Steven B. Wilson
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Walmart Stores Bring NASCAR Driver Appearance, Fan Events and Unique Race Time Experiences to Indianapolis28 Jul 2012
As Indianapolis prepares for the upcoming Crown Royal Presents The "Your Hero's Name Here" 400 at the Brickyard, select Walmart stores will offer authentic NASCAR merchandise and host exclusive fan events starting July 25. Customers are invited to attend these special events and enjoy a special appearance by Bobby Labonte and show car and simulator displays– perfect to safely get behind the wheel and feel the power of NASCAR – July 25-28 from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., depending on the location.
"Walmart is the champion of the racing fan, and we are committed to providing customers with savings on authentic merchandise, as well as unique race time experiences," said Walmart market manager Becky Dedman. "We want to give fans affordability and accessibility, so they can enjoy race time with their families and friends."
Race Time at Walmart
In addition to the fan events happening in Walmart parking lots, area Walmart stores will feature savings on all the food and snacks you need to enjoy the race, plus authentic NASCAR merchandise such as T-shirts and racing flags, with an even bigger selection of exclusive products available at Walmart.com/NASCAR.
Participating stores near the Indianapolis Motor Speedway include:
Wednesday, July 25, 2012
Displays free and open to the public include the M&M's Show Car, Sim Pod and Trophy Display, Coors Light Show Car, Hefty Show Car Simulator, 5-hour Energy Show Car, Cheez-It Show Car Simulator and Wheaties Show Car at:
7245 U.S. 31 S.
10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Displays free and open to the public include the Scott Products Ultimate Tailgate Truck, Oreo Ritz Show Car, No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil Dodge Charger, No. 24 Pepsi MAX Show Car, No. 88 Diet Mountain Dew Show Car, Miller Lite Show Car and Coca-Cola 2-Seat Simulator at:
8191 Upland Bend
11:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Thursday, July 26, 2012
Displays free and open to the public include the No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil Dodge Charger, Coors Light Show Car, Hefty Show Car Simulator, Wheaties Show Car, Coca-Cola 2-Seat Simulator and 5-hour Energy Show Car at:
7325 N. Keystone Ave.
10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Displays free and open to the public include the Scott Products Ultimate Tailgate Truck, Cheez-It Show Car Simulator, No. 24 Pepsi MAX Show Car, No. 88 Diet Mountain Dew Show Car, Oreo Ritz Show Car, Miller Lite Show Car and M&M's Show Car, Sim Pod and Trophy Display at:
4545 Lafayette Road
11:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Friday, July 27, 2012
Displays free and open to the public include the Cheez-It Show Car Simulator, Hefty Show Car Simulator, Coors Light Show Car, No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil Dodge Charger, Wheaties Show Car, 5-hour Energy Show Car, No. 24 Pepsi MAX Show Car and No. 88 Diet Mountain Dew Show Car at:
2373 E. Main St.
10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Scott Products' Bobby Labonte Driver Appearance from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Displays free and open to the public include the Scott Products Ultimate Tailgate Truck, Oreo Ritz Show Car, M&M's Show Car, Sim Pod and Trophy Display, Coca-Cola 2-Seat Simulator and Miller Lite Show Car at:
1133 N. Emerson Road
11:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Saturday, July 28, 2012
Displays free and open to the public include the Coca-Cola 2-Seat Simulator, Scott Products Ultimate Tailgate Truck, Coors Light Show Car, Hefty Show Car Simulator and No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil Dodge Charger at:
400 W. Northfield Drive
8 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Displays free and open to the public include the Oreo Ritz Show Car, 5-hour Energy Show Car, Wheaties Show Car, Cheez-It Show Car Simulator, No. 24 Pepsi MAX Show Car, No. 88 Diet Mountain Dew Show Car, Miller Lite Show Car and M&M's Show Car, Sim Pod and Trophy Display at:
9500 U.S. 36
9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Randy Kerr had an ear-to-ear smile on his face at the conclusion of last Saturday’s ASA Pro Trucks Series event at Magic Valley Speedway in Twin Falls, ID. That smile was not for the awesome races that his series had that night; it was for what his drivers did for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
What the ASA Pro Trucks Series drivers did was donate more than half of their winnings to St. Jude’s, a total of $1,256.25.
