanie Troxel.

Fans can vote online at

The winners will be announced at the 2006 ESPY Awards in Los Angeles on Wednesday, July 12. ESPN will broadcast the 14th Annual ESPY Awards on Sunday, July 16. Coverage begins at 9 p.m. EDT.