Posts tagged NASCAR
In any sport or career we look to work with the best. One of the new NASCAR drivers, Cole Whitt looks to follow that lead. Cole will pilot the Premium Motorsports No. 98 in the 2016 season with ongoing support from Speed Stick. Whitt and the No. 98 Speed Stick brand team made their first appearance on track at Las Vegas Motor Speedway this past weekend.
“I’m really excited and grateful for the opportunity to go racing with Premium Motorsports and continue my relationship with Speed Stick,” Whitt said. “Jay Robinson is a smart businessman and has grown his team the right way over the years, and I’m really looking forward to being a part of that growth. The 2015 season was great for me as a driver. We had some important personal victories and some areas where we’ll want to improve.”
The 24-year-old Whitt will enter his third full-time Sprint Cup Series season after progressively climbing the NASCAR racing ranks of the Nationwide, Camping World Truck and K&N series. The Alpine, California native made his transition to stock cars after an early career in open-wheel racing, which included a 2008 U.S. Auto Club National Midget championship.
Known for its line of high-performing antiperspirants and deodorants, Speed Stick previously sponsored Cole during his rookie and sophomore years and connected with fans by documenting the driver’s first race at the Daytona 500 through a unique, online video series.
In addition to this month’s Las Vegas Motor Speedway race, Speed Stick brand sponsored races this year will include high-profile events such as the 400-mile event at Kentucky Speedway in July, the Crown Royal 400 at the Brickyard at the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway also in July, and the Can-Am 500 at Phoenix International Raceway in November.
In the past I have had the privilege to meet some real life heroes. When Crown Royal asked me to cover the “Your Hero’s Name Here” a few years back I didn’t know what to expect. Besides meeting a ton of cool bloggers I was able to interact with some extraordinary people.
These people were men and women just like me, but went above and beyond to help their community. Whether it was here in the United States or around the world these heroes needed to have their story shared. That is where Crown Royal steps in with NASCAR and the Brickyard 400.
As the grand prize winner of Crown Royal’s annual “Your Hero’s Name Here” program, a deserving hero’s name will be etched in history with naming rights to the NASCAR race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 26th, 2015. This race will mark the ninth time Crown Royal has awarded race naming rights to an adult fan. The program focuses on all of the unsung heroes who make a difference in their communities, from firefighters and police officers to first responders and local volunteers. Every year five heroic finalists are nominated and through consumer voting, one winner is chosen to have their name cemented in sports history.
Those 21 years of age or older can go to CrownRoyalHeroes.com to vote for the hero they think is most deserving of naming rights to the race. With voting closing on June 7th help out the finalists receive as many votes as possible through CrownRoyalHeroes.com
To help you decide who to vote for watch below for their stories!
What creates doubt in your mind? Do you let it get to you? NASCAR driver, Cole Whitt knows what it is like when people are always doubting him. Some wrote Whitt off even after a successful rookie year. Cole did have a few challenges including off-season shoulder surgery, working with a new team, vehicle and crew – and of course the sophomore jinx.
Yet he is looking to defy any doubt. He is working with Men’s Speed Stick. Together they are celebrating the 2015 racing season with an exclusive, online sweepstakes to celebrate fans who mirror Whitt’s courage to step up in high-pressure moments. Whether it’s walking confidently into that big interview or climbing Mount Everest – any moment can be an opportunity to succeed and #DefytheDoubt.
Sounds cool right? You could be the lucky fan, selected on May 30, to attend a NASCAR race of your choice, meet Whitt and watch the action from pit row alongside Witt’s racing team. Want to enter? Here is how you do it!
To enter the #DefytheDoubt Speed Stick Sweepstakes you need to follow @SpeedStick on Twitter. Next tweet a photo showcasing ways they courageously prepare to step up and silence their doubters and use the hashtag #SpeedStickSweepsEntry
I’m not going to pretend to know Cole Whitt. I mean, how can you really get to know someone after two interviews and a weekend in Daytona? But I think I got a good read on the guy, and if I could use one phrase to describe him, I’d say that he’s approachably focused.
He’s equal parts humble and hungry. Whitt doesn’t carry himself like a superstar race car diva. He’s got work to put in and he welcomes that work. That doesn’t mean he won’t flash a big, genuine smile when meeting a fan or take time to answer silly questions from bloggers like me.
When you meet Cole, you sense quickly that he’s a private guy. Not a limelight seeker by any stretch. He prefers CrossFit and the outdoors to press rooms and podiums. Behind this surface of shyness, though, there’s a big heart and a ferocious sense of purpose. You don’t earn a nickname like the Ginger Lion by being a pansy.
It should be noted, that racing ain’t easy, man. Especially if you want to compete in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, the nation’s highest stock car division. It’s a taxing endeavor all around. You need financial backing from your teams and sponsors, and soul support from your family and crew. On a weekly basis, you have to overcome the physical rigors of driving hundreds of miles with inches separating you from disaster. Then there’s mental prep required to get your head right before, during and after competition.
