Country Music Star Rodney Atkins to Perform Saturday Pre-Race Concert

Crown Royal and Richmond International Raceway To Host Concert Prior to Sprint Cup Series Race

Atkins
One can always find their fair share of Patriotism at a NASCAR event but when Rodney Atkins takes the stage in Richmond, it will be at an all-time high. Continuing his ongoing partnership with Crown Royal to salute those who proudly serve, country music artist Rodney Atkins will honor military hero United States Marine Corps Staff Sergeant (SSgt.) Matthew Hansen, in an hour-long concert prior to the Crown Royal Presents The Matthew & Daniel Hansen 400 at Richmond International Raceway on Saturday, April 30.

Ticketholders who are 21 years of age and older will have the opportunity to view the concert on the frontstretch of America’s Premier Short Track. To receive passes for on-track access, ticketholders are invited to visit a booth located in the white VIBE tent on the midway, adjacent to the Old Dominion Building on Saturday, April 30, where they will receive a Crown Royal t-shirt and a lanyard, providing them access to the stage area for the concert. Ticketholders who do not have on-track access passes can still experience the concert from the grandstands.

“I look forward to kicking off the race weekend in Richmond with a live performance to honor Matthew and Daniel Hansen and all military members who put their lives on the line every day so that we may enjoy freedom,” said Atkins. “It’s an honor to have the opportunity to entertain race fans and have them join me in thanking our country’s heroes for their efforts here and overseas.”

Most recently, Atkins performed his hit song “These are My People” in front of fans and members of the NASCAR community in the Daytona International Speedway FANZONE and unveiled Matthew Hansen as the grand-prize winner of the annual Crown Royal “Your Name Here” 400 program. As Atkins began the song, he included the Hansen brothers’ names to unveil the winner, singing “Matthew and Daniel Hansen on the radio.” Fans can now hear Atkins on the radio with his new single “Take A Back Road,” which was released last week.

Traditionally, the race at Richmond International Raceway has donned the first and last name of the grand-prize winner, but the April 30th NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race will not just recognize Matthew, but also his identical twin brother and fellow Marine, Daniel, who was killed in action Feb. 14, 2009.

“It is a pleasure to have one of country music’s favorite stars take center stage to provide NASCAR fans with a top notch experience at America’s Premier Short Track,” said Yvonne Briese, Crown Royal Brand Director. “It is a perfect way to start a memorable weekend to recognize the brave men and women who serve our country.”

The Rodney Atkins pre-race concert will be a rocking prelude to the Crown Royal Presents The Matthew & Daniel Hansen 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on Saturday night, April 30.

“We are excited to have Rodney take the stage and honor Matthew and Daniel Hansen, our service men and women and Crown Royal,” said Richmond International Raceway president Doug Fritz. “It’s going to be a great night, kicked off by Rodney’s performance.”

Be here to witness “Racing Perfection,” as hometown hero Denny Hamlin, defending series champion Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Gordon, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and all of the stars of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series battle it out “under the lights.” Tickets start at $45 and can be purchased by clicking here or calling 866-455-7223.

Throughout the weekend, Crown Royal reminds fans to "Please Drink Responsibly” and assign a designated driver.

About Diageo
Diageo is the world's leading premium drinks business with an outstanding collection of beverage alcohol brands across spirits, beer and wine. These brands include Johnnie Walker, Crown Royal, JεB, Windsor, Buchanan’s and Bushmills whiskies, Smirnoff, Cîroc and Ketel One vodkas, Baileys, Captain Morgan, Jose Cuervo, Tanqueray and Guinness.

Diageo is a global company, with its products sold in more than 180 countries around the world. The company is listed on both the New York Stock Exchange (DEO) and the London Stock Exchange (DGE). For more information about Diageo, its people, brands, and performance, visit us at Diageo.com. For our global resource that promotes responsible drinking through the sharing of best practice tools, information and initiatives, visit DRINKiQ.com.

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About Rodney Atkins
Curb Records recording artist Rodney Atkins has been successfully leading the country music charts and selling albums since his career began in 2006 when he hit the scene with his first number one, “If You’re Going Through Hell,” which was also the Number One Country Song of the Year according to Billboard in 2006. The East Tennessee native has recorded three studio albums, Honesty, If You’re Going Through Hell and It’s America and charted seven Top 20 singles including five number one’s: “If You’re Going Through Hell,” “Watching You,” “These Are My People,” “Cleaning This Gun (Come On In),” and “It’s America.” Atkins’ current single “Farmer’s Daughter” tore up the charts and kept the “buy” button at iTunes steady.

Atkins recently released an exclusive album with Cracker Barrel that features four number one hits including “Farmer’s Daughter” and an unreleased song. Atkins was the 2010 spokesman for the National Council for Adoption and is heavily involved within the organization. He was also the 2010 spokesman for the Chevy Silverado. Kraft Velveeta sponsored his “Best Side of Dinner” tour last summer and he was featured as the writer/singer on the national ad campaign for Velveeta Shells and Cheese. For more information on Rodney Atkins, visit www.rodneyatkins.com.

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