Jeff Burton not only has a new sponsor this year in Kwikset, a major manufacturer and supplier of residential locks, but he is also all atwitter over their sweepstakes “I Heart the Mayor.”
The special Twitter promotion will be ending this weekend at the July 6th Daytona race. In celebration of the sweepstakes finale, Kwikset will be the primary sponsor on the hood of the No. 31 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet for the Coke Zero 400.
“Quite simply, any fan can go to www.iHeartTheMayor.com and from there you can send a tweet which goes directly to me,” Burton said. “You hashtag #TweetToWin and then you’re done.”
“Hopefully you’ll be chosen and the winner will come to Richard Childress Racing for the October race weekend in Charlotte for a behind the scenes tour of how we build our race cars, how we build our engines, and how we get ready to race,” Burton continued. “And then from there the fans will go to the winery and have lunch, which is a very special treat.”
“Finally the winners will wrap up the weekend as the guests of Kwikset at their VIP hospitality area for the Bank of America 500 race,” Burton said. “They will really get an inside look at the race and at the shop and get to do it in a VIP way.”
“It’s a neat deal that Kwikset has done and somebody is going to have a really great time.”
While Burton is atwitter about the sweepstakes and what it may mean to one of his lucky fans, he also is thrilled to have Kwikset come on board as a sponsor, for his team as well as for the sport.
“Over the years, the economy took a downward turn and we haven’t seen a lot of new companies come in to NASCAR,” Burton said. “So, to have a company like Kwikset come in, a big company with name recognition because people have their product on their front doors, as the primary sponsor at Daytona is good for us and good for the sport.”
“I’ve been really fortunate in my career to represent some ‘who’s who’ in American business,” Burton continued. “I’ve been blessed with that and this is another example of a company with quality products and cool, innovative stuff that they will talk about this weekend that makes the product more usable.”
Kwikset also feels fortunate to have a driver like Burton, known for his advocacy for safety, as a spokesperson for their product.
“Family, safety and innovation are Kwikset’s core tenets,” Greg Gluchowski, President of the Hardware & Home Improvement Group at Spectrum Brands, said. “Once we learned that Jeff had similar passions, we knew this partnership would be beneficial for both parties.”
“The ‘I Heart the Mayor’ sweepstakes is a fun way for motorsports and Kwikset fans to learn more about our products and Jeff, while also giving them the opportunity to win a once-in-a- lifetime experience.”
In their special promotion, Kwikset has indeed capitalized on one of their driver’s most notable monikers, ‘Mayor’ of the NASCAR garage area. Burton’s ‘Mayor’ moniker has evolved over time and goes back to one of the darker times in the sport when Dale Earnhardt was tragically killed at Daytona.
“It all started a long time ago as it related to safety, prior to Dale Earnhardt’s death,” Burton said. “I was working hard and trying to make things happen and when Dale was killed, I was one of the more outspoken in the sport about safety.”
“We had been working on new seat technology and I was involved in the very first carbon seat brought into NASCAR,” Burton continued. “I ran the very first head surround that is now the rule.”
“So, I was ahead of the curve and I was willing to talk about it because I knew we had major problems,” Burton said. “Some people thought I was committing professional suicide by doing it but I never felt like that or that I’d wake up with the horse head in my bed so to speak.”
“Someone had to speak out and be educated about it and I was that person at that time,” Burton continued. “That got me into the media coming to talk to me about difficult things and the topic of the day.”
“So, that’s what started the ‘Mayor’ label.”
“I think we always have to stay ahead on safety,” Burton said. “NASCAR has done a phenomenal job on becoming the leader in motorsports as it relates to safety.”
“In the past they were followers and were reactive but now they are so proactive,” Burton continued. “My role is now to just remind all that we don’t quit and keep on it.”
While Burton is passionate about his mayoral role and has the ear of the sanctioning body, he also feels that NASCAR needs to pay attention to the voice of the fans as well.
“I have a good relationship with NASCAR and we talk about ways now to make the sport even better,” Burton said. “We don’t always agree but they always listen and that’s all you can ask.”
“I think it’s important for our sport,” Burton continued. “We have to have the competitors involved and able to give their opinion but we don’t always need to be listened to.”
“One of the major problems with other sports in my opinion is that they listen to the athletes and the owners too much instead of listening to the fans,” Burton said. “In our sport, the fans get a vote before I do and I’m OK with that.”
While Burton has been atwitter about this social media campaign with Kwikset, he has also been pretty pleased about his performance on the track, in spite of not always getting the finishes he and his team would like.
This past weekend at Kentucky, Burton rebounded from two speeding penalties to run in the top-five until several pit and on-track incidents left him to take the checkered flag in the 19th position.
“The speeding penalties were just a mistake on our tachometer,” Burton said. “We recovered and got ourselves in the top five.”
“Then it went downhill quickly after a brush up with Kasey Kahne on pit road and having a hole knocked in the nose,” Burton continued. “So, now instead of being a fifth place car, we were a tenth place car.”
“And then on the last restart, Ryan Newman and I went three-wide into Turn 3 and Montoya didn’t know we were three-wide,” Burton said. “And we all crashed into each other, I got the right side of my car all torn up, and we went from running ninth to finishing 19th.”
“It wasn’t a good finish but we did run well,” Burton continued. “We’ve been running well lately and last week I think we could have won the race.”
“I feel good about what we’re doing but we’re just a little late doing it.”
Burton is also looking forward to some strategy plate racing at Daytona and hopes to come out of it just a little better than his other experiences so far this year on the superspeedways.
“Daytona is a little bit of a crap shoot,” Burton said. “You have to miss the wrecks.”
“It’s just a tough race,” Burton continued. “I’ve been in two restrictor plate races this year and got caught up in two wrecks not of my doing.”
“Last year, we had an average finish of fifth at plate races and this year we haven’t been able to finish a race because of wrecks,” Burton said. “We’ve just got to go there, put ourselves in position to be running at the end of the race, and then anything can happen.”
But what Burton hopes most of all this weekend is that his fans take to Twitter, just as he does, and participate in Kwikset’s special sweepstakes.
“I’ve really become interested in social media and check Twitter at least two or three times a day,” Burton said. “I follow the people that I want to follow and I follow the organizations that I want to follow.”
“I get a lot of my news through Twitter, following different news and sports outlets,” Burton continued. “I really don’t watch the news anymore because I follow it on Twitter and then investigate it further.”
“There are some things that are disappointing but overall it’s a very positive outlet and I’ve really been impressed with it.”
And this race weekend, Burton will be even more closely watching his Twitter feed, especially with the hash tag #TweetToWin as all of his fans have the opportunity to participate for a chance at one of the most unique behind-the-scenes experiences in the sport.
For more information about Kwikset’s sweepstakes in partnership with Jeff Burton, visit www.iHeartTheMayor.com.