June 1, 2011 – Scott Borchetta, President & CEO of The Big Machine Label Group, chalked up another #1 – but this time it’s not on an airplay or sales chart as it comes at the Greatest Spectacle in Racing, The Indy 500. The racing aficionado sponsored driver Dan Wheldon in the No. 98 William Rast/aigo/Curb/Big Machine/Forsythe Solutions Dallara/Honda/Firestone entry for Bryan Herta Autosport/Curb-Agajanian, which ended the day in the winner¹s circle during Sunday¹s historic 100th Anniversary Indianapolis 500 race.
“Growing up a racer, this is the ultimate win, the ultimate race highlight and just one of the best racing experiences of my life. To share it with my family, my label and all the incredible people involved with driver Dan Wheldon as well as Bryan Herta and his race team was a dream come true. One of the best days ever,” said Borchetta.
In the driver’s seat conquering 200 laps on the iconic 2.5-mile asphalt oval and securing victory was 2005 Indy 500 winner and IZOD IndyCar Series champion Dan Wheldon. During the grueling 500-mile race, there were 23 lead changes among 10 drivers and seven cautions for 40 of the laps. With 10 laps remaining, Wheldon overtook both Bertrand Baguette and Scott Dixon before an unforgettable finish, overhauling rookie JR Hildebrand, who was slated for a record-breaking win. On the last turn of the very last lap Hildebrand’s car smashed into the SAFER Barrier wall coming out of Turn 4, allowing Wheldon to pass for this historic race to the bricks, taking the checkered flag.
Immediately after the race Wheldon exclaimed, “I just kept going until the end, man”, referring to Hildebrand’s misfortune. “It doesn’t matter in this race. Until you cross that yard of bricks for the final time it doesn’t matter and full credit to everybody at Bryan Herta Autosport, William Rast, Curb Records, Big Machine Records, Forsythe Solutions and aigo, Honda and Firestone… It’s unbelievable, man, and I’m so happy!”
At the Indianapolis Motor Speedway alone, Wheldon has remarkably finished in the Top 4 five times during the last seven races with back-to-back runner-up finishes in 2009 and 2010. As Herta’s teammate at Andretti Green Racing, he won both the Indianapolis 500 becoming the first Englishman since Graham Hill in 1966 to hoist the coveted Borg-Warner Trophy and the IZOD IndyCar Series championship, highlighting his career with “The Double,” in 2005. Throughout his career, he has scored 15 victories, 42 podium finishes and 61 Top 5 results in a total of 131 IZOD IndyCar Series starts as well as two runners-up slots in addition to his 2005 title, and seized the 2006 Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona sports car race title.
On display until October 23 in the Air Force One Pavilion, alongside the #98 Centennial NASCAR Sprint Cup car, the Big Machine Records-sponsored championship car was inducted into the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Library in Simi Valley, CA on May 27. The exhibit is a key component of the Ronald Reagan Centennial Celebration, a historic year-long celebration honoring the 100th birthday of America’s 40th President.