MOORESVILLE, N.C. — Marcus Ericsson’s race of his life in the 106th Indianapolis 500 on May 29 allowed him to have a weekend to remember in his home country of Sweden this past weekend.
The Indianapolis 500 winning driver from Kumla, Sweden, was accompanied by the Borg-Warner Trophy, just the fourth time the iconic Indianapolis 500 trophy has left the United States.
It started with a huge crowd at the Stockholm Mall in Stockholm, Sweden, on Saturday.
Ericsson and the Borg-Warner Trophy traveled in a first-class tour bus branded with Huski Chocolate — Ericsson’s sponsor — and a larger-than-life photo of the driver. Ericsson and the Borg-Warner Trophy went to the Ronnie Peterson Memorial, which honors the late Formula One driver from Sweden.
On Sunday night, more than 8,000 fans braved the weather to welcome back Ericsson at a special ceremony in his hometown of Kumla, Sweden.
“I’ve been home to Sweden bringing the Borg-Warner Trophy to Sweden and my hometown of Kumla and some other places as well,” Ericsson told SPEED SPORT. “It was incredible and special to share the victory with everyone back home, with family and friends and also the fans that I have that have followed my career and wanted to congratulate me on my Indy 500 victory. The highlight was this past Sunday in Kumla, with a big event on the city square with 8,000 people. It’s a day I will always remember. I’m very, very thankful.”
Despite cold temperatures in Kumla, a large contingent of fans showed up.
“It was such an incredible afternoon and evening that I had there, being on stage and getting all the love from people back home,” Ericsson said. “Afterwards, I signed autographs for 2-1/2 hours to make sure everyone that showed up and wanted to say hi to me and get an autograph and a picture got a chance to do that.
“It was a day I will always remember. I was very happy about that, and it was very, very special to me.”
Many of the fans that showed up to honor Ericsson have been following his career, through Formula One and onto the NTT IndyCar Series.
One of those fans that stood at the end of the line to see the Borg-Warner Trophy was Ericsson’s mother.
“My family wanted to give all the fans a chance to come see me,” Ericsson said. “When everyone got their chance, then my mom came by and that was very nice. Afterwards, we had a big family dinner. It was super special to see my mother come by and wanted to give everyone the chance to come see me.”
Ericsson’s sponsor supplied a tour bus, emblazoned with the Borg-Warner Trophy and Ericsson to help promote the event.
“They went all in and have been a great partner through the years,” Ericsson said. “For them, to get the victory, they have been awesome with this trip to help organize it and put on a lot of cool events throughout the weekend. I’m thankful that we got to the be with such a cool company and got to do this together.”
Mika Manninen, Huski Global CEO and president, made sure his company was able to celebrate the big win with Ericsson.
“For Huski Chocolate, having Marcus in Sweden with the Borg-Warner Trophy has been truly unique, and I’m so proud for our team to be able to share this moment with him, his family and the fans,” Manninen said. “We at Huski share the same values with Marcus: have a kind heart, never give up, or back down — be loud when needed, always do your best, and have fun while doing it. We had 8000-plus friends at Kumla town square to celebrate Marcus of all ages on Sunday evening. I could not have dreamed of a better way to wrap up our week-long Sweden tour with him and the Borg-Warner Trophy. I guess we have to do this next year again, Kalas! (Party in Swedish).”
Michelle Collins — the BorgWarner global director of marketing and public relations — accompanied Ericsson and the Borg-Warner Trophy on its long journey to Sweden for the monumental weekend.
“Taking the Borg-Warner Trophy to Sweden, allowing us to honor the 2022 Indianapolis 500 winner Marcus Ericsson, was very special,” Collins said. “It was so exciting that Marcus was able to share the trophy and Indy 500 memories with his family, friends, fans, and media. There were so many fans that got their photo with Marcus and the trophy or got an autograph to remember the special events that took place.
“Whether Indianapolis, Indiana; Stockholm or his hometown of Kumla, Sweden; BorgWarner is so happy to be part of the adventure with Marcus on and off the track — historic and fun for everyone involved.”
Two of the other events on Ericsson’s return to Sweden was an appearance at the largest shopping mall in Scandinavia in Stockholm on Saturday. Ericsson had a Q&A and autograph signing at noon and another one at 3 p.m. with a large gathering of fans. Another important moment was Ericsson visiting the Ronnie Peterson Memorial, honoring the great Formula One driver from Sweden who was killed in a crash in the 1978 Italian Grand Prix at Monza.
“It means a lot to me,” Ericsson said. “Ronnie inspired me and although he passed away in 1978, he was a racing hero of mine. Throughout my career, my helmet designs were always inspired by his helmet design.
“It meant a lot to take the Borg-Warner Trophy to the Ronnie Peterson Memorial.”