News & Multimedia

Green Beret Announced As Namesake of Brickyard 400

When Green Beret John Wayne Walding attends his first NASCAR race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in July, he’ll see a familiar name plastered around the historic race track – his own.

Walding was announced the winner of Crown Royal’s annual “Your Hero’s Name Here” program, which awards naming rights to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at IMS to a deserving American hero, during last night’s live broadcast of the CMT Music Awards. As the winner, Walding’s name will be incorporated into the official race title, the Crown Royal Presents the John Wayne Walding 400 at the Brickyard Powered by BigMachineRecords.com.

Walding, of Little Elm, Texas, is a highly decorated Army veteran who served for 12 years, completing tours in Afghanistan and Iraq. While overseas in 2008, Walding was involved in a fire fight during a mission to capture a high value target, during which he 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. Walding was nominated for the program by his brother and lives in Little Elm with his wife Amy and their four children. He is the founder of Five Toes Custom, which employs wounded veterans in an effort to provide support and direction within their lives.

“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.”

On hand to take part in the program’s winner reveal event for the third year in a row was country music star and reigning ACM New Artist of the Year Justin Moore. Moore presented Walding with a custom-made Gibson guitar bearing the official race logo incorporating Walding’s name and thanked him for his service during the award show broadcast.

“To be able to be involved in this program’s winner reveal event for the third year in a row is really special to me,” said Moore. “We’ve had the opportunity to meet so many amazing heroes over the years and are looking forward to honoring John Wayne at the Brickyard this summer.”

Walding was joined in Nashville by the other four program finalists, Tara Hulett of Albany, N.Y.; James Bailey of Pamplin, Va.; Bryce Boyer of Wanship, Utah; and Tyler Whisenhunt of Gentry, Ark. The five finalists were selected from thousands of nominations submitted to CrownRoyalHeroes.com, and consumers 21+ voted for the hero they thought was most deserving of the honor.

“The sacrifices that have been made by John Wayne Walding and countless heroes across the country serve as an inspiration to all of us at Crown Royal,” said Abby Wise, Brand Director for Crown Royal. “We’re excited to provide Walding a small token of our gratitude by renaming the NASCAR race at the famed Brickyard in his honor.”

As part of the grand-prize package, Walding will take part in a VIP at-track experience that will include garage tours, pace car rides and concerts by Big Machine Label Group artists. He’ll cap off the weekend by delivering the trophy bearing his name to the race winner in Victory Lane.

“We’re proud to participate in Crown Royal ‘Your Hero’s Name Here’ program for the third consecutive year,” said J. Douglas Boles, Indianapolis Motor Speedway president. “It’s been an honor to welcome so many great American heroes to our events and we’re anxious to host John Wayne for a great weekend of racing.”

While raising a glass to the heroes in your life, Crown Royal reminds consumers to please drink responsibly.

***


2014 ticket information: Ticket information is available for the remaining events in 2014 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway – the Brickyard Vintage Racing Invitational, Kroger Super Weekend at the Brickyard and Red Bull Indianapolis GP.

Fans can order tickets at www.ims.com/tickets, by calling 800-822-INDY or               317-492-6700 between 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. (ET) Monday through Friday or by visiting the Ticket Office at the IMS Administration Building at the corner of Georgetown Road and 16th Street between 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. (ET) Monday through Friday.

Tickets for groups of 20 or more also are available. Contact the IMS Group Sales Department at (866) 221-8775 for more information.
 

Show More Show Less
Now Viewing
Green Beret Announced As Namesake of Brickyard 400
 
Green Beret Announced As Namesake of Brickyard 400
Walding was announced the winner of Crown Royal’s annual “Your Hero’s Name Here” program, which awards naming rights to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at IMS to a deserving American hero, during last night’s live broadcast of the CMT Music Awards. As the winner, Walding’s name will be incorporated into the official race title, the Crown Royal Presents the John Wayne Walding 400 at the Brickyard Powered by BigMachineRecords.com.
Read More
Related Media
Kayla Medaris
 
Why I Love the Infield: Time to be a True American
Kayla Medaris, from New Palestine, Indiana, will be attending her third Indianapolis 500 this May. Medaris, 20, attends Anderson University.
Read More
Chuck Marlow
 
Remembering Chuck Marlowe, of the IMS Radio Network
Chuck Marlowe, who passed away in Indianapolis on Feb. 11 at the age of 86, was a longtime member of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Radio Network broadcast crew.
Read More
Jim Travers
 
A Tribute to the Late Jim Travers
Jim Travers, the colorful co-chief mechanic on Bill Vukovich’s Indianapolis 500-winning Fuel Injection Special of 1953 and 1954, passed away in Kanab, Utah on Monday, Feb. 10, four days after being injured in a fall. He was 95.
Read More
Indy 500 Superbowl Commerical
 
Indy 500 Commercial Adds to Spectacle of Super Bowl Broadcast
The commercial – a first for the Indianapolis 500 during the NFL’s marquee game -- will air regionally around the Midwest.
Read More
Fan Memories
 
Fan Memories: 'Race Day is Christmas Morning'
Trent Pohlar, originally from Indianapolis and now living in Greenwood, Indiana, will be attending his 49th consecutive Indianapolis 500. Pohlar, 59, works as a project sales manager for Architectural Glass & Metal Company, Inc.
Read More
Items 1 - 5 of 2,098
Reserve one of our hospitality suites for your next event!
To start planning your event at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway please fill out our Information Request Form or contact Laura Wyamn at (317) 492-8557 or email at lwyman@brickyard.com.
Latest Tweets
Project 100 Update: Moving ahead, ahead of schedule - https://t.co/5q6mQYlIlS https://t.co/jKNoaWesf3
about 1 hour ago