Saturday, August 3, 2013

Pride Runs Deep – Crown Royal “Heroes”

NASCAR Race Mom has just gotten back on track (pardon the pun) after an awesome weekend participating in the 3rd annual ‘Capture the Crown’ at the Crown Royal Presents the Samuel Deeds 400 at The Brickyard Powered by

The ‘Capture the Crown’ bloggers and their Coaches; great people all.
NASCAR Race Mom is center. (Photo by@tracypendergast)
‘Capture the Crown’ is a mad dash scavenger hunt, where teams of bloggers earn points for each task they complete. Along with my teammates, David Dennis (@DavidDTSS); Francisco Lopez (@sysko212); and Vashti Hurt (@dahurtlocktress); “Team Christina” had a blast as we navigated through the challenges which were sorted into three different categories: NASCAR, Crown Royal, and Heroes.

While not winning the big prize, an all-expense paid trip to New York for the 2014 Super Bowl stung just a tad . . . . There were no losers during race weekend.

The Crown Royal Presents the Samuel Deeds 400 at The Brickyard Powered
by is run on the 2.5-mile oval.
As a guest of Crown Royal, NASCAR Race Mom had complete access to everything at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Our weekend was filled with fun and exciting activities:

  1. A Crown Royal Whisky tasting during a fine dinner at Mo’s (Both yummy);
  2. Pace Car Ride in the Impala pace car;
  3. Watching the race from the Crown Royal Pagoda Suite (Drinking responsibly of course!);
  4. A V.I.P. Justin Moore concert and later Meet & Greet;
  5. “Hot Pass” that allowed full access into the pits and garages;
  6. A tour of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Garages.

Our driver, Stefan Wilson, a Firestone Indy Lights driver
and Justin Wilson’s younger brother hit speeds of 120 mph on our pace car ride.

Some of our Scavenger Hunt Tasks included:
  1. Capturing a photo of a fan in Crown Royal purple (Easy to do);
  2. A game of "Corn Hole" with tailgaters (Lots of fun);
  3. Finding a race fan named Samuel Deeds (Impossible);
  4. Securing an autograph from a NASCAR driver;
  5. Putting together a Crown Royal puzzle (Very frustrating);
  6. Getting a retweet from a media member.

NASCAR Race Mom and Nationwide Series Driver, Blake Koch.
Of course, one should not forget why we were all there. The big race on July 28, 2013 was the highlight of Crown Royal's annual "Your Hero's Name Here" program and marked the seventh time Crown Royal had awarded race naming rights to an adult fan.

After receiving thousands of entries during the nomination period, five heroes were chosen as finalists and adult fans had the opportunity to cast their votes for the person they felt was most deserving of the honor.

April and Samuel Deeds interviewed after their pace car “hot lap.”
As the winner of the "Your Hero's Name Here" program, Samuel Deeds (@marinegunney) and his wife April (@April_Deeds) participated in a VIP race weekend experience which included delivering the trophy bearing his name to the race winner in Victory Lane, and participating in the “kissing the bricks” ceremony following the race!

NASCAR Race Mom think that Samuel Deeds* stated it best,

 “This weekend means everything to me. I have been looking for a way to honor the guys that I served with who are no longer here, and this is way beyond anything I could have come up with.”

It was very satisfying to witness Mr. Deeds’ joy as he received the celebrity treatment all weekend. He stopped to sign autographs and was introduced to the crowd by Justin Moore during the concert.

However, do you remember how earlier NASCAR Race Mom stated that there were no losers at the race? The other four heroes chosen as finalists were also treated to the Crown Royal Presents the Samuel Deeds 400 at The Brickyard Powered by!

It was a pleasure to spend time with each of them: Deputy Marshal Stephen Brady; American Widow Project founder Taryn Davis; Firefighter Kenneth Kurth; and LAPD Officer Deon Joseph. NASCAR Race Mom gained an extra appreciation for their sacrifices as us bloggers learned more about their patriotism and devotion.

NASCAR Driver Kurt Busch lifts $10,000 check, money
raise by free downloads of Moore’s “Heroes” song.
During Saturday’s concert, Deeds was joined on stage by NASCAR Sprint Cup Driver Kurt Busch as Crown Royal presented a $10,000 check to the Armed Forces Foundation. The check represented the dollar awarded for every free download of Heroes leading up to the race. NASCAR Race Mom felt a sense of pride and well-being as the concert crowd chanted, “USA” enthusiastically as Country Western Star Justin Moore belted out the Heroes song.

