Monday, April 25, 2011

Crown Royal Presents
The Matthew and Daniel Hansen 400

Matthew and Daniel Hansen

This weekend at Richmond International Raceway, the names of two siblings will be on the tip of every tongue in the NASCAR garage: Matthew and Daniel Hansen, U.S. Marine twins and grand-prize winners of the Crown Royal “Your Name Here” contest. The contest awarded them with naming rights to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on Saturday, April 30, officially titled, “Crown Royal Presents The Matthew and Daniel Hansen 400.”

Traditionally, the race has donned only the name of the contest winner, but this year’s race will recognize Matthew, as well as his identical twin brother and fellow Marine, Daniel, who was killed in action on Feb. 14, 2009. Matthew Hansen was unveiled as the grand-prize winner earlier this year during a ceremony led by country music star Rodney Atkins at Daytona International Speedway. Atkins performed his hit song “These are My People” during an acoustic set and added the Hansen brothers’ names to the lyrics signifying their selection as winners.

Matthew Hansen lives in San Marcos, Calif., and was chosen from a group of five military finalists who were all nominated by their friends and family for their ability to demonstrate the core values of the military in performing a selfless act that made them a hero. Matthew’s godmother nominated him for amazing service during three deployments to Iraq and for continuing to serve with amazing courage and faith after losing his twin brother and best friend.

“I think it’s a really cool thing that Crown Royal does to probably make all of us, the fans and anybody who thinks about why the race is named that, realize what military families sacrifice. We can talk about it and you can see the wars on TV, but unless you really know somebody or hear somebody’s story to see how it really affects them, you probably don’t realize the magnitude of what they do and the suffering and what they all go through as when you get to know them. So I’m looking forward to spending a week with him down in Richmond and getting to know them a little better.” (Matt Kenseth #17 - 2011 NSCS Aaron’s 499 Q & A with the Ford Racing Driver before the 2011 NSCS Aaron’s 499- 04/16/2011)

Thanks to a generous invitation from Crown Royal, I am eagerly looking forward to attending the “Crown Royal Presents The Matthew and Daniel Hansen 400” and the opportunity to meet the 2011 Grand Prize Winner. It will be my honor to shake Matthew’s hand and thank him for his and his families’ sacrifices for our freedoms. We are so grateful for the dedication and courage displayed all our military families.

My plan is to share my adventure through photographs, blog posts; and via facebook and twitter. Please feel free to send me a facebook request by clicking here and/or following me on twitter by clicking here.

Stay tuned - I will be sharing my itinerary soon.

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