Purdue partners with SRX, Tony Kanaan, Helio Castroneves to showcase Indianapolis campus

Purdue University has partnered with Superstar Racing Experience (SRX) to introduce its new campus in Indianapolis.

On Thursday, Purdue announced the Boilermaker colors will adorn the race car shared by Indy 500 winners Helio Castroneves and Tony Kanaan. Purdue University was named by Fast Company as one of the World’s Most Innovative Companies, focusing on disciplines such as AI and motorsports engineering.

The move comes on the heels of the approval to dissolve IUPUI and launch Purdue University in Indianapolis in 2024.

Castroneves and Kanaan are quite familiar with Indiana, as the pair ranks among the top five in most laps completed in the Indianapolis 500’s 107-year history. Castroneves beat Kanaan in last year’s SRX season-opener to capture the win at Five Flags Speedway.

Each of the legendary drivers is entering their third year of competition in SRX.

“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.”

According to a release, Purdue has helped launch racing careers for many of its students and graduates with its unique motorsports engineering program, which was created in 2008. This past May, College of Engineering graduates Matt Kuebel and Mike Koenigs became Indianapolis 500 champions as race engineers for Josef Newgarden and Team Penske.

SRX is a series consisting of legendary drivers racing identically prepared race cars, leaving driver skill as the lone variant, a release stated. 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," the release stated.

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Last season, 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 won the inaugural SRX Championship in 2021 and Marco Andretti claimed the title in 2022.

SRX president Don Hawk said he 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.”

The university said its 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.”

This article originally appeared on Indianapolis Star: Indy 500 legends Tony Kanaan, Helio Castroneves to race Purdue SRX car