This is some seriously stressful stuff, but the stakes are high, my friend. This year’s Daytona 500 had a purse of over $18 million. That’s a lot of coin for 43 drivers to chase in one day.
Thanks to our friends at Speed Stick, we were able to follow Cole Whitt’s full experience of the 2015 Daytona 500. Join us for a moment as we step into his racing shoes…
Imagine you’re a pocket-sized, 23-year-old professional driver entering your second full season in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. You’re a full-blown ginger and your height and weight aren’t listed on your NASCAR profile. The biggest expectations you have come from within. You’re confident, because you’ve been racing for more than half your life. There’s doubters all around, but not in your inner circle.
Your first season had its set of challenges. Your car got jacked up during practice at the Daytona 500 and there was no backup car available. Your team rallied to make repairs, just to get you into qualifying. With no guarantee that you’d even compete, you make up eight spots on the final five laps of your Budweiser Duel to secure entry in the 2014 Daytona 500.
You showed a ton of promise in your first full Sprint Cup season. You finished better than you qualified in three of every four races you entered. You created some rookie of the year buzz and things looked promising.
With little warning, your racing team shuts down operations in April. You switch teams to close the year out and it’s unclear who’ll have a spot for you next season. Shoulder surgery that cuts into your offseason prep, but at least you secured a spot a new team. With your second season set to begin, you find yourself back in Daytona needing to fight your way in again.
This is where the Ginger Lion stood, right before the Budweiser Duels. Running in the #35 car for Front Row Motorsports, Cole Whitt was on the outside looking in and needed a good showing to earn a spot in the Great American Race. It’s #DefyTheDoubt time for damn sure.
“I told all the guys, it’s like, everything kinda rides on the 500,” Whitt said after qualifying. “If we can get into the 500, from there, the pressure is a little bit off. We still got a lot of work to do for sure, don’t get me wrong. But missing this race could turn the whole career to the wrong side. It could make it pretty hard to get through the season.”
So, no pressure, right?
“I’ve been through this situation more times than I want to be. Last year was very stressful and this year was just as stressful. As far as I was concerned, we had to run top 15. And we did.”
Whitt’s strong finish in the Budweiser Duels meant that he punched his ticket into Daytona to start the 2015 season.
“To be able to lock ourselves in and get all three cars in and push Front Row down the right path, it’s going to be awesome. I look forward to see what we can do this year.”
Speed Stick gave us the opportunity to follow Whitt and his #DefyTheDoubt attitude around Daytona for an important weekend in his young career. Here’s the beat and video we put together to chronicle the experience:
The folks at Speed Stick shared this sweet video chronicling our boy Cole Whitt’s complete sophomore season in NASCAR. Check it out:
Valvoline announced the wide-scale availability of its Full Synthetic High Mileage motor oil with MaxLife technology. The lubricant offers drivers a superior level of engine protection that guards against the three major causes of engine stress: heat, deposits and wear.
Valvoline Full Synthetic High Mileage reflects the culmination of years of continued research, technology and innovation from the brand. Valvoline chemists have paired the company’s award-winning additive chemistry with premium synthetic base oils that meet its exacting standards. The result is a full synthetic formulation that is more durable and provides 40 percent more anti-wear film than Mobil 1 Synthetic, validated through a three stage evaluation process including lab bench tests, chemical analysis and engine wear tests.
In addition to providing more anti-wear film, Valvoline Full Synthetic High Mileage oil is proven to excel in numerous categories, including reduced fuel consumption, emissions systems compatibility, and suitability for all model years.
To bring this superior performance to life, Valvoline has launched www.SeeADifference.com, an online resource for drivers to learn more about how synthetic motor oil works, compare Valvoline Full Synthetic High Mileage and the leading competitor in a side-by-side assessment, and view a series of videos demonstrating Valvoline technology.
To further illustrate the superior protection of Valvoline Full Synthetic High Mileage, Valvoline enlisted the help of NASCAR driver Jimmie Johnson, who provides real-world analogies in the brand’s comedic “Jimmie the Scientist” video.
Valvoline Full Synthetic High Mileage is now available at AutoZone, Wal-Mart, Advance Auto Parts and Meijer. To learn more and to find a retailer near you, please visit www.SeeADifference.com.
Hendrick Motorsports driver Jimmie Johnson and the Hendrick Motorsports 48 pit crew team surprised the Independence High School football team in Charlotte, NC on behalf of the Gatorade Beat the Heat program.
Johnson and Gatorade look to educate athletes, parents and coaches on the importance of proper hydration to reduce heat-related illnesses during athletic events. Johnson, who is known as one of the most physically fit NASCAR drivers, even joined the team in some conditioning drills. You can check him hanging out with the team in the video below.
