NASCAR fans can watch the Duck Commander 500 when it kicks off at 3 P.M. Eastern Standard Time, marking the first NASCAR event sponsored by the company founded by Duck Dynasty patriarch Phil Robertson and ran by son Willie Robertson. Duck Commander, which specializes in designing and manufacturing duck calls, is a relatively new player in sports sponsorships. In addition to the NASCAR Duck Commander 500, the company sponsors the Duck Commander Independence Bowl in Shreveport, Louisiana. According to a report in the Bleacher Report, this is the first of three years Duck Commander has locked down a sponsorship for the Texas NASCAR race.
The original Duck Commander Phil Robertson, who recently made headlines for making controversial remarks regarding his Christian faith and homosexuality during an interview, is a mainstay on the A&E reality series Duck Dynasty. While Duck Dynasty is based on the antics involved in operating the Duck Commander company, the two entities are not one and the same. Today’s NASCAR race is sponsored by Duck Commander – the company that makes the duck calls – not by Duck Dynasty, the reality series.
NASCAR fans can expect a gritty Duck Commander 500 race with Tony Stewart at the pole. According to an Auto Weekreport, this is Stewart’s first pole since 2012, when he won the pole at Atlanta Motor Speedway. This is the 15th pole position of Tony’s NASCAR career. Stewart, driving for Chevy, narrowly beat out Brad Keselowski, who starts int he number 2 position. Kevin Harvick, Greg Biffle and Carl Edwards round out the first five positions. Other notables in the Duck Commander 500 include Kurt Busch starting 11th, Jeff Gordon starting 12th, Jimmy Johnson starting 16th, Danica Patrick starting 24th and points leader and Daytona 500 winner Dale Earnhardt Jr. in the 18th position.
Auto Week reports that Stewart had this to say about his pole-winning qualifying lap:
“It felt really fast right to the middle of three and four, and then it got really loose the last half of the corner. We didn’t know what we could run this third time, but I knew what Biffle had run. The good thing is [crew chief] Chad Johnston made a really big change there to try and make it better. Like he said, ‘I was either going to make you quick, or I was going to make you 12th.’ I’m glad he made the change. He’s got a lot of confidence, and I really like that.”
UPDATE: The NASCAR Duck Commander 500 has been postponed after a four hour delay due to heavy rain. The new start time is 12 noon Eastern Standard Time.