There will be 135,000 fans in attendance at the 105th running of the Indy 500, making it the largest sporting event during the COVID-19 pandemic, and two of them will have the trip of a lifetime courtesy of Mission Foods.
Mario Gomez and a guest will watch the race from the McLaren Gasoline Alley Hospitality Suite. Gomez won the all-expense paid package in a sweepstakes sponsored by Mission Foods, a sponsor of Arrow McLaren Racing SP. Better still, the award was announced by Pato O’ward, Gomez’s favorite driver.
O’Ward will take the green flag this Sunday from the outside of the fourth row, in 12th position.
“I was speechless,” Gomez said in a press release. “I wanted to start screaming and dancing with joy, but because Pato was on the screen, I had to compose myself and try to look professional.”
In addition to the race package, Gomez will be awarded Arrow McLaren- and Mission Food-branded gear.
The announcement was made during a Zoom call with fans who were participating in a behind-the-scenes tour of Arrow McLaren’s garage that was part of last year’s campaign with the sponsor.
“I’m most excited to hear the sound of the engines roaring,” Gomez said. “It is a choir of sounds that makes your stomach shake and that fills the air with such a unique sound.
“I have to thank Mission Foods and the Arrow McLaren SP team for this incredible opportunity. From the prize pack to the exclusive Zoom call and now the Indy 500, I know that Arrow McLaren SP and Mission Foods truly care about us, the fans. Those of us who find joy and excitement watching races, who for a couple of hours every week can forget about COVID and other world problems and enjoy pure racing and good food.”
Gomez has been a lifetime fan of McLaren, with his allegiance beginning with their Formula 1 driver Ayrton Senna. His grandfather gifted him with a diecast of that driver for his seventh birthday.
“We have been supporting motorsports for a long time at Mission Foods, but this is our first time surprising a fan with an experience like this,” said Juan Gonzalez, president and chief executive officer of Mission Foods. “For Mission to be able to connect our fans with the sport we love through delicious food gives us a lot of pride. I’m so excited for Mario and Jordan and can’t wait to catch up with them in the McLaren suite.”