I’ll admit that I’m a city boy. Being born in Massachusetts and living in Los Angeles will do that to you. I’d go so far as to call myself a Yankee but I’m a Red Sox fan and can’t stomach it. In the northeast you root for professional team sports. You speak quickly and directly and regularly offend others. Distance is measured in minutes, time is currency and watching NASCAR and listening to country music is something that other people do. I do not say things like “y’all”, “race day” or “we have to get to the start line before they wave the green flag”.
At least I didn’t before this week.
Indianapolis isn’t exactly Arkansas but when NASCAR comes to town you’d never know it. Biscuits, gravy and twang for breakfast, smoked meat and greens for lunch. Country music and freedom rock ride the breeze and shirtless men with denim cutoffs are everywhere you look. Had she been there I would have had to restrain my beautiful wife from applying sunscreen to strangers.
I’m not joking.
Yet when the news came down that MANjr founder Chris Stout was unable to attend his 3rd consecutive Crown Royal 400 I leapt at the chance. If you’re even a casual follower of the lifestyle blogosphere you know that this annual event is one of the biggest invites of the year. Cryptic messages and hashtags bounce around twitter for months prior to the race. A #ReignOn here, a #teampurplecup there. Pictures and videos from trackside bubble up from some unlikely sources as dozens of bloggers descend upon the Indy Motor Speedway with fully credentialed hot passes hanging from their necks.
The purpose of this trip is to highlight Crown Royal’s sponsorship of the Brickyard 400. More importantly, Crown Royal’s “Your Hero’s Name Here” contest and winners. Every year Crown Royal holds a nationwide search for an everyday hero in someone’s life. They then name the Brickyard 400 after this person and help them tell their story to the world. This year’s winner was a man named John Wayne Walding. His story is one that deserves to be told.
John was a Green Beret. He fought in Iraq and then returned to combat duty in Afghanistan for another campaign. His medal chest holds a Silver Star, a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart. Should be enough, right? Not quite. While being a total bad ass in Shok Valley, Afghanistan, John took a snipers bullet to his leg with such force that it severed his leg below the knee.
John proceeded to tie his severed leg to his thigh and return fire for over 4 hours before he and his unit were extracted.
You got that right. Instead of laying on the ground and clutching at the space where his leg once was John tied his leg to his thigh and continued firing at the enemy for over 4 hours.
John’s heroism doesn’t stop there. Upon rescue and rehabilitation, John took his prosthetic leg and graduated from Special Forces Sniper School. He hand cycled the Boston Marathon in under two hours.
Did I mention he was born on the 4th of July?
John proceeded to start a rifle manufacturing company in Texas that hires wounded veterans and become an advocate for veterans with PTSD.
After seeing this man in action I came away impressed by more than a list of his achievements. John is a funny and generous man. His charisma and authenticity was on full display and he carried the day with grace and humility. A fine and worthy choice by Crown Royal as a hero among us.
The Race? As in the annual scavenger hunt and race I had been invited to attend? Well #TeamHailey was pretty stacked. We won the first challenge on the strength of Z Smith’s extensive NASCAR knowledge and finished second in the next thanks to DJ Foothill and Victor Macias leading us on a half mile jog back to the cart. So much for sitting behind a keyboard in safety, this years Capture the Crown was full contact. Don’t buy it? Ask Katherine Fotinos about her run in with a moving golf cart. By the time we were eliminated I was grateful for the rest.
Ohhh… that race. Right. Well now that I’m this big time NASCAR reporter I can tell you that Jeff Gordon won for the fifth time at the Brickyard, overtaking Hendrick Motorsports teammate Kasey Kahne on a restart with 17 laps to go. The visibly pumped Gordon later said that winning the race was “as good as it gets”. He lingered over the traditional kiss of the brick finish line with his family and seemed to relish the moment. The day itself was blessed by weather as violent thunderstorms spared the region. The sun even poked it’s head out for a spell.
A successful trip to say the least. Good times, great people and all the Crown Royal I could drink.
Responsibly of course.
Got a hero of your own to nominate? Keep your eye on MANjr for information on next years “Your Hero’s Name Here” contest.
Follow our exploits as we traipse around Indianapolis for the Crown Royal Presents the John Wayne Walding 400 at the Brickyard Powered by BigMachineRecords.com.
Say that all in one breath.
Lot of words. Let’s break it down. Brickyard 400, huge NASCAR race. John Wayne Walding, American hero. Crown Royal? Awesome drinking whisky. BigMachine Records.com? Sure why not, they paid for it.
I’ll be looking to reclaim the throne for MANjr founder and 2012 winner Chris Stout. What is this throne we speak of? The annual hub of all social media? The scavenger hunt to end all scavenger hunts? Check @manjrcom, #JWW400 and #ReignOn all weekend for some super VIP access to the race and the weekend’s festivities. Big prizes for winners the last few years and we’ll need that MANjr reader karma to pull it off again.
