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El Grado Tequila Heads For Season-Closing Race At Homestead With Dempsey Racing


“Tequila’s Crown Jewel” Continues Partnership With Rolex Series Championship Team

Corpus Christi, TX October 7, 2009---Category-defining new tequila El Grado is coming to the exciting conclusion of its first season’s partnership with Dempsey Racing. As a successful season nears the finish line, Drivers Joe Foster, Patrick Dempsey, Rick Skelton and Charles Espenlaub have competed ably in eleven starts—nine of them in El Grado Livery.

Dempsey Racing is scheduled to compete in their #40 Mazda RX-8 GT in the final Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series race, the Grand Prix of Miami, taking place on the 2.3 mile road course at Homestead Miami Speedway south of Miami, Florida. The schedule includes practice 2:00-4:30PM local time Thursday, October 8, practice and qualifying Friday October 9, and the main event starts at 1:08PM Eastern on Saturday October 10 (all times Eastern). The race will be televised on SPEED.

Back in May, Dempsey Racing’s Mazda RX-8 GT debuted in El Grado livery in time for a 7th place finish in Millville, New Jersey, a 10th place finish at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in California, and 7th in Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen in Watkins Glen, NY. They finished 6th place June 20 (team high for Dempsey himself) in the EMCO Gears Classic (KeyBank) at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio. The team’s season-best finish (4th) came with Foster and Espenlaub at the Porsche 250 at Barber Motorsports Park in Alabama in July. The team has had eight top ten finishes in the series and has finished running it all but one race.

Also this summer, Dempsey and his teammate, Grand Am Koni Challenge Champion Joe Foster, came in 9th in the 77th running of one of motor racing’s crown jewels, the 24 Hours of Le Mans driving a Ferrari F430GT. For this race, Dempsey and Foster drove a combined 20-plus hours after their third teammate, Don Kitch, Jr. fell ill.

“We are podium bound for sure,” team owner and driver Dempsey said. “It’s only a matter of time. I am proud of our team and the progress we have made in so many areas.” El Grado Spirits founder Ben Gonzales adds, “El Grado Spirits eagerly anticipates the final race of the 2009 Rolex Sports Car Series season with Dempsey Racing,” echoing the sentiment of founder Ron Park. “This has been a great season for us, both in terms of our visibility with the team and its overall performance. We’ll be cheering them on in Homestead Miami this weekend.”

Texas-based EL GRADO Tequila—“Tequila’s Crown Jewel™”—produces a remarkable quartet of uncommonly smooth tequilas: blanco, reposado, añejo and rosa. EL GRADO Tequila’s flavor profile comes both from its use of 100 percent pure Blue Weber agave and unconventional techniques EL GRADO’s master distillers use in producing the tequila.

Combining 200-year old traditions with 21st-century technology, EL GRADO Tequila’s makers have created a distinct taste like nothing else on the market. EL GRADO’s management team found Ana María Romero, a master Tequilera, author and expert taster, to help them formulate a smoother brand of ultra-premium tequila. Working with master distiller Salvador Fonseca, the team began a dedicated production line in Los Altos, the Highlands area of Jalisco, Mexico to produce EL GRADO earlier this spring.

Formed in 2002 under the name of Hyper Sport LLC, the re-branded Dempsey Racing is a professional sports car racing team competing at the top levels of American endurance sports car racing. In 2008, Hyper Sport garnered First Place Team and Driver’s Championship honors with its Ford Mustang FR500-C program in the Grand Am Koni Challenge Series with 2 wins, 4 Pole Positions and the most laps led during this competitive season. Beginning in the American Le Mans Series in a factory-backed Panoz GTLM, Dempsey Racing has advanced into Grand Am sanctioned road racing and has competed both in the Rolex and Koni Challenge Series in BMW, Infiniti, Ford and Mazda products.

Since late 2005, A-list movie and television actor Patrick Dempsey has been a co-owner and driver for Dempsey Racing in both its Koni Challenge and Rolex Series activities. Bringing a new level of media value and competitive spirit to the team, Patrick has proven himself on track as well as ensured that Dempsey Racing and its partners receive a huge return on branding investments. In 2009 the team changed its name to Dempsey Racing, but still operates its customer program under the Hyper Sport brand. The two organizations operate as one, but go racing as Dempsey Racing.


 Patrick Dempsey
 El Grado Tequila
 Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car
 Dempsey Racing
 Grand prix of Miami

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