Samuel Deeds

Crown Royal invited 20 bloggers, including myself, to Indianapolis Indiana to compete in this year’s Capture the Crown event at the famous Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS). It was basically a scavenger hunt on steroids where we were put in teams of 4 and got to race around the entire track looking for answers. After two days of this I can proudly say I know the IMS track like it was the back of my hand.

While attempting to come up with a blog post trying to explain my crazy weekend I came up short. It feels nearly impossible to convey all of what happened in a 300-words or less article. So with taking note from everyone’s favorite time-suck, Buzzfeed, I decided to create a list compiling my top 5 highlights from this year’s Capture the Crown event. Enjoy!

1. Meeting the Hero, Samuel Deeds

Samuel Deeds and JoesDaily

Each year the Canadian whisky brand Crown Royal chooses one person to be the namesake of their NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at the Brickyard 400. This year the lucky winner chosen was U.S Gunnery Sergeant Samuel Deeds. Not only does he get the Nascar VIP experience, but the race is named after him: Crown Royal Presents the Samuel Deeds 400 at the Brickyard.

I had the pleasure of getting to know Mr. Deeds (Oh, Adam Sandler) and his lovely wife throughout the weekend. He became a local celebrity and enjoyed every minute of it. Now some of you might be saying, “Damn, he’s lucky, how do I sign up?”. Well rest assure, Samuel Deeds didn’t get picked out of a lottery. He’s being recognized as a real hero, and rightfully so I might add.

While deployed in Iraq, Deeds came across an improvised explosive device (IED) while setting up a vehicle checkpoint. Upon seeing fellow Marines approaching, he exposed himself to the device, risking his own life to save others. He was severely injured and underwent more than 30 surgeries and procedures following the blast. Three years later, while still recovering, Deeds’ heroic instincts took charge once again when he saved the lives of three individuals caught in a rip tide off the coast of North Carolina.

2. Riding in the Pace Car

I’m pretty sure the title speaks for itself. Myself and a few other bloggers had the opportunity to jump in the pace cars before the race started and cruise around the track clocking in around 120 mph. I recorded a video that I might upload to YouTube but sadly, it doesn’t do it justice. The track is huge and yet the trip around it felt as if I blinked and we were done. FAST FAST FAST!

3. Access to Everywhere!

Brickyard 400 Hot Passes

One of the perks of doing what I do is you get access to practically everywhere when you flash your media badge. All of the bloggers were rocking HOT badges around their necks that basically tell the IMS security to let us pass. The speedway is very VERY big, and I’m pretty certain I covered the entire thing: The pits, garages, trailers, merchandise, Pagoda Suites, etc. You name it, I was there!

4. Crown Royal is a New Favorite

Crown Royal Bottles

I’m a huge fan of Diageo, the manufacture that handles most, if not all of my favorite alcoholic beverages like Johnnie Walker. I wasn’t aware that they owned Crown Royal until this past weekend and can honestly say I’m a new fan. We had the opportunity to not only try all 5-variants of the Canadian whisky, but also experience it with our very own whisky master.

5. Seeing Justin Moore LIVE

I never thought I would be admitting to liking Country music but this trip has made me a true believer. Or maybe it was the five sweet tea and Maple Crown Royals I sucked down. Nevertheless I enjoyed seeing Justin Moore LIVE and by the looks of the crowd lip-synching his hit, “Bait a Hook”, I think they did too.

Pro Tip: NEVER let anyone in Indiana know you can’t bait a hook.. NEVER!