Monday, April 27, 2009

Crown Royal and Russ Friedman ...the story!

Experts taken from an article written by Barbara Barker, Newsday

Crown Royal Presents the Russ Friedman 400 race at Richmond International Raceway. Now, how the heck did he get a race named for him?

Friedman is an Iraq war veteran who wants to honor the men and women in the armed forces who have served and still are serving their country overseas. So last year, when the Huntington Station resident heard about an essay contest to have a race named after a NASCAR fan, he decided to write about the two Purple Hearts he was awarded while on duty in Iraq with Marine Corps and how he would love to dedicate a race to those in the armed services.

"I entered and then sort of forgot about it,'' Friedman, 27, said. "Then I get this call saying I was a finalist and they wanted to fly me to the Daytona 500. I was shocked.''

During the Daytona 500 in February, it was announced that Friedman had beaten out the more than 5,000 NASCAR fans who entered the contest. The May 2 race is officially named the Crown Royal presents The Russell Friedman 400.

Friedman, a member of the Marine Corps Individual Ready Reserve, is a native New Yorker. Also, he’s a student at Nassau Community College where he’s studying to be a history teacher.

Friedmanis an avid NASCAR fan. He decorates his basement with NASCAR paraphernalia.It's a dream come true for Friedman, a NASCAR fan who is hoping that by sharing his story, it will help others remember those in the armed services.

Marie Friedman, his mother, will be among those attending the race Saturday. With everything her son has gone through, she said she is just thrilled that he is receiving this honor.

"You don't hear about the troops over there as much as you used to, and I think sometimes we feel that they've been forgotten,'' she said. "That's why he wanted to dedicate this race to everyone in the armed forces. He really is a special kid.''

This is exciting to the fashionistas for a bunch of different reasons. First, both Ally and I have Long Island ties and my family is from Nassau county. I was also involved with this Crown Royal contest for about 2 years. When Crown was in Daytona for the races in February and July, they would set up locations via my radio stations and I to gather stories for this contest. In truth, there was some really ridiculous stories that came out of those nights. I am sure you can imagine the Billy Bob renditions of how he lost his dog, his wife but had Crown Royal by his side to the tune of banjos in the background. Thankfully Mr. Darlynn didn't offer his rendition that we have enough Crown Royal bags to wallpaper our house. How thankful I am that Russell Friedman had a wonderful story making this contest viable and an actual "Crown Winning Moment". Congrats!

1 comment:

Jennifer McKenzie said...

Fantastic!!!! I'm so glad you posted this.