By Staff Report NASCAR.com March 21, 2020 at 11:28 AM
Already an official partner of NASCAR, Dixie Vodka sought to expand its footprint in the racing ecosystem even more in 2020 when the vodka brand was announced as the title sponsor for the NASCAR Cup Series race at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
The postponement of that event due to the spread of the novel coronavirus didn’t derail those plans – it merely altered them, at least for March. And it also presented a unique opportunity for Dixie Vodka to make an impact on an additional important platform for the company: supporting local communities.
When the eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational Series kicks off its first simulation exhibition race Sunday at 1:30 p.m. ET from virtual Homestead-Miami Speedway (TV: FS1), it will do so in the Dixie Vodka 150. The race entitlement sponsorship from Dixie Vodka, though, goes beyond just sponsoring Sunday’s iRacing event, the first of multiple in the esports series featuring many of the sport’s most talented and popular drivers.
MORE: eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational Series set to kick off | Drivers gearing up for Sunday
Dixie Vodka, along with several drivers in the race itself, also will make a $10,000 contribution to The NASCAR Foundation, which will serve as the centralized organization for those in the NASCAR industry seeking to make charitable donations in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Supporting our local communities, from buying from local vendors to linking up with regional nonprofits, has been part of our DNA since day one," Grain & Barrel CEO and Dixie Vodka creator Matti Anttila said. "Never has that been more critical than in the crisis we all find ourselves in today. For that reason, we didn’t think twice about linking up with The NASCAR Foundation to help bring vital resources to feed the children in South Florida, assisting those most in need in and around the home of the Dixie Vodka 400 and now, virtually, the Dixie Vodka 150. Working together as a sport and as a country I know we can overcome the enormous challenge we are facing today."
The NASCAR Foundation is working with Feed the Children to help families in the Miami area impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Those interested can pitch in with a donation here: https://www.NASCARFoundation.org/response.
Join the #NASCAR industry?s efforts in helping families in the @HomesteadMiami area impacted by COVID-19. With the help of @feedthechildren, proceeds will go directly to delivering food, supplies, safety items & more to the local racing community?DONATE: https://t.co/6Gna9v6wao pic.twitter.com/u37XeUU0PJ
— The NASCAR Foundation (@NASCAR_FDN) March 22, 2020
Donations will be used to provide food staples, personal care items and educational materials for children as local schools close in the face of the pandemic.
The eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational Series will feature some of the best NASCAR drivers across all three national series. Drivers currently expected to participate include: Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin, Clint Bowyer, Kyle Larson, Joey Logano and Brad Keselowski. Hamlin announced he would donate $1 to The NASCAR Foundation for every lap he leads Sunday and an extra $5,000 total if he wins the race.
During Sunday?s iRacing event, I?m pledging $100 for each lap I lead and $5000 if I win the race to benefit families affected by COVID-19 in the Homestead-Miami area. @NASCAR_FDN @feedthechildren. Who?s with me? @JoeGibbsRacing @KyleBusch. For more info https://t.co/tibiUfh4oK https://t.co/tH3q2EfD4R pic.twitter.com/1ADXTXOPoe
— Denny Hamlin (@dennyhamlin) March 20, 2020
— Kevin Harvick (@KevinHarvick) March 22, 2020