Big Machine Records is officially the first record label to have ever presented a nationally televised race in the 100-year history of the legendary Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
The 2011 Brickyard 400 presented by BigMachineRecords.com concluded Sunday afternoon with a triumphant victory by racecar driver Paul Menard and his Richard Childress Racing Team.
As a result of Big Machine’s unique and innovative partnership with the Speedway, the label provided over 115,000 NASCAR fans with LIVE performances by some of Music City’s brightest superstars including Rascal Flatts, Reba, The Band Perry, Justin Moore, Brantley Gilbert and Thomas Rhett. “This is a very special day for our label, our artists, Country music fans and racing fans alike,” exclaimed Big Machine Label Group President & CEO Scott Borchetta over the Speedway’s sound system shortly before the race began. “We couldn’t be more proud to be a part of this iconic event at the famous Brickyard.”
The day kicked off with LIVE performances by Justin Moore, The Band Perry, Brantley Gilbert and Thomas Rhett at the “Brickfest Stage” just north of the track. Thousands of music and racing fans welcomed their favorite artists to the stage and sang along to a bevy of #1 songs on the beautiful Indiana summer day.
Just before noon, Multi-Platinum-selling group Rascal Flatts offered up a powerhouse performance for fans on the famous Indianapolis Motor Speedway front stretch. The band performed some of their renowned hits including “Life Is a Highway,” “I Won’t Let Go,” and “Fast Cars and Freedom.” Their performance of “Life Is A Highway” aired nationally on ESPN just minutes before the race.
During the group’s performance of “Red Camaro,” 2011 Indy 500 winner Dan Wheldon and Borchetta completed a lap around the track in Rascal Flatt’s custom red Chevrolet Camaro designed by West Coast Customs. The lap was a reunion of sorts for Wheldon and Borchetta given Big Machine Records was a sponsor of Wheldon’s winning car at this year’s Indy 500.
Country music icon and multimedia superstar Reba participated in the pre-race activities for the day, performing “America the Beautiful” from the track’s historic Victory Podium. Rascal Flatts then took the podium spotlight with a harmonious and dynamic version of the National Anthem and earned an approving roar from the patriotic crowd.
Minutes later, on the opposite side of the track, Borchetta climbed the elevated podium with the starter flag in hand. As the racecars finished their final pace car lap, Borchetta waved the distinguished green flag with much gusto and excitement, signaling to the drivers and spectators that the race had officially begun.
Taking the lead and crossing the finish line after a grueling 160 laps, Paul Menard was officially declared the winner of the 2011 Brickyard 400 presented by BigMachineRecords.com. Borchetta, Sandi Spika Borchetta, Reba and Justin Moore immediately joined the first-time Brickyard winner in Victory Lane where they presented him with the iconic Brickyard 400 trophy. The group, along with Menard’s racing team and NASCAR executives, took to the track and “kissed the bricks” — a special, longtime NASCAR tradition where the race’s winners kneel down and kiss the historic yard of bricks from the Speedway’s original track.
Reba had the final word over the Speedway’s public announcement system when she was handed the microphone and said, “I would just like to say you all are the most loyal fans - just like Country Music fans! We cannot thank you enough for your generous hospitality. This was a great day for us all!”