“This right here is why I feel so honored to promote a series like this, these drivers care,” Kerr, ASA Pro Truck Series Promoter said. “They care about each other, they care about the community and they care about making a difference. I consider every one of these drivers as a friend. No one could ask for a better friends or a better racing to be a part of like what we have in the ASA Pro Truck Series.”
The idea started with Magic Valley Speedway itself working with two local radio stations, 98.3 The Snake and KEZJ 95.7 FM, as the presenting sponsors for the first ever twin main events for the ASA Pro Trucks Series. As part of the promotion Magic Valley Speedway offered to donate $5.00 for each ticket sold to St. Jude.
Johnny Pierre, who drives the #38 ASA Pro Truck called Kerr and asked what they could do as a series to help raise more money. Pierre lost his mother to cancer and the research that St. Jude’s does means a lot to him.
Pierre told Kerr that he was willing to give all of his winnings from the night and wanted to challenge all of the other drivers to give at least half of their winnings to the well-known research hospital.
Kerr presented Pierre’s idea at the driver’s meeting, and without hesitation, every driver said they would donate at least half of their winnings. In the end, 50% of the drivers gave half of their winnings while the other 50% gave 100% of their winnings from the twin main events that Saturday night.
“We all know that it costs money to be involved in short track racing, let alone a traveling series like the ASA Pro Trucks Series. But to see what our drivers did says a lot in my opinion,” Kerr said. “At the end of the night, we all knew we did the right thing and are hopeful that our donation will help St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital continue to provide the best care they provide to children and continue the valuable research they are doing today. It was an honor to be a part of this generosity.”
ASA Racing PR
Imagine answering your front door and finding a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver and race car outside. And the driver is bearing gifts. That's exactly what happened to an Indianapolis family when Aric Almirola, driver of the No. 43 Eckrich® Ford, rang the doorbell of the Baier home Friday afternoon.
Almirola and sponsor Eckrich, part of the John Morrell Food Group, a subsidiary of Smithfield Foods, made the surprise visit as part of their partnership with Operation Homefront, a national non-profit organization that provides emergency financial assistance to the families of United States service members and wounded warriors.
The driver presented retired U.S. Army serviceman Scott Baier and his family with a gift package that included Eckrich products as well as Eckrich shirts and hats autographed by Almirola and Richard Petty Motorsports team owner and racing legend Richard Petty. Almirola also gave the family VIP passes to Sunday's Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
The Baiers also got a close-up look at Almirola's race car. Waiting outside their home was the No. 43 Eckrich Ford Fusion show car, decked out in the sponsor's logo colors and the Operation Homefront logo. Family members got to peek inside and take souvenir photographs with Almirola beside the car as curious neighbors looked on at the entertaining spectacle.
The Indianapolis race is the second of three races where the Eckrich paint scheme will adorn the No. 43 Ford. The third will be at Michigan International Speedway on August 19. Almirola, who was born on a U.S. Air Force base, feels a special connection to military causes like the Eckrich program with Operation Homefront and hopes that fans will show support, too.
"This is all about drawing attention to our military members and their families," said Almirola. "They give up so much, just so the rest of us can go about our daily lives feeling safe. Today we made a surprise visit to give some cool gifts and a great experience to the Baiers here in Indianapolis, but there are so many other military members and families that should be recognized and thanked as well. And we hope that by doing something like this, we'll get some other people interested in helping out too."
