NORWALK, Conn., April 30 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- More than 100,000 race fans will visit Richmond International Raceway this weekend to live vicariously through one of the luckiest fans in sports history: Dan Lowry. As the second annual grand-prize winner of a contest created by Crown Royal, Mr. Lowry was awarded naming rights to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on Saturday, May 3. The race is officially titled "Crown Royal Presents The Dan Lowry 400."
Lowry, 29, of New Waterford, Ohio will be treated to an experience millions of sports fans only dream about. In addition to his name appearing on tickets, race merchandise and more, he will serve as Grand Marshal, partake in pace-car laps, watch the race from the #26 pit box and deliver the trophy -- emblazoned with his name -- to the race winner in victory lane.
A naval engineer, Lowry was selected from a pool of nearly 10,000 entrants as the winner of the Crown Royal "Your Name Here 400" contest. The Crown Royal Company, which is a subsidiary of Diageo plc (NYSE:DEO), selected the winners from written submissions chronicling each consumer's fondest Crown Royal memories that were enjoyed in a responsible manner. In his winning entry, Lowry recalled a moment when he wandered into a local restaurant while working thousands of miles away in Venezuela and caught sight of the iconic purple and gold Crown Royal bag. Immediately, he was reminded of fond memories of home.
"This whole experience has been surreal," said Lowry. "One minute I'm a regular guy from Ohio, and the next thing you know, Crown Royal made me the winner of their contest and part of NASCAR history. It still hasn't sunk in that this is really my race." Along with his wife Amy, Lowry will be accompanied in Richmond by his parents and 25 close friends.
Lowry learned he had won the contest during an elaborate unveiling ceremony in February. He met Crown Royal driver Jamie McMurray, loaded into a helicopter and flew high above the Las Vegas Strip to a 10,000-square-foot desert mosaic featuring his name as part of the official race logo to be used at Richmond International Raceway.
"At Crown Royal we believe everyone deserves to be royalty for a day. We strive to create once-in-a-lifetime experiences and the Dan Lowry 400 fits the bill," said Ami-Lynn Bakshi, vice president, North American Whiskies at Diageo. "We think sports fans will appreciate what we've done for Dan, and we look forward to celebrating with everyone this weekend."
In addition to making Dan Lowry a household name, Crown Royal will use its sponsorship of the Richmond race to remind people to, "Be A Champion. Drink Responsibly." The national campaign under the same tagline encourages consumers to always make responsible decisions when drinking, such as assigning a designated driver.
Fans wishing they could be like Dan Lowry are invited to participate in the third installment of the promotion that will award naming rights to the May event in Richmond to another race fan in 2009. For more information visit www.crownroyal.com .
Crown Royal is the primary sponsor of the No. 26 Roush Racing Ford Fusion driven by Jamie McMurray, and in its fifth year of being a sponsor of Richmond International Raceway.
About Crown Royal
Crown Royal, the number one selling Canadian Whisky in the US 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 American Turf stakes race at Churchill Downs and a number of other major regional and national events. For more information on Crown Royal, visit www.crownroyal.com .
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 (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. The Crown Royal presents the Dan Lowry 400 will be the track's 31st consecutive NASCAR Sprint Cup Series sellout, dating back to 1992.
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 Sprint Cup icon Rusty Wallace, those characteristics help make racing at the track and the experience fans have while visiting, simply "perfect."
In 2007, 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."
About Roush Fenway Racing
Roush Fenway Racing is NASCAR's largest team operating 13 motorsports teams. Five in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series with drivers Matt Kenseth, Jamie McMurray, Greg Biffle, Carl Edwards and David Ragan; four in the Nationwide Series with Kenseth, Biffle, Edwards, McMurray, Ragan, Erik Darnell and Colin Braun; and three in the Craftsman Truck Series with Darnell, Braun and Joey Clanton; and one in the ARCA RE/MAX Series with Ricky Stenhouse, Jr.
Contact: Erica Johnson Kurt Culbert Diageo Taylor (646) 223-2038 (704) 202-3995