Skip to content

Former Marine, Iraq War vet honored this weekend as namesake of Brickyard 400

Jul 26, 2013, 7:52 PM EDT

Samuel Deeds AP

We may have been calling this weekend’s Sprint Cup race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway by its original handle of the Brickyard 400, but indeed, that’s not the official name of this year’s running.

The race will go down as the “Crown Royal presents the Samuel Deeds 400 at the Brickyard Powered by BigMachineRecords.com.” I’ll leave it up to you on whether or not that somewhat cumbersome title will have you buying Canadian whiskey or country music albums.

But there’s one part of the name that’s fully exempt from any sort of snark, and that’s the part involving Deeds, 35, of Erlanger, Kentucky – a former Marine gunnery sergeant who won Crown Royal’s “Your Hero’s Name Here” competition after his wife, April, nominated him for the honor.

Deeds, a longtime NASCAR fan who medically retired from the Corps in 2011, has proven his valor in and out of uniform. In 2005, while serving in Iraq, he found an improvised explosive device (IED) as he was setting up a vehicle checkpoint. With the lives of fellow Marines on the line, he exposed himself to the device in order to save them. He has had many surgeries as a result of the blast but received multiple military accolades for his courage, including a Purple Heart.

Then in 2008, while on a family vacation, Deeds risked his life again to help save three people that got caught in a rip tide off the coast of North Carolina. According to Deeds himself, the harrowing episode came just five weeks after he had gone under the knife for abdominal surgery.

This weekend at Indy, Deeds will enjoy a VIP race experience with many perks: Meet-and-greets with the drivers, participation in Sunday’s post-race trophy ceremony, and kissing the famous Yard of Bricks with the winning team.

“Never in my wildest dreams did I think this would happen,” Deeds said earlier this week to USA Today. “To give an everyday person the naming rights to one of the biggest races that NASCAR has at one of the most, it not the most, historic track in the world, is amazing.”

This is the second year that Crown Royal has held the “Your Hero’s Name Here” competition in conjunction with the Brickyard 400. Last year’s Cup race at Indy honored Alabama firefighter Curtiss Shaver.

As for who Deeds would like to see triumph on Sunday, he told USA Today that while he likes Kevin Harvick’s “passion for the sport” and Kurt Busch for his extensive work with the military, he thinks his favorite driver on Sunday “will be whoever wins the race.”

Here’s hoping he has a fantastic weekend at the world’s greatest racecourse.

Latest Posts
  1. Bubba Wallace dominates to win MudSummer Classic at Eldora (updated)

    Jul 23, 2014, 10:46 PM EDT

    Darrell Wallace Jr. AP

    Darrell “Bubba” Wallace Jr. and Kyle Larson put on a spectacular battle in the final 40-lap segment of Wednesday’s second MudSummer Classic at Eldora Speedway, but it was Wallace holding on for the win.

  2. Bubba Wallace still in the lead going into final 40-lap segment of MudSummer Classic at Eldora

    Jul 23, 2014, 10:19 PM EDT

    (AP Photo/Butch Dill) AP

    Darrell Wallace Jr. continues to lead after 110 laps (at the time of a second and final mandatory competition caution) in Wednesday night’s MudSummer Classic at Eldora Speedway.

  3. Bubba Wallace leads after first of three segments in MudSummer Classic at Eldora

    Jul 23, 2014, 9:42 PM EDT

    BubbaEld1 Getty Images

    At the end of the first segment of Wednesday’s NASCAR Camping World Truck Series MudSummer Classic at Eldora Speedway, it’s Darrell Wallace Jr. in the lead.

  4. All heat results from MudSummer Classic at Eldora

    Jul 23, 2014, 9:18 PM EDT

    mudsummer classic logo

    For those of you keeping score at home, here’s the results of all five heat races and the “last chance” race prior to Wednesday night’s second annual MudSummer Classic at Eldora Speedway.

  5. Kurt Busch 25th in Sprint Cup points — IndyCar, too

    Jul 23, 2014, 9:06 PM EDT

    kurt busch indy car 2 AP

    Thanks to a statistical quirk, Kurt Busch is ranked in the same place in the points standings in both the Sprint Cup Series and Verizon IndyCar Series.

  6. NASCAR America: Almirola and Hornish on what makes the Brickyard 400 so important

    Jul 23, 2014, 6:52 PM EDT

    hornish at newton win

    On Wednesday’s edition of NASCAR America, Aric Almirola and Sam Hornish Jr. discussed some of the biggest wins of their careers and talk about the importance of the Brickyard 400 on the NASCAR calendar.

  7. NASCAR America: Richard Petty Motorsports in the Chase

    Jul 23, 2014, 6:42 PM EDT

    AlmirolaDIS1 Getty Images

    On Wednesday’s edition of NASCAR AMERICA, 2014 Coke Zero 400 winner Aric Almirola took a look at the Chase for the Sprint Cup grid and also evaluated Richard Petty Motorsports’ performance through the first 19 races of the 2014 season.

