by Matt Lincoln
RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - One of five American heroes will have their name grace the title of the April race at Richmond. The finalists of the contest were announced Tuesday.
The makers of Crown Royal Canadian whisky ask fans to visit NASCAR.com now until February 11th to decide which of five American heroes will receive naming rights to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Richmond International Raceway on Saturday, April 30th, 2011.
All five finalists from various branches of the military have been selected to receive an all-expenses-paid trip to Daytona to attend a special performance where country music star Rodney Atkins will unveil the grand-prize winner. The finalists, in no specific order, are:
- Richard Coffland, U.S. Army & Army National Guard (retired), Grand Coulee, WA
- Matthew Hansen, U.S. Marine Corps, San Marcos, CA
- Casey Traxler, U.S. Army (retired), Mooresville, NC
- Cindy Shelton, U.S. Air Force (retired), San Antonio, TX
- Mark Brown, Knob Noster, MO
Country music star Rodney Atkins will use his award-winning vocals to unveil the winner of the Crown Royal "Your Name Here" 400 contest by incorporating the winner's name into one of his songs. Those in attendance of the event could hear the country crooner sing "It's a welcome home parade for Richard Coffland," or "Cindy Shelton grew up down by the railroad tracks," it will be a surprise until the performance.
The finalists were selected from nominations submitted by friends, family and fellow comrades that illustrated what makes them a hero. Their stories include a female trailblazer in the Air Force's information technology field, a twin who continues to serve even after his other half was killed in the line of duty, and a service member who selflessly protected members of his unit when their base was under attack. Here is some background for each finalisty, courtesy of www.NASCAR.com/CrownRoyal. You can cast your vote there, voting ends Friday, February 11th.
The winner will be announced from Daytona on February 18th. In addition to Rodney Atkins, NASCAR driver Matt Kenseth and representatives from Crown Royal and Richmond International Raceway will be in attendance.