EmbRACE Day at Richmond Raceway: Kicking Off Our Partnership with 23XI Racing

EmbRACE Day at Richmond Raceway: Kicking Off Our Partnership with 23XI Racing

Embrace’s partnership with 23XI Racing is in full swing, and we had our first big race week with Kurt Busch driving the Embrace-branded No. 45 car on April 3 in Richmond, VA. Many teammates were able to attend the race live, filling the stands with orange.

“It was really neat seeing orange shirts and hats everywhere you looked,” said Tom Stewart, Branch Manager in Culpeper, VA. “There was a lot of great support from the team.”

“I go to at least four NASCAR races a year, but getting to wear my orange and stand out with a group of employees was awesome,” said Nikki Wolfe, a BDA for our Martinsburg, WV branch and a longtime NASCAR fan. “It was also super fun getting to meet so many people from the company.”

Tammy Reid, BDA for the Fredericksburg, MD branch echoed that sentiment. “The song ‘Everywhere we go, people want to know who we are’ kept running through my mind because everyone kept asking us that! When we were tailgating, everyone wanted some of our Embrace sunglasses and koozies,” she added. “I thought coming together like that was a phenomenal experience! We have been to many Richmond races, but this one took the cake.”

We also held a viewing party in Middletown, RI for local employees, where teammates gathered to cheer on Kurt Busch together. Attendees had the opportunity to enter a raffle to win prizes with $705 being raised to benefit Operation Stand Down, a nonprofit that helps homeless veterans. Embrace will match the donation, for a total of $1410 being donated.

Richmond race reflections from Dennis Hardiman

While the Embrace car experienced some initial issues, Kurt Busch got back out on the track and finished the race, embodying the persistence and grit we strive for at Embrace.

The day after the race, Dennis Hardiman, our Founder and CEO, spoke about it beautifully in his “Monday’s Motivational Moment” email that he sends out weekly:

“The excitement of Embrace’s sponsorship of Kurt Busch’s car in NASCAR’s Toyota Owners 400 in Richmond this weekend were dashed after the race’s ninth lap when Kurt’s #45 car lost fuel pressure. As a result, the car had to return to its garage for a lengthy repair. When the car returned to the track, seventy laps had been completed.

It’s never a good sign when a car needs to return to the garage during a race. I felt disappointed for Kurt, his team, and all the members of Embrace who attended the race and gathered in Middletown to root for the Embrace cars.

I was pleased to see the car return after missing so much of the race. However, I couldn’t help thinking how difficult it was for Kurt to return to the race to complete it, knowing he stood no chance of gaining anything more than an immaterial one NASCAR Cup Point for finishing.

How we respond to disappointment and failure critically influences what we achieve and how we feel about ourselves. I texted Audley Lewis shortly after Kurt’s car left the race about Kurt, and he responded, ‘We are believing; he has seen adversity before.’ Kurt didn’t see finishing nearly last as a failure but as a victory under the circumstances.

After losing seventy laps to the field, he had to fight off defeatist thoughts and emotions and reframe his goal to motivate himself to get back on the track. Doing so allowed him to be true to who he sees himself to be — someone who overcomes difficulties and disappointments.

It isn’t easy to overcome adversity. It is proven that we react more strongly to negative events than we do to positive ones. People spend more time thinking about negative stimuli than positive ones and overweight the negative aspects of an event more than the positive ones. Moreover, our impulse to avoid pain commonly leads to us choosing not to take positive actions to improve our circumstances, which invariably leaves us stuck in our circumstances.

What happened to Kurt’s car, a fuel pump failing, was outside of his control but how he chose to respond to the problem was within his power.”

Extra races added!

In addition to our original race schedule — which can be found on www.ehlracing.com — the Embrace Home Loans logo will be featured in some additional upcoming races. The new races include:

Sunday, April 17 — Food City Dirt Race — Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, TN

  • #23 Bubba Wallace (Decklid)
  • #45 Kurt Busch (Lower rear quarter panel)

Sunday, April 24 — GEICO 500 — Talladega Superspeedway in Talladega, AL

  • #23 Bubba Wallace (Decklid)
  • #45 Kurt Busch (C Post)

Sunday, May 1 — DuraMAX Drydene 400 — Dover Motor Speedway in Dover, DE

  • #45 Kurt Busch (Lower rear quarter panel)

Sunday, May 8 — Goodyear 400 — Darlington Raceway in Darlington, SC

  • #23 Bubba Wallace (Decklid)
  • #45 Kurt Busch (C Post)

Be sure to tune in (or go in person) to cheer on Bubba and Kurt!

Hero’s Ride Home sweepstakes

Our Hero’s Ride Home sweepstakes is also underway. We’ve teamed up with Kurt Busch and one lucky U.S. service member will win $25,000 and the chance to meet Kurt! Full information about eligibility and other Official Rules for the Hero’s Ride Home can be found here. Due to gaming regulations in the state of New York, this sweepstakes is not available to New York residents, but we will be hosting another sweepstakes that we’ll be able to offer in NY.

The fun is just beginning!

We’re so excited to partner with 23XI Racing — and we’re just getting started. You’ll be seeing the Embrace Home Loans logo on the track throughout the 2022 season, but we won’t be forgetting our amazing Richmond experience any time soon.

“The NASCAR experience provided such a unique sense of pride in Embrace,” said Steve Adamo, President of National Retail Production. “To see the hard work and branding of Embrace in such a tangible way was profound.”

Special thanks to Johnna Beckmann for contributing to this article.

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