Speeding toward the official launch of its first comprehensive urban campus in 2024, Purdue University has partnered with Stewart-Haas Racing and driver Ryan Preece for the Verizon 200 at the Brickyard NASCAR Cup Series race Aug. 13 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
The iconic Boilermaker gold and black will adorn Preece’s No. 41 Ford Mustang, with Purdue University in Indianapolis serving as the primary sponsor of Preece for the 82-lap race around the 2.439-mile, 14-turn road course.
The partnership is a natural extension of Purdue’s long-standing role with Indianapolis Motor Speedway – a more than century-long relationship that began in 1919 with the Purdue “All-American” Marching Band’s first performance at the Indianapolis 500.
The racing connection is a fitting one, as Purdue University boasts one of the country’s most unique and innovative motorsports engineering curriculums, with Purdue University in Indianapolis having the only ABET-accredited undergraduate motorsports engineering program in the United States. Between the campuses in Indianapolis and West Lafayette, Purdue University has propelled students and graduates to exciting motorsports careers at the highest levels of racing, including NASCAR, INDYCAR and IMSA, as well as with manufacturers, most notably Dallara, a prominent racecar builder, and Cummins, a global power technology leader.
“Purdue University’s persistent pursuit of innovation aligns well with the objectives of Stewart-Haas Racing, making this weekend’s partnership an ideal opportunity to showcase Purdue University in Indianapolis and the world-class engineering, computer science and technology degrees we will offer there from the start,” said R. Ethan Braden, executive vice president and chief marketing and communications officer for Purdue University and Purdue Global. “We look forward to serving as the primary sponsor and cheering on Ryan Preece as he goes full throttle this weekend at Indy. The iconic Indianapolis Motor Speedway is just a few miles away from the Purdue University in Indianapolis campus and multiple downtown locations, including our space at High Alpha in the burgeoning Bottleworks District, where weʼll bring the full force of Purdue to our stateʼs capital city.”
Preece was hand-picked by NASCAR legend and Indiana native Tony Stewart to drive the No. 41 Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing. Preece is a proven winner, with victories across multiple divisions, including the NASCAR Truck Series and NASCAR Xfinity Series. In June at Sonoma (Calif.) Raceway, Preece won his first ARCA Menards Series race in dominating fashion, winning the pole and leading a race-high 50 laps en route to the victory.
“It’s an honor to represent Purdue University in Indianapolis this weekend at the Brickyard,” said Preece, who first made a name for himself on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour, winning the championship in 2013. “Indy is filled with history and prestige, and competing there is truly special. To have the gold-and-black colors of the Boilermakers on my car just adds to that prestige, as I’ve come to understand Purdue’s own history at Indianapolis.
“I’m impressed by the program Purdue University has for students looking to make a career in motorsports. Creative, hard-working people can thrive in racing. Knowledge is power, and the more you know, the better you are. To be able to showcase Purdue’s comprehensive urban campus in Indianapolis makes me proud.”
Purdue’s partnership with Stewart-Haas Racing complements the university’s existing motorsport portfolio, which includes the Superstar Racing Experience (SRX), a six-race series co-founded by Stewart in 2021. Purdue University in Indianapolis is the primary sponsor of the car shared by INDYCAR legends Tony Kanaan and Helio Castroneves. Preece recently joined SRX for the series’ second race in July at Stafford (Conn.) Motor Speedway, which serves as Preece’s hometown track as he hails from Berlin, Connecticut.
Purdue University has achieved excellence at scale, with agriculture, graduate engineering and invention counts all among the top four in the United States and across major American research universities, as it ranks first in undergrad STEM enrollment. Now, with ambitious plans for its new Indianapolis campus, Purdue University in Indianapolis will create new knowledge and establish a strong pipeline of Boilermaker talent to the capital city and beyond.