Eckrich has already donated $200,000 to Operation Homefront through the contribution of five cents from each purchase of specially marked products from May 1 through July 4. The company and Richard Petty Motorsports' No. 43 team also recently launched a coin collection program with a special bank made out of a race tire. The coin bank is traveling with the Eckrich show car to encourage fans to donate spare change to help military families. The bank will also be at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway this weekend and in Michigan next month.
"It's been wonderful how our partnership with Richard Petty Motorsports has helped elevate this cause," said Charles Gitkin, vice president, marketing, innovation and R&D for the John Morrell Food Group. "One thing we've seen in our efforts with the race team is that NASCAR fans are extremely appreciative of military families and the sacrifices that they make. So, if we can help showcase the good work that Operation Homefront is doing, then I think we can bring more support to this important cause."
Almirola and the No. 43 Eckrich Ford will compete in the Brickyard 400 Sunday afternoon. The race will be televised live by ESPN.
GoPro, the world’s most versatile camera, has been named title sponsor of the annual INDYCAR race at the raceway in Sonoma, officials announced today.
GoPro, based in the San Francisco Bay Area, has signed a three-year agreement with the raceway that extends through May, 2015. The GoPro Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma, which will take place Aug. 24-26 in 2012, will feature the best in open-wheel racing with high-profile drivers such as Dario Franchitti, Helio Castroneves and Will Power.
The agreement with the raceway in Sonoma is a perfect extension of the GoPro business model. GoPro is the official camera of the 2012 Global RallyCross Championship, as well a sponsor of current INDYCAR driver JR Hildebrand. The company, which sells products in more than 140 countries, is heavily engaged in the action-sports industry and features a high-profile athlete list that includes Olympic gold medalist Shaun White, among others.
“GoPro is a dynamic young company with a foot in some of the most exciting sports and entertainment entities in the world. We are delighted to welcome GoPro as sponsors of our IndyCar weekend and look forward to some terrific potential cross promotional opportunities that could grow from this relationship,” said Steve Page, president and general manager of the raceway.
GoPro, which will become the “Official Wearable and Gear Mountable Camera of the Raceway in Sonoma,” will receive signage and hospitality packages from the raceway, as well as the right to use the raceway name and logo for promotional purposes. GoPro will also receive display space at all raceway major events, including the annual NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event.
FAS Lane Racing is proud to announce that Special Operations for America (SOFA) will sponsor the team’s No. 32 Ford driven by Ken Schrader in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race this Sunday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway as part of their Public Awareness and Education Drive. The Special Operations for America name and logo will appear on the No. 32 hood and rear quarter panels along with the web site information and the message: “Join The Battle” in the running of the Crown Royal Curtiss Shaver 400.
“We welcome the opportunity to represent Special Operations for America within NASCAR and reach out to NASCAR fans nationwide,” stated FAS Lane Racing team owner Frank Stoddard. “NASCAR is such a powerful arena for programs such as this and it is a privilege that SOFA has chosen our race team as the vehicle to drive their message to millions. The race at historic Indianapolis Motor Speedway is one of our biggest races all year and we look to put on a good show with the No. 32 Special Operations for America Ford and Ken Schrader.”
Former Navy SEAL and Republican Montana State Sen. Ryan Zinke has launched a political action committee, Special Operations For America, that states its top goal as advocating real conservative and like-minded candidates who want to bring true leadership back to Washington and who believe in permanent and enduring American exceptionalism. The Crown Royal Curtiss Shaver 400 will be the start of a nationwide “Join the Battle” campaign by SOFA in reaching the hard working American voters prior to the November election.
“We’re proud to be part of NASCAR and this opportunity to reach millions of voters who share our time-honored, conservative values,” said Zinke -who was two-time member of the elite SEAL Team Six . “This is the type of grassroots effort that is needed in order to elect leaders who will restore America to its founding principles.”
