Walmart, Pocono pair up for Fan Driven 400
March 17, 2013, Holly Cain, NASCAR.com
For a racing facility so steeped in tradition, the family-owned Pocono Raceway is proving itself as progressive and hip as any venue in NASCAR.
Pocono Raceway President Brandon Igdalsky -- the track’s third-generation caretaker -- says it’s a pretty simple formula instilled in him long ago that begins and ends with the fans.
So for the first time ever, fans will be directly influencing the June 9 “Fan Driven 400” NASCAR weekend at the famed 2.5-mile triangle.
Through a special partnership with Walmart, fans will chose the name of the race, select a pace car design and even decide what kind of pierogies the concession stand will sell.
"This opportunity really is giving back to the fans and taking it to the next level."
--Brandon Igdalsky, President, Pocono Raceway
“We’re all fans of racing to begin with,” Igdalsky said. “We do things in the way of, ‘How would we like to be treated?’ That’s how we position ourselves.
“This opportunity really is giving back to the fans and taking it to the next level.”
Igdalsky said the track has been working with Walmart and NASCAR since last fall to come up with a unique fan initiative. And with the success of The Sprint Unlimited in February at Daytona, he is encouraged about the possibilities at his family’s track.
“What that does is validates that we’re going in the right direction,” Igdalsky said.
“I think we’re having fun. One of the cultures my brother (Nick, Senior Vice President, Pocono Raceway) and I try to instill in everyone is, you know what, this is sports. If we’re not having fun, then what the heck are we doing it for?
“If we can take that and share that enthusiasm and train of thought with the fans, then everyone at the end of the day wins. Without them, we’re not here.”
Fans started nominating race titles last month and Igdalsky said there were several thousand submitted.
“Some we can use and some we can’t,” he said with a laugh.
From that pool, Walmart, NASCAR, track executives and its fan council narrowed it down to three choices – Race More. Live Better. 400, Pocono for the People 400 and Party in the Poconos 400 -- and from now through April 8, fans can go to walmarturl.com/FanDriven400 to vote on the final name.
The pierogie-recipe vote will take place from April 9-May 6, and fans can cast their vote on the pace car design from May 7-May 27.
Beyond that, Walmart is offering 16,000 Concourse Grandstand tickets at a discounted price of $25. Pocono Raceway also will offer the $99 Walmart Family Track Pack, which includes four tickets, four hot dogs and four sodas, for their Aug. 4 Pennsylvania 400.
“I always say, fans, fans, fans and it’s not just lip service, it’s what we truly believe,” Igdalsky said. “It’s what my grandfather instilled in us. Everything we’ve always done is for the fans.” ___________________________________________________________________________________________
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