Thursday, July 21, 2016

2007–2016 Crown Royal
‘Your Name Here 400’ Winners #NASCAR

#NASCAR Race Mom at the Brickyard

For NASCAR Race Mom, a NASCAR Race is always a fun and special event.  However,  Crown Royal has taken that joy to a higher level with their Heroes Project.

Crown Royal has been honoring American Heroes with the naming rights of the Indianapolis Sprint Cup race for the last decade.

The Crown Royal brand recognizes the extraordinary efforts made by the hard working members of our communities every day. From our police officers and firefighters to our troops at home and overseas, Crown Royal is proud to support and celebrate those whose noble commitment to service truly makes them heroes. Crown Royal also has a long history of supporting sources of local pride, including many sports teams, which continues to this day.

In celebration of this weekend's Crown Royal Presents the Combat Wounded Coalition 400 at the Brickyard, honoring Retired Navy SEAL Jason Redman, the 2016 winner of Crown Royal’s “Your Hero’s Name Here” program; please take a moment to read the short bios on all the past and present heroes honored by Crown Royal.

2007 – Sunday, May 6 at Richmond International Raceway*

The 2007 race was titled:
Crown Royal presents the Jim Stewart 400

Crown Royal presents the Jim Stewart 400 #NASCAR
Jim Stewart, 34, of Houma, LA, was selected as the grand prize winner of Crown Royal's "Your Name Here 400" promotion. He attended the race with his fiancée, Lacie Broussard, for an experience of a lifetime.

Beyond seeing his name on everything from tickets to race merchandise, Stewart participated in various race activities, which include a pre-event press conference, attending the drivers' meeting, riding in the pace car, serving as grand marshal, delivering racing's famous command ("Gentlemen, Start your Engines!") and presenting the trophy to the race winner in Victory Lane.

The landmark promotion was conceived by Crown Royal, a product of parent company Diageo . To enter, Stewart submitted his favorite "CROWN- WORTHY" moment to become one of nine finalists, as selected by a judging panel. The finalists were flown to Daytona International Speedway in February, where Stewart was randomly chosen in a drawing. Stewart's winning entry -- one of nearly 15,000 total submissions -- chronicled his moments growing up fishing with his father and later christening his own fishing boat with a toast to his dad.

The 2007 race winner was: Jimmie Johnson

*Race postponed from Saturday night to Sunday afternoon due to rain.

2008 – Saturday, May 3 at Richmond International Raceway

The 2008 race was titled:
Crown Royal Presents the Dan Lowry 400

Crown Royal Presents the Dan Lowry 400 #NASCAR
Dan Lowry, 29, of New Waterford, Ohio, took part in an elaborate unveiling ceremony in which several helicopters flew high above the Las Vegas Strip to a 10,000-square-foot desert mosaic featuring Lowry's name as part of the official race logo to be used at Richmond International Raceway.

Lowry was one of two winners of the contest that were flown to Las Vegas to participate in the ceremony. While Lowry was awarded the grand prize, Tim Weiland, the first-prize winner of De Pere, Wisconsin, received a custom Stage 1 Roush Fenway Ford Mustang. Crown Royal selected the winners from approximately 10,000 written submissions chronicling consumers' fondest Crown Royal memories that were enjoyed in a responsible manner.

In his winning entry, Lowry recalled a moment when he was working thousands of miles away from home in Venezuela. He wandered into a local restaurant where he didn't recognize any of the labels behind the bar until he caught sight of the iconic purple and gold Crown Royal bag that immediately reminded him of the fond memories of home.

The 2008 race winner was: Clint Bowyer

2009 – Saturday, May 2 at Richmond International Raceway

The 2009 race was titled:
Crown Royal Presents the Russell Friedman 400

 Crown Royal Presents the Russell Friedman 400 #NASCAR
An elaborate ceremony at Daytona International Speedway® revealed Russell Friedman, a two-time Purple Heart recipient, as the grand-prize winner of the third annual Crown Royal® Presents the “Your Name Here” 400 contest. When Friedman accepted the prize – naming rights to the May 2 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Richmond International Raceway – he spoke of how his efforts could not be recognized alone and that it was important to honor all the individuals who serve our country.