Wait? John Wayne? That John Wayne? No. Ten times better. John Wayne Walding is man who’s heroic actions on and off the battlefield remind us all of what kind of man we can all aspire to be. Sip on a few of Stouty’s original “Five Toes Texas Cooler” during the race and raise your glass to an American Hero, Mr. John Wayne Walding.
ExxonMobil is giving fans a chance to choose the helmet design that Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Mobil 1/Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet SS, will wear for the Pure Michigan 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on Aug. 17, 2014. The lucky winner will get to keep the newly designed helmet after the race.
Fans can visit the Mobil 1 Facebook page now through July 25, 2014 to view and vote for their favorites from five designs created by Stewart-Haas Racing. Participants will be allowed to cast one vote per day, and each vote will be an entry for a chance to win a chance to attend the Pure Michigan 400 with a friend.
“For many drivers, our helmet is something we take a lot of pride in,” said Stewart. “I have a helmet collection of my own, so I’m helping give fans a chance to start their own collection. I know my fans have good taste and I can’t wait to see what design they pick.”
The winning helmet design will be unveiled on the Facebook page on Mon., July 28, and the lucky sweepstakes winner will be announced soon after.
Helmet designs and styles have a storied history in the sport. The first helmets used by NASCAR drivers were of a design called a Cromwell, which basically looked like a hardhat attached over the ears and under the chin with a leather strap. Today, drivers’ helmets are brightly painted to promote sponsors, teams and special events – and resemble vibrant works of art.
For more information about Race to the Helmet, visit Facebook.com/Mobil1 or Mobil1.us.
Back in the spring, our friends from Valvoline hooked us up with an amazing trip as part of their Reinvention Project campaign. The Reinvention Project celebrated Vavloline’s 140th anniversary and the official partnership of the company that invented motor oil and Hendrick Motorsports, the Rick Hendrick-led four-car auto racing team responsible for winning the last five Sprint Cup races. It was a unique competition that pitted Jimmie Johnson and Dale Earnhardt Jr. in a head-to-head battle to restore two classic trucks (with the help and resources of the full Hedrick Motorsports team) and clash these modified monsters in a series of exciting challenges.
Fans were encouraged to follow all the restoration action, vote on their favorite ride and even build their own custom truck at ReinventionProject.com. Footage of the restoration and subsequent competition can also be viewed at the official site.
Jimmie started off with a ’55 Chevy truck and Junior rolled with a C10 from his birth year, 1974. Each truck was modified with an LS3 Corvette V-8 engine and a 4L60 transmission with a limited-slip rear differential. The suspension of each ride was also modified to improve overall handling.
I got an inside look at the Valvoline Reinvention Project when I visited Charlotte in the spring. Before the media trip, Valvoline sent out a survey asking what my level of expertise was when it came to overall car handiness. I answered honestly. On a scale of 1 to 10, I’m about a zero when it comes to overall auto mechanic know-how.
I mean, I know how to change a tire and check my oil. I’m not an animal. But I’m by no means an all-star mechanic either. I’ve never changed my own oil. Never really repaired my own car. I know enough to know I don’t know nearly enough to fix things myself. So yea, in short, when it comes to cars, I basically have no idea what I’m doing.
But that was the old me. That was before I represented #TeamJimmie in an engine building competition that was held at the Hendrick Motorsports Headquarters in Charlotte, North Carolina. Not only did I get to rebuild a NASCAR engine, I also got to see these two sweetly restored rides up close and personal (complete with a #TeamJimmie ride along) and watch as Jimmie and Dale battled through a series of burnouts, drag races and autocross runs. Check out the video:
These two trucks were absolutely gorgeous, and they weren’t just build for show. I was partial to Jimmie’s ’55 Chevy, but then again, I had to represent #TeamJimmie, so maybe I was a bit biased. There was just something to the voluptuous, curvilinear lines on that truck. Just timeless appeal all around. Check the photos of these shiny, well-restored, suped-up beasts below. They’re pretty.
One of the major highlights of the trip was a tour of Rick Hendrick’s private car collection. I’ve never seen so many gorgeous cars in my life. Wall to wall Corvettes. Muscle cars from every conceivable era. It was borderline obscene. I don’t know how the man could possibly keep track of all the cars in the collection. Every one of them restored to flawless condition, too. They need to include a box of Kleenex on the tour, because the site of that many amazing cars in one spot is enough to make any grown man cry.
So yea, I’m pretty much qualified to be an official NASCAR pit crew member at this stage. Haven’t gotten any calls so far, but I’m ready if need be. Who knows, I may even change my own oil soon. I’ll be putting in some Valvoline NextGen in my ride either way!