Green Beret chosen as namesake for Brickyard 400

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INDIANAPOLIS (June 5, 2014) – This year’s Brickyard 400 has its namesake.

John Wayne Walding, a Green Beret, won Crown Royal’s annual “Your Hero’s Name Here” program, which honors a deserving American hero by naming the race after the recipient.

Country music singer Justin Moore made the announcement Wednesday night during the CMT Music Awards in Nashville, Tenn. The official name of the race is “Crown Royals Presents the John Wayne Walding 400 at the Brickyard Powered by BigMachineRecords.com.” Moore presented Walding with a Gibson guitar featuring the official race logo.

Walding, from Little Elm, Texas, is a decorated Army veteran who served 12 years, including tours in Afghanistan and Iraq. In 2008, he was involved in a firefight and lost the lower part of his right leg. After recovering from the injury, he became the first amputee to graduate from the Special Forces Sniper School. Among his awards and badges are the Silver Star, Bronze Star, Purple Heart and Combat Infantry Badge.

He also completed the Army Ten-Miler on foot and used a hand cycle to finish the 2009 Boston Marathon. His brother nominated him for the “Your Hero’s Name Here” program.

Walding helps former military members by employing them or providing direction to find their “North Star”—something he describes as their meaning in life after active duty service. He considers himself a big NASCAR fan but has never attended a race. His first NASCAR experience will be a race bearing his name.

The Brickyard 400 is Sunday, July 27, at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

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