Sam Schmidt Motorsports has announced that long-time sponsor Lucas Oil Products Inc will return to the championship-winning team for the 2009 Firestone Indy Lights season, continuing a partnership stretching back nearly six years.

Lucas Oil originally joined the Schmidt team to support Richie Hearn at the 2003 Indianapolis 500, before becoming a staple on the side of the team's cars in the Indy Pro Series from 2005. The relationship now continues into the renamed Indy Lights competition with great success.

"I can't express how pleased I am to see Lucas Oil return to our team for 2009," team owner Schmidt said, "They've been a terrific supporter of our team over the years, and I'm excited that we'll continue on our relationship heading into the 2009 season. Lucas Oil is a fixture in many different sporting series throughout the world and we're honoured that Forest and Charlotte [Lucas] place their trust in our team to represent the company in major open-wheel racing."

The combination has produced 14 race wins in the last four seasons of IPS/Lights competition, making it by far the most successful team/sponsor combo in the history of the IndyCar feeder category. Two drivers, Jay Howard and Alex Lloyd, won the championship carrying the Lucas Oil banner, while others to pilot the now familiar white-and-red #7 machine include race winners Travis Gregg and Richard Antinucci.

"We're a big fan of Sam Schmidt," Lucas Oil founder Forest Lucas admitted, "We appreciate everything Sam does on an off the track, and we couldn't be happier to continue our relationship with he and his team."

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