Friedman lives in Huntington Station, NY, and was chosen from a group of seven finalists from around the country based on a submission that detailed his experience serving in Iraq.

“Winning the Crown Royal ‘Your Name Here’ 400 contest is absolutely amazing and truly an overwhelming experience,” said Friedman. “Not only do I get to live out one of my dreams, but I get a chance to help recognize all the American soldiers who defend our freedoms on a day-to-day basis and definitely deserve a toast with Crown Royal.”

The 2009 race winner was: Kyle Busch (Busch won on his 24th birthday.)

2010 - Saturday, May 1 at Richmond International Raceway

The 2010 race was titled:
Crown Royal Presents the Heath Calhoun 400

Crown Royal Presents the Heath Calhoun 400  #NASCAR
Heath Calhoun, 30, of Clarksville, Tenn., retired from the Army when he lost both of his legs in an explosion in Iraq. 

For his efforts he received a Purple Heart, as well as the George C. Lang Award for Courage.

Calhoun was nominated several times by various friends and family members for his determination and ability to inspire others to live their lives to the fullest despite their injuries.

The 2010 race winner was: Kyle Busch

2011 – Saturday, April 30 at Richmond International Raceway

The 2011 race was titled:
Crown Royal Presents the Matthew & Daniel Hansen 400

Crown Royal Presents the Matthew & Daniel Hansen 400 #NASCAR
Matthew Hansen, 26, of San Marcos, Calif., is a full-time member of the United States Marine Corps. SSgt Hansen joined the Marines with his identical twin brother Daniel after graduating high school.

While supporting combat operations in the Farah province of Afghanistan, Daniel was killed by a roadside bomb. 

When Matthew won the grand prize, he named the race the “Matthew and Daniel Hansen Brothers 400.” to show honor to his fallen twin.

The 2011 race winner was: Kyle Busch

2012 – Sunday, Jul. 29 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway

The 2012 race was titled:
Crown Royal Presents the Curtiss Shaver 400 at the Brickyard

Crown Royal Presents the Curtiss Shaver 400 at the Brickyard #NASCAR
Curtiss Shaver, 37, of Troy, Ala. is a certified EMT, paramedic and current Lieutenant of the Troy Fire Department. Shaver was nominated by a fellow firefighter for his commitment and dedication to give back not only to the Troy Fire Department, but to the community as a whole, despite what many would consider a handicap.

At the age of 18, he was involved in a severe farming accident, resulting in the amputation of his left leg. Inspired by the desire to give back to others after being aided by good Samaritans during his accident, Shaver completed extensive rehabilitation and training and was hired by the very same fire department that responded to his farming emergency.

Excited about the opportunity to share the NASCAR experience in Indianapolis with the other four finalists, Shaver views this nomination as a true honor.

The 2012 race winner was: Jimmie Johnson

2013 – Sunday, Jul. 28 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway

The 2013 race was titled:
Crown Royal Presents the Samuel Deeds 400

Crown Royal Presents the Samuel Deeds 400 #NASCAR
Gunnery Sergeant Samuel Deeds, of Independence, Ky., is a retired Marine whose selfless actions saved the lives of fellow Marines in Iraq. 

In 2005, Deeds came across an improvised explosive device (IED) while setting up a vehicle checkpoint. When he saw two fellow marines approaching, Deeds exposed himself to the IED to warn them. 

He was severely injured, undergoing 30 surgeries and procedures since then, and has received a Navy and Marine Corps Medal, Purple Heart, two Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals, Combat Action Ribbon and Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal.

In 2008, Deeds' also saved the lives of three people caught in a rip tide off the North Carolina shore. Deeds has been a NASCAR fan his whole life and shares his passion with his sons Myles and Micah. He calls his wife April his hero for staying by his side.