A born and bred Hoosier, race winner Ryan Newman revered Indianapolis Motor Speedway. It was very special to watch the hometown boy hold off challenger Jimmy Johnson for his first Brickyard win.

Hometown boy, Ryan Newman and his winning team
doing the “hat dance” in Victory Lane.
Spending time at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway has long been on this NASCAR fan’s bucket list. However, never in my wildest dream did I imagine that I would do so in such style. NASCAR Race Mom gives huge thanks to Crown Royal, Taylor Strategy, Team Coach Christina, Samuel and April Deeds, and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for making NASCAR Race Mom’s experience at the Crown Royal Presents the Samuel Deeds 400 at The Brickyard Powered by amazing and unforgettable. It was wonderful catching up with old friends and making new friends as well.

However, more importantly, a thanks is due to Crown Royal for a program that recognizes and honors everyday heroes -- whether it be a police man, fire fighter, or military personnel . . . . by crowning that hero the weekend's big race namesake. This program focused on and encourages all of the unsung heroes who make a difference in their communities!

Spending time with Gunnery Sgt. Samuel Deeds was both an honor and a pleasure.
* While deployed in Iraq in 2005, Gunnery Sgt. Samuel Deeds came across an improvised explosive device (IED) while setting up a vehicle checkpoint. Upon seeing fellow Marines approaching, he exposed himself to the device, risking his own life to save others. He was severely injured and underwent more than thirty surgeries before recovering. Three years later, while still recovering, his instincts kicked in when he saved the lives of three individuals caught in a rip tide off the coast of North Carolina.

**I must say just one more thing about my weekend. Before this race event, NASCAR Race Mom had heard about Crown Royal Maple, but had never tasted it. I thought it would be too sweet. Well, I was wrong; its nice maple finish makes this the perfect whiskey to drink neat. Crown Royal Maple quickly became my favorite.

Please, remember to drink responsibly and enjoy! 

Additional Photos:

A Crown Royal Manhattan Toast to a wonderful NASCAR Race weekend.
NASCAR Race Mom is as colorful as Kyle Busch’s car practicing in the background.
This NASCAR Freak had to get that photo
by the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Bricks.
The 55 Toyota of Driver Mark Martin going through tech.
Martin is 54 years young.
NASCAR Race Mom enjoying the Garage Tour.
NASCAR Officials insuring all is fair and safe.
This is what a Happy NASCAR fan looks like.
Excellent "Hot Pass" Access.
Newman became one of just eight drivers with wins
in both the Brickyard 400 and the Daytona 500.
The #39 during his celebratory burnout;
photo taken from the Crown Royal Pagoda Suite.
Happy ending to a long NASCAR Race Weekend
NASCAR Race Mom became a huge Justin Moore fan.
The crowd chants "USA" during the Moore Concert.
The Justin Moore Concert before the Crown Royal Presents the Samuel Deeds 400
at The Brickyard Powered by
Great Food at Mo’s Restaurant.
Tremendous view from the Crown Royal Pagoda Suite.
Justin Cole Moore’s “Off The Beaten Path” hits stores on 9/17.

Pride Runs Deep Purple #crownHeroes


idahomom said...

Great job Crown Royal honoring Nascar and American Heroes. It looks like a good time was had by all.

Carol Moore said...

Wow. What some awesome pictures and memories. You look like you had an awesome time.

Unknown said...

Thanks for sharing your photos and story. That was sure an action-packed experience!

Unknown said...


Unknown said...

Awesome pictures, great blog. the Food at Mo's looks good too.

Ann Mollica Feliciano said...

These are some wonderful pictures and such memories that you will treasure for your lifetime! A true fan!

Ariane Bowie said...

Great Blog! Awesome pictures and fantastic information!

DJ said...

It was a great weekend.

Melissa said...

Awesome Blog! Thank you for sharing your Great Experience with us, You're pictures are AMAZING! Felt like I was there too!

Jill Kathan said...

Sounds so fun!!! THX for sharing!

tiffany said...

great pics!

Fru Tyge said...

Thanks for sharing all this with us :-D Great blog!

Patricia MacLeod said...

Thanks for sharing, Love It.

Skunkmom said...

Magnificent Memories for you, along with all the awesome photos.
Would love one day to experience something like this.