HUNTERSVILLE, N.C., Aug. 22, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- America's tradesmen roll up their sleeves every day to build new roads; repair our cars, trucks and planes; and cool and heat our homes — oftentimes without recognition or appreciation from their fellow Americans. To celebrate tradesmen's skill and contributions, IRWIN® Tools has several initiatives planned across the country to salute and honor 'The Hands that Build America and Keep it Running Strong' as the inaugural National Tradesmen Day draws near. IRWIN Tools today announces that the following activities will take place over the next few weeks to salute and thank America's hardworking tradesmen.
- IRWIN will invite 250 professional tradesmen to give the command for drivers to start their engines as they serve as "Grand Marshals" during pre-race ceremonies at the IRWIN Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway on Saturday, Aug. 27. IRWIN will also give away 1,000 grandstand tickets to tradesmen to experience The World's Fastest Half-Mile and show the company's appreciation for the contributions they make every day to America.
- Kenny Thompson, a concrete tradesman, and the winner of the IRWIN Tools Thank a Tradesman Sweepstakes, could win $1 million if NASCAR driver Jamie McMurray wins the IRWIN Tools Night Race on August 27. As the sweepstakes winner, Thompson won the "Pole Position" Grand Prize that includes an exclusive VIP race weekend for two in Bristol, from Aug. 25-28 for the IRWIN Tools Night Race and the NASCAR Nationwide Series event.
- IRWIN also gave the two top winners of the SkillsUSA® 2011 National Automotive Service Technology Competition the IRWIN HANSON® Ultimate Experience at the IRWIN Tools Night Race. Adam Minihan of Laconia, N.H.; and Michael Mullen of San Luis Obispo, Calif.; won a once-in-a-lifetime chance to work with legendary NASCAR crew chief and FOX/Speed analyst Jeff Hammond, as well as a NASCAR pit crew during the race weekend. IRWIN partner, Earnhardt Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates, will provide Minihan and Mullen with hands-on experience as they work alongside the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series No. 1 team's pit crew to help the team prepare for the 500 grueling laps of the night race. After all their hard work, Minihan and Mullen will watch the race from some of the best seats in the track, atop the No. 1 Earnhardt Ganassi Pit Box.
- Also at Bristol Motor Speedway, IRWIN will give race fans an opportunity to share how tradesmen have made a positive impact on their lives. The IRWIN event marketing display, in the Vendor Display Area, will feature a giant message board, where fans can thank their favorite tradesman by writing a personal message for everyone to see.
- To promote and celebrate 2011's inaugural National Tradesmen Day, executives from IRWIN Tools, alongside the winner of the IRWIN Tools Ultimate Tradesman Challenge and several professional tradesmen, will be in New York City on Sept. 1 to ring THE OPENING BELL(SM) at the New York Stock Exchange.
- IRWIN Tools is making a $10,000 donation to the mikeroweWORKS foundation. Mike Rowe, creator, executive producer and host of Discovery Channel's Dirty Jobs, started this foundation to help improve the value of tradesmen in our society, and is focused on building a community among tradesmen with MikeRoweWorks.com.
IRWIN is coordinating multiple activities throughout the nation and is partnering with retailers and community groups to ensure that the inaugural year's event sets a strong precedent for the annual celebration. Each year, the event will be held on the third Friday in September.
"National Tradesmen Day should become a day when each one of us pauses to thank a tradesman," said Curt Rahilly, Vice President of Marketing for IRWIN Tools. "Too often, we forget how underappreciated these professionals are. IRWIN Tools deeply respects the role that professional tradesmen play in the world, and we are excited to celebrate their contributions from Wall Street to Main Street U.S.A. with these special events."
For more information about National Tradesmen Day on Sept. 16, 2011, visit www.nationaltradesmenday.com.
About IRWIN Tools
IRWIN® Tools manufactures and distributes a broad line of hand tools and power tool accessories including VISE-GRIP® pliers and wrenches, MARATHON® saw blades, QUICK-GRIP® clamping tools, SPEEDBOR® wood drilling bits, STRAIT-LINE® marking tools, UNIBIT® step drill bits, and HANSON® taps and dies. IRWIN Tools is a part of Newell Rubbermaid's global portfolio of brands. For more information, call 1-800-GO-IRWIN or visit www.irwin.com. IRWIN invites the nation to celebrate National Tradesmen Day, on Friday, Sept. 16, 2011.
About IRWIN HANSON
IRWIN® HANSON® has been manufacturing High Carbon Steel threading tools for over 100 years, and has proven itself to be a brand you can trust. IRWIN HANSON now brings innovation to a category that hasn't seen any in decades with the Performance Threading System, a remarkably simple-to-use solution of self-aligning taps and dies, ergonomic drive tools, and adjustable tap sockets. When you need tools that help you do the job the way it was meant to be done, IRWIN Tools deliver. For more information, visit www.irwin.com.
About Earnhardt Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates
In November 2008, two of auto racing's biggest names – Earnhardt and Ganassi – launched a multi-car race team through the combination of the motorsports operations Dale Earnhardt, Inc. and Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates. The two organizations were then formed into the new Earnhardt Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates. 2010 was EGR's most prominent season to date. The season started off with a bang as Jamie McMurray returned to EGR, and delivered the organization's first win in the Daytona 500. McMurray backed up his 500 win with a victory in the Brickyard 400, making owner Chip Ganassi the only owner to win both the Indy 500 and the Brickyard 400 in the same year. Montoya then found his way to the win column with a victory at Watkins Glen in August and McMurray returned to victory lane for the third time at Charlotte in mid-October. Overall, the 2010 season was one of Chip Ganassi's and EGR's most successful seasons in NASCAR with four wins, 15 top-fives, 26 top-10s, and seven poles.
About Jeff Hammond
Jeff Hammond joined Fox Sports at the end of the 2000 Sprint Cup season. He and partner Chris Myers host the weekly pre-race show from the famed "Hollywood Hotel," usually located near Victory Lane at each race track. Jeff contributes to the race coverage on Fox and FX with booth announcers, Mike Joy, Larry McReynolds and Darrell Waltrip. Jeff can also be seen every Friday night at 7pm eastern on Trackside Live on the SPEED Channel. He and show host Steve Byrnes bring you all the happenings on and off the track.
SkillsUSA® is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and is cited as a "successful model of employer-driven youth development training program" by the U.S. Department of Labor, and is an OSHA Alliance partner. SkillsUSA programs help to establish industry standards for job skill training in the lab and classroom, and promote community service. More than 300,000 students and instructors join SkillsUSA annually, organized into more than 17,000 sections and 54 state and territorial associations. SkillsUSA has served nearly 10 million members since its founding. For more information, visit www.skillsusa.org
SOURCE IRWIN Tools