The 2013 race winner was: Ryan Newman

2014 – Sunday, Jul. 27 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway

The 2014 race is titled:
Crown Royal Presents the John Wayne Walding 400

Crown Royal Presents the John Wayne Walding 400 #NASCAR
John Wayne Walding, 32, of Little Elm, Texas, served in the United States Army for 12 years with seven of those years being in the 3rd Special Forces Group, completing tours in Afghanistan and Ira.  Despite losing his lower right leg while serving overseas, Walding was the first amputee to graduate Special Forces Sniper School. This decorated veteran was nominated by his brother because of his continued efforts to provide guidance and inspiration to fellow service men and women. 

A big NASCAR fan, Walding has never had the opportunity to go to a race and looks forward to attending the John Wayne Walding 400 in July.

The 2014 race winner was: Jeff Gordon

2015 – Sunday, Jul. 26 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway

The 2015 race is titled:
Crown Royal Presents the Jeff Kyle 400

Crown Royal Presents the Jeff Kyle 400 #NASCARJeff Kyle, of Lorena, Texas, was deployed multiple times to Iraq and Africa while serving in the military for eight years. During his time with the 3rd Marine Division, Kyle received the Navy Achievement Medal for leading the first Marine detachment to transport a nuclear submarine through hostile waters.

After leaving the military, Sergeant Kyle has dedicated his life to helping his fellow servicemen and women through his tireless efforts to bring awareness to veterans’ needs. Kyle advocates for veterans across the nation and provides support through his involvement with a handful of organizations.

Although Kyle served with the Marines, he says his true service started when he returned from deployment and began working to help fellow veterans. In addition to serving as a board member for the Guardian For Heroes Foundation, Kyle also works extensively with American Valor, the foundation which runs the memorial benefit to honor his brother, CPO and U.S. Navy SEAL Chris Kyle.

The 2015 race winner was: Kyle Busch

2016 – Sunday, Jul. 24 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway

The 2016 race is titled:
Crown Royal Presents the Combat Wounded Coalition 400

Crown Royal Presents the Combat Wounded Coalition 400 #NASCAR
Jason Redman, of Chesapeake, Va., enlisted in the Navy following high school and served 11 years as an enlisted SEAL before enrolling at Old Dominion University. After graduation, Redman was commissioned as a Naval SEAL Officer and served ten more years. Throughout his career he served five deployments including two combat deployments.

In 2007, Redman’s Assault Team came under heavy machine gun fire and he was wounded with shots to the face and left arm. While recovering from his 37 surgeries at Bethesda Naval Medical Center, Redman wrote and hung a sign on his door which became a statement and symbol for wounded warriors everywhere. The original sign on the door now hangs in the Wounded Ward at the National Naval Medical Center Bethesda. Redman was honored with the Purple Heart, the Bronze Star Medal with Valor, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Navy Commendation Medal, Joint Service Achievement Medal, Navy Achievement Medals and two Combat Action Ribbons.

Following his recovery, Redman founded the non-profit organizations Combat Wounded Coalition and Wounded Wear to help combat wounded warriors overcome the wounds of war. The Combat Wounded Coalition provides free clothing, clothing modifications, and connections to other vetted service organizations for combat wounded warrior needs. To date, the Combat Wounded Coalition has helped over 500 wounded warriors return to daily life after serving.

In addition to Redman, program finalists included: Piper Hill, retired Army Captain and founder of Healing4Heroes from Atlanta, Ga.; Michael Gallardo, retired Army Sergeant from San Antonio, Texas; Chris Mintz, former Army Infantryman and community leader from Roseburg, Ore. and Leigh Ann Hester, Army National Guard Sergeant First Class and Police Officer from Murfreesboro, Tenn.

NASCAR Race Mom salutes all of American Heroes.  Congratulations to the ten Crown Royal recognized heroes listed above. 

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