  8. NASCAR America Minute: Brickyard 400 is ‘a big deal’

    Jul 23, 2014, 6:37 PM EDT

    nascar america

    On Wednesday’s edition of NASCAR AMERICA, Aric Almirola and Sam Hornish Jr. previewed Sunday’s 21st running of the Brickyard 400 at the legendary Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

  9. Erik Jones takes first career Truck pole — and does it in first time racing on dirt — for MudSummer Classic at Eldora

    Jul 23, 2014, 6:27 PM EDT

    erik jones wins ncwts at iowa AP

    Before Wednesday, the only dirt Erik Jones ever raced on was back in the tiny rural town he grew up in, little Byron, Mich., population 561. On two feet, too. But that didn’t stop Jones from winning the pole for tonight’s MudSummer Classic NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Eldora Speedway.

  10. Reggie Wayne shows up to Colts camp in a two-seater IndyCar

    Jul 23, 2014, 5:43 PM EDT

    WayneCarp AP

    Indianapolis Colts WR Reggie Wayne, healthy, rides into training camp as a passenger in a two-seater IndyCar driven by Ed Carpenter.

  11. WATCH LIVE: NASCAR AMERICA – Special 6 pm ET start time with Almirola, Hornish, Eldora highlights

    Jul 23, 2014, 3:26 PM EDT

    140723-nascar-america-site

    Hey there, NASCAR AMERICA is back! After a brief vacation just like the Sprint Cup drivers enjoyed during the last off-weekend of the 2014 season, we’re back in the studio and at the shops, ready to give you the latest news in the world of NASCAR.

  12. Erik Jones, Ryan Blaney fastest in Eldora Truck practices

    Jul 23, 2014, 2:50 PM EDT

    Austin Dillon won the inaugural MudSummer Classic race at Eldora Speedway in 2013. (Photo: Tom Pennington/Getty Images) Getty Images

    Erik Jones and Ryan Blaney recorded the top speeds in the two practice sessions for Wednesday night’s second annual MudSummer Classic NASCAR Camping World Truck Series event at Eldora Speedway.

  13. Highlights of IndyCar’s Honda Indy 2 in Toronto (VIDEO)

    Jul 23, 2014, 12:00 PM EDT

    ConwayTOR3 AP

    Video highlights from the Honda Indy 2 in Toronto on Sunday.

  14. IMSA: Sage Karam joins CGR lineup at IMS

    Jul 23, 2014, 11:00 AM EDT

    Karam01 Getty Images

    Sage Karam fills in for Memo Rojas at IMS for the TUDOR Championship race this weekend.

  15. NASCAR: Logano interview makes one young writer’s dream come true

    Jul 23, 2014, 10:15 AM EDT

    LoganoAT Getty Images

    University student gets to interview Joey Logano at New Hampshire, and fortuitous timing before his day ended early due to contact with Morgan Shepherd.

  16. NASCAR: Mudsummer Classic at Eldora looks for a solid sequel

    Jul 23, 2014, 9:43 AM EDT

    The CarCash Mudsummer Classic Getty Images

    Eldora Truck race tonight seeks to be as good as the original.

  17. NASCAR: Rudd, Jarrett, Bobby Labonte look back on Brickyard 400 triumphs

    Jul 22, 2014, 8:33 PM EDT

    Ricky Rudd Getty Images

    Time has not lessened the significance of winning at Indy for these three NASCAR standouts.

  18. NASCAR: This time at Indy, it’s just stock cars for Kurt Busch

    Jul 22, 2014, 7:13 PM EDT

    (Photo: Scott Halleran/Getty Images) Getty Images

    The Outlaw returns to Indianapolis for the first time since his Indy 500-Coke 600 double back in May.

  19. IndyCar: Want Juan Pablo Montoya’s penthouse? It’ll cost you – a lot

    Jul 22, 2014, 5:54 PM EDT

    montoya3 Getty Images

    The Team Penske pilot is putting up his six-bedroom Miami penthouse for a cool $14 million. Better start saving up…

  20. NASCAR: Roush camp looking for speed in Michigan test

    Jul 22, 2014, 4:10 PM EDT

    AAA Texas 500 Getty Images

    Seeking to catch up with their Ford stablemates at Team Penske, Roush Fenway Racing’s trio of Carl Edwards, Greg Biffle, and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. have been searching for speed in a two-day test session at Michigan International Speedway.

Today on NASCAR AMERICA

More from NASCAR America

Brickyard 400 is 'a big deal'

Featured video

Inside scoop with Adrian Sutil
Top 10 NASCAR Driver Searches
  1. K. Kahne (794)
  2. T. Stewart (665)
  3. J. Gordon (641)
  4. B. Scott (586)
  5. C. Edwards (542)