The NASCAR HOTPASS lineup for the Crown Royal 400 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is as follows:
DIRECTV Channel 795:
Tony Stewart and the No. 14 Mobil 1/Office Depot Chevrolet team of Stewart-Haas Racing
Tony Stewart will make his 484th career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start and his 14th at Indianapolis Motor Speedway … Has two wins (2005 and 2007), one pole (2002) and nine top-10 finishes in 13 Sprint Cup starts at Indianapolis … Stewart has raced Sprint Cup cars (13x), Indy cars (5x) and IROC cars (3x) to earn a total of 21 Indianapolis starts … Stewart won his sixth career Sprint Cup pole for the 2002 Brickyard 400, and in doing so, became the first driver to have started from the pole and led the first lap in both the Indianapolis 500 (1996) and the Brickyard 400 … Stewart’s average speed for his Indianapolis 500 pole was 233.100 mph, while his Brickyard 400 pole came at 182.960 mph – a difference of more than 50 mph … The 41-year-old Columbus, Ind., native has won 47 races and has 275 top-10 finishes in 483 Sprint Cup starts … 2012 marks Stewart’s 14th full year in Sprint Cup and he won the points championship in 2002, 2005 and 2011 … Started 10th and finished 12th two weeks ago at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon … Ranks seventh in Sprint Cup points with three wins and nine top-10 finishes.
DIRECTV Channel 796:
Paul Menard and the No. 27 Menards-Nibco Chevrolet team of Richard Childress Racing
Paul Menard will make his 203rd career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start and his sixth at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway … Has one win (2011) and one top-10 finish in five Sprint Cup starts at Indianapolis … The 31-year-old Eau Claire, Wis., native has one win and 20 top-10 finishes in 202 Sprint Cup starts … 2012 marks Menard’s ninth season with at least one Sprint Cup start and he finished a career-best 17th in points in 2011 … Started 13th and finished 17th two weeks ago at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon … Ranks 15th in Sprint Cup points with four top-10 finishes.
DIRECTV Channel 797:
Kevin Harvick and the No. 29 Jimmy John’s Chevrolet team of Richard Childress Racing
Kevin Harvick will make his 414th career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start and his 12th at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway … Has one win (2003), one pole (2003) and seven top-10 finishes in 11 Sprint Cup starts at Indianapolis … The 36-year-old Bakersfield, Calif., native has 18 wins and 183 top-10 finishes in 413 Sprint Cup starts …Won 2001 and 2006 NASCAR Nationwide Series championships … 2012 marks Harvick’s 12th full year in Sprint Cup with a career-best points finish of third in 2010 … Started 12th and finished eighth two weeks ago at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon … Ranks sixth in Sprint Cup points with nine top-10 finishes.
DIRECTV Channel 798:
Dale Earnhardt Jr., and the No. 88 AMP Energy / National Guard Chevrolet team of Hendrick Motorsports
Dale Earnhardt Jr., will make his 455th career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start and his 13th at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway … Has two top-10 finishes in 12 career Sprint Cup starts at Indianapolis … The 37-year-old Kannapolis, N.C., native has won 19 races and has 176 top-10 finishes in 454 Sprint Cup starts … Won 1998 and 1999 NASCAR Nationwide Series championships … 2012 marks Earnhardt’s 13th full year in Sprint Cup with a career-best points finish of third in 2003 … Started ninth and finished fourth two weeks ago at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon … Ranks second in Sprint Cup points with one win and 14 top-10 finishes.
Thousands of race fans at Michigan International Speedway are annually touched by the Olympic Games – and they probably don’t even know it.
With Opening Ceremonies set to begin Friday, officially kicking off the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London, speedway Guest Services Director Tim Booth proudly reflects on the legacy the Games have had on Michigan International Speedway.
Much of the speedway’s tram fleet was used during the Summer Olympics in Atlanta in 1996. Shortly after those Olympic Games, MIS officials purchased the trams to transport race guests around the 1,400-acre facility.
The speedway’s full fleet of double-trailer trams, “nomads” and golf cars moves about 70,000 race fans and employees throughout a NASCAR event weekend. It’s a big task, considering recent surveys suggest more and more fans are hitching a tram ride.
