Columbus-based Cummins Inc. (NYSE: CMI) has announced a partnership with the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The five-year collaboration will feature an increased presence for Cummins at the famed oval track, including a pre-race parade lap at this year’s Indianapolis 500 featuring all five of Cummins’ historic race cars together for the first time. The partnership was announced as part of the manufacturing company’s centennial celebration and Jon Mills, director of external communications for Cummins, says the presence at IMS will raise the Cummins profile.
In an interview with Inside INdiana Business Reporter Mary-Rachel Redman, Mills said there are a lot of parallels between Cummins and IMS.
"You have two global companies that are well-known brands," said Mills. "They’ve both been in Indiana for 100 years or more. They’ve been focused on technological innovation and pushing the boundaries. They’re about the community. They’re about customers and they’re about employees and finding ways to bring together people in the spirit of competition and the spirit of innovation. That’s really what we share and what we’re focused on."
Cummins has a long history with the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The company’s founder, Clessie Cummins, served on the pit crew for the Marmon Wasp, the car Ray Harroun drove to the checkered flag in the first Indy 500 race in 1911.
Mark Miles, chief executive officer of IMS parent Hulman & Co., said the partnership is one made in history.
"One of the details that I think is incredibly cool is that there have been five Cummins-powered cars in the race over the years," said Miles. "They have volunteers from the company with those five cars trying to find parts and everything required to restore them. So it’s a really neat project for them and then, when they get that done, on race day morning, they’ll be part of the pre-show on the track. So, you can’t get much better exposure than that and at the same time, they’ve been creative in getting their employees involved."
Miles says Cummins is a company that has always had a big conscience and "we aspire to be seen the same way."