RICHMOND, Va., May 3 /PRNewswire/ -- Saturday night at Richmond International Raceway will mark an unprecedented event in the history of sports. For the first time ever, a NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series (NNCS) race will be named after a fan, hence, the "Crown Royal Presents The Jim Stewart 400" will take place on May 5 under the lights in primetime.
Jim Stewart, 34, of Houma, LA, was selected as the grand prize winner of Crown Royal's "Your Name Here 400" promotion and will be in Richmond this weekend with his fiancee, Lacie Broussard, to take in the experience of a lifetime. Beyond seeing his name on everything from tickets to race merchandise, Stewart will also participate in various race activities, which include a pre-event press conference, attending the drivers' meeting, riding in the pace car, serving as grand marshal, delivering racing's famous command ("Gentlemen, Start your Engines!") and presenting the trophy to the race winner in Victory Lane.
The landmark promotion was conceived by Crown Royal, a product of parent company Diageo (NYSE:DEO). To enter, Stewart submitted his favorite "CROWN- WORTHY" moment to become one of nine finalists, as selected by a judging panel. The finalists were flown to Daytona International Speedway in February, where Stewart was randomly chosen in a drawing. Stewart's winning entry -- one of nearly 15,000 total submissions -- chronicled his moments growing up fishing with his father and later christening his own fishing boat with a toast to his dad.
"I never thought something like this would happen to me in a million years," said Stewart, the vice president of his family's pipeline construction business in Houma. "Crown Royal has not only made me King of the race weekend, but also is allowing me to share this tremendous experience with my family and closest friends." Along with Broussard, the Louisiana native will be joined in Richmond by his son (Hunter), his parents and 25 friends.
As part of the contest and to promote its "Be a Champion. Drink Responsibly." campaign, for every submission Crown Royal made a donation to Record Artists Athletes and Actors Against Drunk Driving (RADD): The Entertainment Industry's Voice For Road Safety.
"At its core, Crown Royal strives to give adult fans such as Jim Stewart experiences that are fit for royalty and to provide a taste of the good life," said Jim Lorenz, senior brand manager, Crown Royal. "Jim Stewart is now a part of sports history and synonymous with NASCAR racing at Richmond International Raceway. We hope this once-in-a-lifetime experience exceeds his expectations."
The promotion is continuing again in 2007, where the naming rights to the 2008 NNCS race at Richmond International Raceway will be awarded to another fan. Adult fans 21 or older can go to crownroyal.com to enter.
In addition, to encourage responsible decision-making leading up to the Crown Royal Presents The Jim Stewart 400 race weekend, Crown Royal is offering a safe alternative to drinking and driving by providing free, safe rides home.
Crown Royal will partner with Richmond-based Groome Transportation on Thursday night, May 3, and is offering free rides home (8 p.m. - 3 a.m.) to adults 21 and over by calling 804-222-7222 and referencing the "Crown Royal Safe Rides Home" program.
For the second consecutive year, Crown Royal is the primary sponsor of the No. 26 Roush Fenway Racing Ford Fusion driven by Jamie McMurray. This includes primary paint scheme of the No. 26 car at 23 races during the 2007 season, including this weekend's NNCS race.
About Crown Royal
Crown Royal, the number one selling whisky in the U.S. by value, 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's smooth, elegant style reflects its aristocratic origins and is considered the epitome of Canadian whisky. In addition to its motorsports sponsorships, the brand also sponsors The Crown Royal Bad Boys of Comedy Tour, the Crown Royal American Turf stakes race at Churchill Downs and a number of other major regional and national events. For more information on Crown Royal, visit http://www.crownroyal.com.
Crown Royal is proudly owned by Diageo (Dee-AH-Gee-O), 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 200 countries around the world. The company is listed on both the New York Stock Exchange (DEO) and the London Stock Exchange (DGE). For more information about Diageo, its people, brands, and performance, visit us at http://www.diageo.com.
Celebrating life, every day, everywhere, responsibly.
About Richmond International Raceway
Richmond International Raceway is perhaps the most universally loved racetrack anywhere, as it is a favorite among drivers, fans, NASCAR officials and the media.
Year after year, Richmond International Raceway puts on the best short track show, and arguably the best racing in the world. Its unique, 3/4-mile layout produces tremendous side-by-side racing, yet drivers obtain high enough speeds to give it a superspeedway feel. That rare combination still allows for the beating and banging that fans love, with the drivers' skill playing a major role in winning. In the words of NASCAR NEXTEL Cup icon Rusty Wallace, those characteristics help make racing at the track and the experience fans have while visiting, simply "perfect."
During this past off season, Richmond International Raceway added nearly 5,000 seats, bringing its total capacity to 112,029. Additionally, Richmond International Raceway is the only track to hold all of its major events "under the lights."
'The Entertainment Industry's Voice for Road Safety', is an internationally recognized non-profit organization that empowers celebrities and media partners to create positive attitudes about road safety. Founded in 1986, RADD advocates the use of designated drivers, seatbelts and safe driving through control behind the wheel, making responsible behavior the norm. RADD's messages are non-judgmental, hip and positive. For more information, contact Judy Diethelm, RADD/BLU MOON Group, 310-245-1166, http://www.radd.org.
Designate Before You Celebrate(TM)
Source: Crown Royal