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Crown Royal® Honors America's Bravest for Second Year With Naming Rights to NASCAR Sprint Cup Race at Richmond International Raceway

RICHMOND, Va., Sept. 10 /PRNewswire/ -- Crown Royal takes pride in showcasing our country's finest heroes, and once again, the tradition will live on.  The makers of Crown Royal Canadian whisky, a subsidiary of Diageo plc (NYSE: DEO), today announced it will award naming rights to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Richmond International Raceway on April 30, 2011 to a serviceman or servicewoman.

This marks the second time throughout the five-year history of the Crown Royal "Your Name Here" 400 contest that only individuals serving our country can be nominated.  Nominations will be accepted from now until Nov. 30th and can be submitted to www.nascar.com/crownroyal.

"Crown Royal truly takes pride in ensuring that our race entitlement shines light on all the everyday heroes who serve our country," said Heather Boyd, Senior Brand Manager, Crown Royal.  "We believe that the experience provided to the winner is unprecedented and really transforms one deserving individual into a superstar the entire race weekend.  We look forward to reading all the nominations and announcing our finalists and grand prize winner in February, at the Daytona race."

Once nominations are received, Crown Royal will provide fans the opportunity to cast their votes for whose name they think should be incorporated into the annual spring NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event at Richmond International Raceway. The grand prize winner will then be announced from Daytona in a patriotic ceremony among all the finalists, NASCAR's Roush Fenway Racing driver Matt Kenseth and representatives from Crown Royal and Richmond International Raceway.

"There are no words to describe how special this is for one serviceman or servicewoman," said Matt Kenseth.  "Crown Royal goes the extra step to ensure the individual who wins is treated like royalty throughout race weekend. I encourage all adult race fans to think about their friends and family serving our country and nominate them for this honor."

This past May the race was titled "Crown Royal Presents the Heath Calhoun 400" in honor of retired serviceman Heath Calhoun.  Calhoun was awarded the honor for his determination and ability to inspire others to live their lives to the fullest despite their injuries.  Prior to his race in Richmond, Calhoun also competed on the US Paralympics Team at the 2010 Paralympics Winter Games, where he scored an 8th-place finish in the Super-G and a 10th-place finish in the Men's Super Combined alpine skiing events.  

"It is great to have a dedicated partner like Crown Royal continue to make the spring NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Richmond International Raceway something special and like no other race on the circuit," said track President Doug Fritz. "We are honored to be involved again in 2011 in showcasing one inspirational serviceman or servicewoman's story of incredible courage and patriotism."  

Those wishing to nominate one of their fellow soldiers (21 or older) to be the next Heath Calhoun, must write a brief essay, 50 words or less, on how that individual demonstrated the core values of the military in performing a selfless act that made them a hero.

Leading up to the big day in Richmond, Crown Royal will continue to remind fans to "Please Drink Responsibly." through its "Safe Rides Home" designated driver initiatives and other programming designed to reinforce the importance of drinking responsibly.

About Crown Royal

Crown Royal Canadian whisky is the number one selling Canadian whisky brand in the US by value and has a tradition as long and distinctive as its taste. Specially blended to commemorate a grand tour of Canada made by King George VI and Queen Elizabeth of Great Britain in 1939, Crown Royal Canadian whisky's smooth, elegant style reflects its aristocratic origins and is considered the epitome of Canadian whisky. The Crown Royal Company is a primary sponsor of the No. 17 Roush Fenway Ford Fusion driven by Matt Kenseth. For more information visit www.crownroyal.com.

About Diageo

Diageo (Dee-AH-Gee-O) is the world's leading premium drinks business with an outstanding collection of beverage alcohol brands across spirits, wines and beer categories. These brands include Johnnie Walker, Guinness, Smirnoff, J&B, Baileys, Cuervo, Tanqueray, Captain Morgan, Crown Royal, Beaulieu Vineyard and Sterling Vineyards wines.

Diageo is a global company, trading in more than 180 countries around the world. The company is listed on both the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: DEO) and the London Stock Exchange (DGE).

For more information about Diageo, its people, brands, and performance, visit us at Diageo.com. For our global resource that promotes responsible drinking through the sharing of best practice tools, information and initiatives, visit DRINKiQ.com.

About Richmond International Raceway:

Richmond International Raceway, known as America's Premier Short Track, offers exciting night racing action and a commitment to the fan experience. One of the most popular facilities among drivers and fans in all of motorsports, Richmond International Raceway annually hosts all of its major events—two NASCAR Doubleheader weekends, featuring the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and NASCAR Nationwide Series—under the lights on its 3/4-mile D-Shaped oval. The unique layout consistently produces the thrill of side-by-side racing, coupled with high enough speeds for a superspeedway feel. Combined with first-class amenities (including the new-for-2010 Video Scoring Tower) and a focus on the fans, guests at Richmond International Raceway can expect to experience what "Racing Perfection" truly is. For tickets to events at Richmond International Raceway, call 866-455-RACE or visit www.rir.com online. Find us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @RIRInsider.

About Roush Fenway Racing

Roush Fenway Racing is NASCAR's largest team operating eight motorsports teams.  Four in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series with drivers Matt Kenseth, Greg Biffle, Carl Edwards and David Ragan; and four in the Nationwide Series with Edwards, Ricky Stenhouse, Jr., Colin Braun, Brian Ickler, and Paul Menard.  For more information on any of the Roush Fenway Racing teams, log onto www.RoushFenway.com.  Become a fan of Roush Fenway Racing on Facebook by going to http://www.facebook.com/roushfenway and follow us on Twitter @roushfenway.  For sponsorship inquiries please contact Robin Johnson at 704.720.4645.

CROWN ROYAL Blended Canadian Whisky.  40% Alc./Vol. ©2010 The Crown Royal Company, Norwalk, CT.  PLEASE DRINK RESPONSIBLY

SOURCE Crown Royal

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