Tuesday, June 23 2015 09:30

Hungry Jack Racing, Family and the Opportunity to Be Your Own Jack!

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Disclosure: THE ROCK FATHER™ is a paid "Be Your Own Jack" Brand Ambassador for Hungry Jack. All opinions are that of James Zahn, because he is his own Jack. 

For the past couple of years, I've had the opportunity to work with my friends from The J.M. Smucker Company on a variety of cool projects that really align with what "The Rock Father" is all about. At the core of their business, it's all about family, and that's the same core that I have right here at Rock Father HQ. One of the most iconic brands they handle is Hungry Jack, bringing families together for the most important meal of the day: breakfast. But anytime could be a Hungry Jack mealtime, and for the next year, I'll be partnering with Hungry Jack to bring you some special features and opportunities that fit right into the lifestyle of families that rock. There will be reader giveaways, new product introductions and plenty of inspiration for you to "Be Your Own Jack." To celebrate the new partnership, we had a little kick-off gathering in Michigan with all of this year's Brand Ambassadors for some high-octane NASCAR fun... and we got things rolling appropriately on race day with a pancake breakfast! What was my weekend like? Read on, friends... read on!

A photo posted by James Zahn (@therockfather) on

Adding a Detroit stop to this year's #RockFatherTour, I got picked up at Rock Father HQ by Jason Statham's character from THE TRANSPORTERa driver, who took 1978 Darth Vader and I to O'Hare for a quick Delta jump over the lake. I landed at DTW and took a car out to Weber's Inn in Ann Arbor to meet up with the crew. There, we headed over to the World Famous (and they don't just say that) Zingerman's Deli for a little alfresco dining for lunch. Living up to its reputation, there was a line to get in, and the place had a real "East Coast" vibe, despite being located west of Detroit. 

A photo posted by James Zahn (@therockfather) on

I went old-school with a Reuben sandwich, and oh, what a reuben it was...

A photo posted by James Zahn (@therockfather) on

 Thing is, Saturday was the sort of thing that "foodies" ready dig - the chance to check out some outside-the-norm cuisine. We headed over to Terry B's in Dexter to meet up with Tad and Jodi Geschickter - owners of JTG Daugherty Racing and the #47 car on the NASCAR Sprint Cup series. While AJ Allmendinger might be the face of the team - blazing the asphalt in a car that also counts Kroger and Kingsford among its sponsors, there's a unique synergy in that all of the sponsors sort of "fit" together, and Hungry Jack Racing is a big part of that. Tad and Jodi are very much like the proud parents, leading a team of nearly three dozen exceptionally-skilled individuals. We kicked back while discussing life, kids, dogs... and even some classic racing films like STROKER ACE, SIX PACK, and the big favorite for the JTG folks - TALLADEGA NIGHTS: THE BALLAD OF RICKY BOBBY. And yes, the main course was delicious...

A photo posted by James Zahn (@therockfather) on

During the ride out to Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, MI on Sunday, we passed by some interesting things in the Irish Hills of Michigan - the abandoned "Prehistoric Forest" Theme Park from 1963 (appropriate since JURASSIC WORLD just opened), a desolate "Western Town," and many long-closed family fun centers. It was an interesting stretch of road on the way to the vibrant confines of the track. 

We met with AJ for our breakfast of Hungry Jack Pancakes & Syrup (served with fruit and meat, of course), a little discussion about the inner workings of the car and where the team was at going into the Quicken Loans 400.  

A photo posted by James Zahn (@therockfather) on

The main issue going into the race was the threat of rain, which we experienced a bit of while checking out the #47 going through inspections with the NASCAR officials.

A photo posted by James Zahn (@therockfather) on

With the race underway, things were looking okay aside from the ominous clouds overhead, and they certainly did their best to disappoint - opening up and stopping the race several times, each time cleaned up by the fantastic "Air Titan" Toyota Tundra fleet, and the Jet Dryers. It was surprising how quickly they could dry a two-mile track, but that meant little once the skies opened wide once more. After 138 laps and a fourth major rain delay, the race was called as "official," and the #47 under-wraps on Pit Road.

The beautiful thing about racing is that it's just as much about the atmosphere and company as it is about what's going down on the track. It's about family, just like Hungry Jack. 

Stay tuned for more...

James Zahn

James Zahn is best-known as The Rock Father™, a media personality, commentator, adventurer and raconteur. He is the Owner, Publisher, and Editor-in-Chief of THE ROCK FATHER™ Magazine. In January, 2019, after nearly a decade of publishing The Rock Father™ Magazine, he joined Adventure Media and Events as Senior Editor of The Toy Book—the leading trade publication for the toy industry since 1984, as well as The Pop Insider — a destination for all things pop culture, and The Toy Insider — the leading consumer guide for toys and games. He is also editor of The Toy Report, a weekly newsletter published by The Toy Book each Thursday. Zahn has over 27 years of experience in the entertainment, retail and publishing industries.

He regularly serves as a Brand Ambassador and spokesperson for several Globally-recognized pop culture and lifestyle brands in addition to consulting for a number of toy manufacturers. 

Creatively, James has directed/edited music videos, lyric videos, and album trailers for bands such as FEAR FACTORY, has appeared as an actor in feature films and commercials, written comic books, and performed in bands. He currently serves as an artist manager and video director for PRODUCT OF HATE, whose debut album was released by Napalm Records in 2016, distributed by ADA/Warner Music in the U.S. with Universal Music handling global. A new album has been completed and is set for release this year.

Zahn and/or his work have been featured in/on CNN, NBC, ABC, WGN, CBS, GCTN, G4, The Chicago Tribune, Forbes, MarketWatch, Reuters, BusinessWire, Fangoria, Starlog and more. He's appeared as a music expert on CNN's AC360 alongside Anderson Cooper, and has been interviewed by Larry King. In the past he served as a writer for the Netflix Stream Team,  Fandango Family and PBS KIDS, penned articles for Sprout and PopSugar, and was a contributor to Chicago Parent.

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