A Troy firefighter will someday have a great story to tell his grandchildren about the big NASCAR race of 2012. It won't matter who wins, because the story is all in the name.
Curtiss Shaver was announced Wednesday as the winner of the nationwide "Your Hero's Name Here" contest sponsored by Crown Royal in which the victor gets a NASCAR race named after himself. For Shaver, he knew what he wanted to do early in life, though it took a serious farming accident to help him realize it.
The accident claimed the lower part of his left leg, but Shaver persevered and began a lifelong career as a firefighter and certified EMT with the goal of giving back to his community. He knew he'd found his calling when local firefighters rescued him.
"I'm a huge NASCAR fan, so having my name as a race title is absolutely unbelievable," said Shaver. "I'm honored that I was nominated for this incredible contest and humbled that so many people voted for my story. I'm looking forward to representing emergency personnel everywhere who risk their lives for others on a daily basis."
Shaver will be flown to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway race on July 29, 2012 where he'll get to ride in the pre-race pace car and wave the green flag to start the race. He'll also get to kiss the bricks following the race, and he'll deliver the trophy bearing his moniker to the winner in victory lane.
A Troy fire truck ladder at Fire Station No. 1 held up a purple sign of congratulations, announcing the Curtiss Shaver 400 at the Brickyard race event.
Crown Royal billed the contest as a way of recognizing a hometown hero. Shaver was nominated by his fellow firefighters for his commitment and dedication to his community.
In an effort to bring a little piece of the famed track (more commonly known as The Brickyard) to Troy, Alabama, Crown Royal orchestrated a special ceremony that resulted in the laying of a replica "Yard of Bricks" in Troy's downtown area. The final engraved brick bearing the race logo was personally laid by Shaver, culminating the ceremony.
The fireman was one of five finalists in the contest in which voters used Crown Royal's Facebook page to vote. Nearly 200 Troy residents, including Mayor Jimmy C. Lunsford and Shaver's friends, family and fellow firefighters attended today's bricklaying ceremony in front of the fire station on East Walnut Street to honor their local hero.
"We feel privileged to host the 'Your Hero's Name Here' race on July 29 for the first time in Indianapolis Motor Speedway history," said Indianapolis Motor Speedway Corporation president and CEO Jeff Belskus. "Our entire staff is thrilled to help Crown Royal provide Curtiss with the royal treatment and recognize all heroes attending this year's race."
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