After announcing the launch of its “Your Hero’s Name” program, which renames the namesake of the annual Brickyard 400 NASCAR race, Crown Royal officially unveils the winner: Green Beret John Wayne Walding.
Country music star Justin Moore announced the winner at the 2014 CMT Music Awards through a special unveiling of a custom-made Gibson guitar sporting the official race logo.
The program honors local heroes by renaming the iconic race in honor of one standout heroes, whether its a local police officer, firefighter, or military serviceman.
Walding (of Little Elm, Texas) is a highly decorated Army veteran, who served for 12 years and completed tours in both Afghanistan and Iraq. While overseas in 2008, he was involved in a fire fight during a mission to capture a high value target. Fortunately, he survived, but lost the lower part of his right leg.
After recovering from his injury, Walding was the first amputee to graduate the Special Forces Sniper School. He completed the Army 10 miler on foot and the 2009 Boston Marathon utilizing a hand cycle, within a year of the accident. Among Walding’s many awards and badges are the Silver Star, Bronze Star, Purple Heart, and Combat Infantry Badge.
Come July, the Brickyard 400 will be renamed the John Wayne Walding 400 in honor of the Green Beret… and will be given a VIP at-track experience and handed the trophy bearing his name to the race winner in Victory Lane.
“The fact that Crown Royal cares enough to say ‘thank you’ for what I’ve done is a true validation for my sacrifice,” said Walding following the unveil event. “The magnitude of those two words goes above and beyond.”