For a second straight year, the two-day long NASCAR Championship Drive returns to Miami for the conclusion to the 2011 NASCAR season on November 17th and 18th. A free Coca-Cola Racing Family Concert featuring Blake Shelton as the headline act will take place at Lummus Park, also serving as the official kickoff to the Ford Championship Weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
Launched last year in 2010, primarily as a thank you to the legion of loyal NASCAR fans the two-day NASCAR Championship Drive festival will feature live music, multiple driver appearances, a race hauler parade, and many other activities. New this year is a youth education program targeted to school-aged children in Miami-Dade County.
“The fan response last year made the first-ever NASCAR Championship Drive event on Miami Beach a huge success that we expect to build upon this year,” said NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France of the estimated two-day festival and concert crowd of over 20,000 fans at last year’s inaugural event. “When you combine NASCAR Championship Drive with another thrilling championship finish to the NASCAR season at Homestead-Miami Speedway, it’s a fantastic way to celebrate the exciting end to the NASCAR season in a way only South Florida can offer.”
The Coca-Cola Racing Family Concert at NASCAR Championship Drive featuring Blake Shelton, scheduled for the evening of Thursday, Nov. 17, highlights the first day festivities with a live performance by Shelton, reigning CMA “Male Vocalist of the Year” and five-time CMA nominee including a nod for their most prestigious honor, “Entertainer of the Year.” Shelton recently celebrated his fifth consecutive No. 1 hit with “God Gave Me You,” which is off his album Red River Blue.
The free concert is just another example of how a major sponsor can activate in NASCAR in both a successful and an innovative way. Coca-Cola has been involved with stock car racing for more than 50 years and has been the sparkling beverage of NASCAR since 1998; it’s long-term partnership currently runs through the 2017 season. The sponsorship of NASCAR’s signature longest event, the Coca-Cola 600, held annually at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, NC, plus the sponsorship of the July 4th Daytona night race – the Coke Zero 400 powered by Coca-Cola — are the company’s two stock car “crown jewels.” But the relationship also extends to 18 major tracks, making Coca-Cola the leading non-alcoholic beverage supplier for NASCAR-sanctioned facilities.
A signature part of the brand’s NASCAR association is the Coca-Cola Racing Family – a group of top drivers that includes Greg Biffle, Clint Bowyer, Kurt Busch, Jeff Burton, Denny Hamlin, Bobby Labonte, Joey Logano, Jamie McMurray, Ryan Newman and Tony Stewart. Coca-Cola also maintains relationships with drivers Kevin Harvick, David Ragan, and Elliott Sadler and with alumni drivers Dale Jarrett, Ned Jarrett, Kyle Petty and Michael Waltrip. Coca-Cola Racing Family members make appearances and are featured in advertising, promotions and packaging.
NASCAR Championship Drive begins midday on Thursday, Nov. 17 at Lummus Park, located along Ocean Drive in Miami Beach between 7th and 9th Streets and a full schedule is below.
“What better way to culminate an amazing NASCAR season than with an ice-cold Coca-Cola in hand,” said Sharon Byers, the company’s North American Vice President of marketing assets, “While singing and dancing side-by-side with your family and friends at the Coca-Cola Racing Family Concert on South Beach?”
I couldn’t agree more.
*NASCAR CHAMPIONSHIP DRIVE SCHEDULE*
*Thursday, Nov. 17 (all times are local)*
* Noon – Festival opens to public
* 1:00 PM – NASCAR Championship Contenders Press Conference
* 3:15 PM – NASCAR hauler parade – downtown Miami to Miami Beach
* 7:00 PM – Coca-Cola Racing Family Concert at NASCAR Championship Drive, featuring Blake Shelton
* 11:00 PM – Festival closes
*Friday, Nov. 18 (all times are local)*
* 10:00 AM – 5:30 PM – NASCAR Youth Fest
* Noon – Festival opens to public
* 4:00 PM – NASCAR Hot and Spicy Cook-off competition
* 7:00 PM – NASCAR race viewing party
* 10:00 PM – Festival closes
“Coca-Cola Racing Twitter”:https://twitter.com/#!/cocacolaracing
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