Our weekend with Crown Royal culminated with us heading over to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the 2012 NASCAR Brickyard 400 sponsored by Crown Royal and Big Machine Records. Our group arrived at the track around 8 AM so we could enjoy and appreciate the full day of festivities. We were fortunate to have the Crown Royal suite as our home base as we took in so much of what the grounds of this world class track had to offer. There were plenty of bands and exhibits, including Sunny Sweeny, Greg Bates and the Mavericks. A few of the pre race happenings that I really enjoyed were meeting and listening to country star and Big Machine recording artist Justin Moore perform at the Brickfest stage near the speedway, and then, before the race, our media passes allowed Bullz-Eye to get right in the front of a stage on the track to see another Big Machine Records group, The Band Perry, perform and they were incredible. I felt like the entertainment level was sky high before the race even began! We knew this was going to be an experience from the info provided by Crown Royal, but until race day, it was hard to comprehend.
As race time approached, the weather warmed up to about 86 degrees and the 125,000 in attendance were ready for some racing. After the Band Perry concert ended, we headed back up to the Crown Royal seating where the ESPN team, including former UNC star and Cleveland cavalier Brad Daugherty, were filing their pre-race analysis. This race will mark the sixth time Crown Royal has awarded race naming rights to an adult fan. This year, the program focused on all of the unsung heroes who make a difference in their communities, from firefighters and police officers, to first responders and local volunteers. Five heroes were chosen as finalists and adult fans visited the Crown Royal Facebook page to cast their votes for the person they felt was most deserving of the honor. Fireman Curtiss Shave was the winner this year and we had the opportunity to get to spend some time with Curtiss, and in our opinion, Crown Royal made a great choice. The official race title that was used throughout the national television broadcast and incorporated into race memorabilia, as well as the race winner’s trophy, was the Crown Royal Presents the Curtiss Shaver 400 at the Brickyard powered by Big MachineRecords.com. Various events and celebrations took place leading up to and throughout race weekend to honor Shaver, during which Crown Royal consistently reminded everyone to please drink responsibly. Race time!
The race was televised on ESPN, so millions watched as Jimmie Johnson took control early and cruised his way to victory. Jimmie secured the trophy in Victory Lane after the race, but not before I had a chance to take a picture with that hardware! Jimmie wasn’t the only winner on Sunday, as Crown Royal and Big Machine Records donated thousands of dollars to charities such as Operation Patriot and Honoring Heroes. This was my first time attending a NASCAR race and I can truly understand the passion of their fans and admire their love of country and celebrating a sport that keeps getting better.