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First Ever “Fan Swap” For Military Personnel



Member of U.S. or Canadian Military Will Win a Visit to Michael Waltrip Racing Headquarters in Charlotte & VIP Trip to Richmond Race with Racing Team

PHOENIX (July 28, 2011) – As a way to show appreciation for the brave men and women of the U.S. and Canadian military, Best Western International and Michael Waltrip Racing have launched their annual “Fan Swap” contest, which this year is open exclusively to active and retired members of the armed forces.

The contest will select one lucky serviceman or woman to receive a one-of-a-kind stock car racing experience. The winner and a guest will travel to Cornelius, N.C. to spend the day with two-time Daytona 500® champion Michael Waltrip as well as travel with his team to the races in Richmond, Va. the weekend of September 9.

The service person who wins the “Fan Swap” will have a chance to:
• “Swap” jobs with Michael Waltrip in Cornelius, N.C. on Thursday, September 8
• Spend an afternoon exploring the behind-the-scenes, inner workings of Michael Waltrip Racing at the team’s headquarters
• Have lunch with Michael Waltrip and driver David Reutimann
• Travel to Richmond, Va. the weekend of September 9 as a member of the No. 00 Michael Waltrip Racing team and shadow David Reutimann and/or Michael Waltrip during their appearances on race day
• Get as close to the action as possible with a tour of pit row and a seat in the pit box

This “Fan Swap” experience includes roundtrip airfare, Best Western hotel accommodations and transportation for the winner and a guest. To complete the swap, Waltrip will travel to the winner’s hometown or base at a later date and “work” as they would for an afternoon, meeting with their friends and family and interacting with fellow soldiers.

“We’ve dedicated this year’s annual "Fan Swap" to the heroes who put their lives on the line every day for their country,” said Dorothy Dowling, Best Western’s senior vice president of marketing and sales. “Having the opportunity to show our appreciation and bring them closer to one of their heroes, Michael Waltrip, is truly a privilege.”

The military “Fan Swap” contest begins Thursday, July 28 and ends Friday, August 19. Entry is open to any active or retired military member. Family members, friends, colleagues and community members are encouraged to nominate a deserving military service man or woman.

The entry form must be filled out in its entirety and includes information such as the entrant’s branch of military, if they are active or retired, current job description and name of base (if applicable). Additionally, those nominating a military member must share why the entrant should be awarded the “Fan Swap,” if they are a race and/or Michael Waltrip fan, and any other anecdotes in the allotted space in the entry form. The winner will be chosen based on their eligibility and the strength of their entry. Once selected, the winner must show a military ID to redeem the prize.

“Best Western’s ‘Fan Swap’ is one of my favorite events to support annually and I’m honored for the opportunity to switch jobs with a member of the military and support their efforts even for just a day,” said Waltrip. “I hope the winner knows just how much fun we are going to have and what an honor it will be for me to work side-by-side with them and show all that goes into running a professional race team.”

Best Western International, Inc. is THE WORLD’S BIGGEST HOTEL FAMILYSM, providing marketing, reservations and operational support to over 4,000* BEST WESTERN®, BEST WESTERN PLUS® and BEST WESTERN PREMIER® hotels in 90* countries and territories worldwide. Each Best Western-branded hotel is independently owned and operated. Now celebrating 65 years of hospitality, Best Western has grown into an iconic brand that hosts 400,000* worldwide guests each night. Equally committed to the business and leisure traveler, Best Western recently embarked on a mission to lead the hotel industry in customer care. World Vision is the charity of choice for Best Western in building the world's biggest family, with our hotels and staff sponsoring children in need around the globe. Our partnerships with AAA/CAA, Michael Waltrip Racing™ and Harley-Davidson® help guests make the most of every trip. For the fastest way to a free night globally, join Best Western Rewards®. For more information or to make a reservation, please visit

*Numbers are approximate and can fluctuate.

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