Indianapolis Motor Speedway was the site of the 20th Annual Crown Royal Presents the Samuel Deeds 400 at the Brickyard Powered by Big Machine Records. Ryan Newman did set a new track record when he finished in first place qualifying for the pole. Having secured the first spot in the race proved advantageous for Newman since he was the winner in Indianapolis.
The race was not that cut and dry though. Jimmie Johnson did lead for most of the race, but the three caution flags during the race all for stalled cars made things a bit tricky for all the drivers. In the end though Ryan Newman, who is from Indiana, was able to get the checkered flag.
Another winner that day was Gunnery Sergeant Samuel Deeds. He was this year’s namesake for the race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Deeds was able to present Newman with the trophy at Victory Lane. He rode in the pace car before the race. Plus, Deeds along with Newman was able to kiss the bricks, which is one of the great traditions at the Brickyard.
As a supporter of our solders I had the honor to interview Deeds a few weeks back. If you read my interview with Samuel, you know that he is a big NASCAR fan. When I asked Samuel if he followed the sport he replied, “I’m a huge NASCAR fan. I’ve been watching since the mid-80s. My favorite driver is Dale Earnhardt Sr. These days I like Kevin Harvick because of his passion and drive for the sport and Kurt Busch for all that he does for our military men and women and everything that he does to bring awareness to Post Traumatic Stress and Traumatic Brain Injury.”
Samuel Deeds won the Crown Royal “Your Hero’s Name Here” program, which entitled him to live a NASCAR fan’s dream. Sam was entered into the contest by his wife. Sam risked his own life both in Iraq while in the Marines as well as here in the United States when he was on vacation with his family. You can read his entire story here. As the winner of that promotion he and his wife were able to get the ultimate NASCAR experience the entire weekend. This was an honor that he definitely deserved.
Saturday night country singer Justin Moore performed in front of a large crowd. He electrified the crowd as he rocked all the way into the night. He also had a small concert Sunday before the race. Along with Moore, Laura Bell Bundy, Cassadee Pope and The Cadillac Three all performed that weekend.
I was able to check out the race from all angles that weekend. I was in the pits as well as the stands taking in all the action from the Brickyard during the race. If you have never been to the Brickyard or a NASCAR race, make sure you put that on your bucket list. Just make sure you bring ear plugs. Trust me!
In addition to checking out the race I took in many of the festivities that weekend. Part of the festivities was being able to check out the ceremony that Crown Royal, NASCAR, and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway had for Samuel Deeds and the other four finalists of the “Your Hero’s Name Here” program. I heard the wonderful stories of all the finalists and what they do day in and day out to help make the United States a great country.
I was able to participate in a scavenger hunt from Crown Royal called Capture the Crown. Part of that event had me stuff goody bags for our soldiers overseas. In those bags I was able to write a quick note thanking our brave men and women in our military.
It was a great weekend and I will never forget the time that I had at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway this year. Slowly, but surely I think I am becoming a bigger fan of NASCAR each time I go to see a race.