Family Watches NASCAR Race Named After Maine Native

Caitlin Burchill

Updated 1 year ago

NASCAR is the sport of choice at the Red Barn RV Park in Holden, but this Sunday’s race had even more campers glued to the TV.This years Brickyard 400 was named in honor of Sam Deeds, a Howland native who now lives in Independence, Kentucky.A viewing party was set up at the campground where his Mom and step-dad camp.Deeds was one of the 5 finalists in this years Crown Royal’s “Your Hero’s Name Here” contest.He won to no surprise of his family.”I knew he was going to win. He’s the only one that deserved it as far as I’m concerned,” said his step-father Brent Haskell. “That’s awful,” responded Deed’s mother, Lisa, “We read all the stories. Everybody deserved it. I was glad he won.”Deed’s wife nominated her war hero husband for the contest, who saved the lives of two members of his platoon while serving in Iraq. He warned them about an IED which later detonated and severely injured him.”From the time he was a little boy, he wanted to be a marine, like his father, so here we are. I’m proud,” said Deed’s grandmother, Joan Smith. While recovering from one of his many surgeries, Deeds helped save the lives of drowning swimmers while on vacation. “I think it’s awesome. The way it’s done. I’m proud to have a grandson like that,” said his grandfather, Royce Smith. Deeds found out he won last week from his favorite NASCAR driver, Kyle Busch, a moment that was captured in country singer Justin Moore’s newest music video for his song “Heroes.”Deeds jam packed weekend at the Brickyard included riding in the pace car and delivering the trophy to the winner at Victory Lane.While Deeds has been too busy to speak with his family during the whirlwind of events, he’s been sending them picture updates throughout the day. “I’ve never seen him smile as much as I did in some of the pictures that he has sent us,” said Lisa Haskell. “Every time I read something about him in the paper it makes me want to cry. He was our first grandchild. We’re pretty proud, always have been,” said Joan Smith. As for the winner, Ryan Newman won the Brickyard 400 in his home state.He ended a 49-race losing streak with the victory.


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