INDY race team is forced to remove the Marlboro name

Thursday, May 24th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) _ Roger Penske's Indianapolis 500 race team has been forced to remove the Marlboro name from its cars to avoid violating the 1998 tobacco settlement.

Penske's drivers, Gil de Ferran and Helio Castroneves, had the Marlboro name and logo on their cars during qualifying and practice sessions for Sunday's race.

But the National Association of Attorneys General raised questions about the practice with Philip Morris, which had agreed to restrictions on advertising as part of the settlement.

As a result, the sidepods of de Ferran and Castroneves' cars are now plain white. Penske also agreed to remove the Marlboro name from uniforms worn by the drivers and crew.

Philip Morris has sponsored Team Penske for 11 years. Company spokesman Brendan McCormick said Philip Morris will continue to support Team Penske for the race even though it will not get any exposure.

Under the settlement, Penske's team is allowed to use the Marlboro name when it competes on the Championship Auto Racing Teams circuit. The Indy 500, however, is sanctioned by the rival Indy Racing League.