Country music's leading record label, Big Machine Records, earned its second Indy 500 championship on Sunday when IndyCar driver Dario Franchitti raced into Victory Lane for the third time in his career. Big Machine Records sponsored Franchitti who sported the Big Machine Records logo on his helmet and firesuit. The race, which aired nationally on ABC, is known as the second most watched sporting event in the United States each year.
The win comes just one year after Big Machine Records sponsored the late Dan Wheldon's winning car at the 2011Indy 500.
Big Machine Records had a prominent presence at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday through various Indy 500 sponsorships and entertainment activations. The record label, home to superstars such as Martina McBride, Taylor Swift, Tim McGraw, and Rascal Flatts, provided fans with pre-race entertainment and distributed over 250,000 white Big Machine Records-branded sunglasses to honor last year's Indy 500 winner Dan Wheldon. Fans were asked to wear the sunglasses on laps 26 and 98, which are the numbers of the Wheldon's winning Indy 500 cars in 2005 and 2011, respectively.
Big Machine Label Group/Republic Nashville recording artist Martina McBride kicked off the racing event by performing the National Anthem in front of a crowd of almost 350,000 spectators. McBride gave a chilling and momentous rendition of the anthem that brought tears to many eyes and earned her roaring applause from the overzealous crowd. In honor of the late Dan Wheldon, McBride wore a Dan Wheldon championship ring on her right hand during her performance, paying tribute to both Wheldon and his family.
"I felt so excited and proud to be performing our anthem, especially since I was surrounded by so many of our military men and women. I was also wearing the championship ring from Dan Wheldon's win last year and that was really special," said McBride. "It was an honor to be a part of the tradition of the Indianapolis 500."
Big Machine Label Group President/CEO and racing aficionado Scott Borchetta was on location at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway to experience the win firsthand. Borchetta tweeted from his Twitter account @ScottBorchetta all weekend, where he was spotted with Country stars Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood on Friday night.
"This is truly an unbelievable moment. Dario and I have become friends over the last year directly due to my relationship to Dan Wheldon which lead to today's partnership. Dario's brilliant drive today will serve as one of the all-time great finishes for the world's biggest and most important race," said Borchetta. "We all had our white sunglasses on in tribute to Dan and Dario joked with me in Victory Lane that Dan was certainly looking down on us with a huge smile and likely having a great laugh that a quarter of a million people wore white sunglasses at today's 500.Tears of joy and celebration."
Big Machine Records will return to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in July for the "Crown Royal Presents the “Your Hero’s Name Here” 400 at the Brickyard Powered by BigMachineRecords.com." The race weekend will treat fans to a special concert before drivers start their engines, featuring Country music stars The Band Perry, Justin Moore, The Mavericks, Greg Bates and others.
Last year's "Brickyard 400 presented by Big Machine Records.com," created a unique festival environment at the track and was the first time a record label has ever presented a nationally-televised race in the 100-year history.
For ticketing and additional information visit indianapolismotorspeedway.com.
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