But Booth, like any Olympian, is up for the challenge.
“It’s part of our vision here,” he said. “We work very hard to ensure race fans have a good time while they are at MIS and that they experience the very best in guest services. Transporting them to and from areas around the entire property is part of that process.”
Booth is always examining the wait time at tram stops, comfort of trams, safety of trams and enjoyment of the ride.
As a result, the speedway has invested in building two giant tram plazas in Turn 1 and Turn 4 to efficiently queue guests waiting for a tram, developed an electronic system to track tram stop wait times and installed PAs on the trams.
And that’s just the beginning.
Booth and his team of 175 tram drivers, tram ambassadors and guest services staffers are always looking for better ways to move guests.
“We are always trying to figure out the next ‘it’ thing for our tram service,” speedway President Roger Curtis says. “Our guests have high expectations so the challenge always for us is how to continue to deliver on our brand promise and vision ‘to create lasting memories for every person, every time.’”
Soon, guests on the north side of the property will notice a significantly less wait time in line and on the tram with a new route that has been created through a stretch inside the MISCamping.com Tree Farm Campground.
Other guests will notice a shaded Tram Plaza.
So what’s next for trams at MIS?
“We will always strive for something better as long as we have guests who need a ride,” Booth said.
Nestled in the lush Irish Hills of Southeastern Michigan, Michigan International Speedway is the Great Escape, a venerable NASCAR national park where fans can get away and enjoy the very best in racing and camaraderie. It’s the love of racing and the thrill of a great time for race fans and drivers alike.
Where's Waldo? 25th Anniversary Celebration Races On with Front Row Motorsports and Lionel NASCAR Collectables27 Jul 2012
Everyone's favorite globetrotter, Where's Waldo?®, has been known to pop-up wherever the action is and he's at it again! To celebrate his 25th anniversary, Classic Media, the driving force behind Where's Waldo? has partnered with Front Row Motorsports and Lionel NASCAR Collectables to have Waldo spotted on David Ragan's No. 34 Ford Fusion later this season, when the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series heads to Martinsville Speedway for the October 28th race weekend. In perhaps one of the most unique paint schemes in NASCAR history, the entire No. 34 Ford will transform into the iconic Where's Waldo? "On The Beach" scene that will then be rolled out as limited edition die-cast cars.
"We are pleased to partner with the top-tier team of Front Row Motorsports and driver David Ragan so fans can bring the search for Waldo at the NASCAR track," said Nicole Blake, EVP Global Marketing & Consumer Products, Classic Media. "Waldo typically travels on foot, so it is exciting that he now has his first set of wheels with the Where's Waldo? No. 34 car and the die-cast cars from Lionel NASCAR Collectables. You never know where Waldo will show up next!"
"Waldo is such a powerful icon," said David Ragan, driver of the No. 34 Ford. He continued, "from waiting rooms, to classrooms, to both road trips and afternoons at home, I think most of us have sat down and tried to find Waldo at least a few times. This is probably the most unique paint scheme I've ever had on one of my cars. A partnership with Where's Waldo? alone would have been very cool, but to have the entire car designed as an actual mural - that is just awesome," commented Ragan.
"We design die-cast for just about every team in NASCAR," said Howard Hitchcock, General Manager of Lionel NASCAR Collectables. "I can honestly say that this Where's Waldo? paint scheme is one of the most fun and interesting designs we've produced."
"I can picture Waldo enthusiasts and NASCAR fans from around the world sitting with their No. 34 die-cast in hand, searching for Waldo just as they would in one of the Where's Waldo? books," Hitchcock continued.
Fans can visit www.FrontRowMotorsports.com to learn more about the car and fans who wish to pre-order the No. 34 Where's Waldo? die-cast can visit the Lionel NASCAR Collectables web site at www.lionelnascarcollectables.com and the NASCAR.com Superstore at www.store.nascar.com.