A Smooth And Distinctive Start

Did you know that there is a common tie between the premier road racing series in the United States, a series pitting champions from seven different series against one another, and one of the best young drivers in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series?

That common tie is Crown Royal, the number one-selling Canadian Whisky that is known for its smooth and distinctive taste. Crown Royal enters the 2006 racing season as the presenting sponsor for the Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series, title sponsor of the International Race of Champions (IROC) Series, and primary sponsor of the No. 26 Roush Racing Ford Fusion driven by Jamie McMurray in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup series.

With all of Crown Royal Championship Racing’s interests beginning their seasons at the famed Daytona International Speedway during Speedweeks, the sponsor is proud to be an engrained part of the motorsports community not only because of the success that it has had in the past and is sure to continue into 2006 and beyond, but also because of the opportunity they will have to spread a very important message: "Be a Champion. Drink Responsibly."

"Our lineup, with its distinct history and consistent group of champions, continues to be the perfect platform to advance our 'Be a Champion. Drink Responsibly.’ campaign,'" said James Lorenz, Senior Brand Manager at Crown Royal.

Their newest addition, McMurray, couldn’t be happier to take over the seat at Roush Racing with a sponsor that has already built a relationship of historic firsts. Not only was Crown Royal the first spirits brand to become a team sponsor in 2004, but they were also the first spirit sponsor to win a race when they took the checkered flag at the Chevy Rock & Roll 400 on September 10, 2005 at Richmond International Speedway.

While focused on winning the NEXTEL Cup, the 29 year old driver is proud to be able to spread the message of responsible drinking throughout the upcoming season.

"One of the things the team is really big on is promoting responsible drinking. We have a lot of really cool promotions to help advance that cause, and I am really excited to help them with that," said McMurray, who was in position for a top-10 finish at the Daytona 500 until an accident late in the race forced him to settle for a 37th place finish.

"When you are involved with sponsors that are pretty big names like Crown Royal, it makes it fun."

Although McMurray was not able to finish as he had hoped, the Crown Royal team saw victory lane multiple times at the “World Center of Racing.” Matt Kenseth won the first round of the IROC series and the team of Casey Mears, Dan Wheldon and Scott Dixon claimed the checkered flag after the grueling Rolex 24 at Daytona.

Not a bad start for the 200-plus year old distilled spirit.

To keep up to date with Crown Royal Championship Racing and its "Be a Champion. Drink Responsibly." campaign, visit www.crownroyal.com.

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